25th Anniversary

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I am a long-time, avid user and fan of IMDb. I am also a former resident of Seattle - birthplace of IMDb. I have zero recollection of the database being around as early as 1990, so what is the impetus of using 10/17/1990 as an anniversary date?
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Jan Buckner

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  • confused

Posted 4 years ago

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Hi Jan,

IMDb has been a labor of love of movie fans during its close to 25 years of existence.

This is the timeline for IMDb. It lists significant events in the history of IMDb.
http://www.imdb.com/pressroom/company_timeline/

At the very bottom of that page, it states:
17 Oct 1990 Col Needham (founder and CEO of IMDb), posts a set of shell scripts to the USENET group rec.arts.movies creating a searchable database of filmography data, thus publicly launching IMDb in its earliest form.
Prior to Col Needham's scripts, Col and other regular contributors to rec.arts.movies created lists of films and actors. These lists provided the information upon which IMDb was founded.

Originally, IMDb was called the rec.arts.movies database and a fan run activity. When Col and other early contributors to rec.arts.movies incorporated as limited liability company, it was renamed IMDb (Internet Movie Database).

I've used rec.arts.movies from around late 1992 to 2000, although I made infrequent posts to USENET group. I've used the website since 1995.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Dan explains this well and thanks, Dan, for the longtime support! 

To clarify further, the birthplace of IMDb is not Seattle. The birthplace of IMDb is really the internet itself.  I was (and still am) in Bristol, UK when I published the first IMDb software 25 years ago next week so Bristol is the closest to a physical birthplace if you like to think in those terms. It has always been a worldwide team effort though and continues like that to this day with team members and our data contributors spread throughout the world.  The Seattle connection comes much later in that in April 1998, IMDb became a subsidiary of Amazon which is headquartered in Seattle. We now have teams in Seattle, in Los Angeles and here in Bristol and a growing team in New York, along with several sales offices via our partners in the Amazon Media Group plus several smaller satellite offices, including a team member in Germany who has been with us for 22 years there.  Whenever anyone asks me though, I continue to say that IMDb is headquartered on the Internet.  
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Col and the IMDb team,

Happy 25th anniversary: October 17, 2015.
http://www.imdb.com/anniversary
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Jan Buckner

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Thanks gentlemen. I knew there had to be a reason for the date & am fascinated to read the history of the database. I purchased my first home computer around 1995, so I would say I have been using the database about 20 years. Sorry for the mis-information about the Seattle roots. I thought everything in the 90s originated from there. Happy Anniversary!!!!