October 16: How answering a movie fan's question turned into IMDb

A look into how the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was born.

Source: IMDb
Published: October 2020

How answering a movie fan’s question turned into IMDb

As with all good origin stories, IMDb had a humble beginning.

During the late 1980s, IMDb founder Col Needham was a member of an online discussion forum called rec.arts.movies, which was theplace on the internet to discuss movies.

In 1990,a member of the group was looking for a way to type the name of an actor/actress and generate a list of films in which they appeared.

Col Needham wrote a software program to solve the problem and shared it with the group, adding, “I am posting this message rather than mailing to give others the opportunity of experimenting with the script.” In this spirit of collaborationIMDb was born.

In 1998, Amazon made IMDb one of its first-ever acquisitions. With 200 million monthly visitors worldwide, it is now the world’s most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities.

Bonus: Col keeps track of every movie he’s seen, totaling 12,600+ movies(not counting replays), and he watches an average of two films per day.


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