The lists that continue to be the backbone of the Internet Movie Database existed before October 17,1990, the fifteenth anniversary date we celebrate this week. They were originally collected and maintained by a hearty group of movie fans who frequented a Usenet group (a text bulletin board) called "rec.arts.movies." The lists included the credits for actors, actresses, and directors, as well as biographical entries for moviemakers who had passed on (known back then as "the 'dead' list"). But we mark the date because on October 17th, our founder, Col Needham, wrote a series of Unix shell scripts which made these lists searchable. The ability to search existing data is one of the key components of the Web experience, and it immediately made the lists more meaningful and useful. Though the new name was still six years off, the Internet Movie Database was, in essence, born.
Wow -- and I thought I was an early adopter, posting my first usenet message in June 1992.