May 17, 2013
Sunrise, Florida -- Imagine dreaming up a revolutionary idea for a digital event listing service at a time when common technologies were thermal paper fax machines and sluggish dial-up modems. This was the situation faced 20 years ago by the founder of EventGuide when he came up with the idea of applying database technology to local listing services..
In 1993, the Internet was in its infancy, so Mark Metz improvised with the technology of day, utilizing a few home computers and fax modems to distribute his calendaring idea to thousands of Miami-area recipients as a single page fax. He soon improved the idea with a "fax-on-demand" service that let the user request that additional information be faxed to them about specific events. Metz knew his idea had huge potential and when the Internet started to take off, he transitioned his fax service to a web service in 1995. The interactive fax-on-demand was replaced with the hyperlink, making EventGuide one of the first websites to offer an online, interactive calendar.
Now, two decades later, EventGuide not only has provided event information to millions of web users but the service is also reaching smart phone users as stand-alone apps. It's been quite a technological journey.
"I still have some of the original thermal paper faxes we sent. The paper has faded, but the dream hasn't," observed Metz, "and I only see additional technological improvements coming." He continued, "few people give a second thought nowadays to having calendar access on a mobile device, not realizing the miraculous march of technology since those pioneering days. From fax machines to touch screens to the web -- we've seen it all."
20 years as a digital publication is a rare milestone and the EventGuide service, which is part of the MetroGuide family of websites, continues to provide free listings to event promoters. In addition, the various EventGuide apps are free to download and use. Advertising and links to online ticket purchases support the service.
What's next for EventGuide? "Keep innovating and keep adding features," says industry veteran Metz, "but never forget where we came from and stay true to our vision."
About MetroGuide.com, Inc. Incorporated in Florida in 1996, MetroGuide.com, Inc., operates both the "MetroGuide.Network" of city sites, which includes EventGuide, and the "MetroGuide.Community" social network. The city sites and the social network support each other towards the goal of creating the "Essential City Guide," a place that becomes indispensable for people's daily lives and businesses' daily operations in local communities. First appearing on touch-screen kiosks in 1993 and on the web in 1995, MetroGuide enjoys the status of being one of the world's first electronic city guides.