John Kelsey has a nice piece on The Kelsey Group blog about Sidewalk.com, and Steve Ballmer’s regrets of dumping it. I have to admit that it’s nice to finally see some acknowledgment by Microsoft that this was a mistake. Because that’s ultimately what it is. Sidewalk.com was a fantastic site back in the day. In the mid/late 90’s I used Sidewalk.com quite a bit. I used it to find music shows in Boston and Cambridge, to find restaurants, and so much more. I really think Sidewalk.com was one of the best “local search” sites that’s ever existed – and mind you, that’s before the term “local search” was ever in our vocabularies. Every since Citysearch purchased Sidewalk from Microsoft in 1999, I think it’s fair to say a lot of people were disappointed. I remember just a few months ago I was presenting Citysquares.com to a group at Babson and I fondly mentioned Sidewalk. A couple people in the audience quite exuberantly nodded their heads as if they knew exactly what I was fondly recollecting. Over the past year or so, fans of Citysquares, or just about anyone that I’ve mentioned Sidewalk to, also have fond memories of Sidewalk. Anyway, suffice to say Sidewalk left a very good impression with a lot of people.
Can there ever be another Sidewalk.com? I don’t think so. It was the Model T – the first of its kind.