IAC Wants You to Build Sidewalk.com

Picture 3Citysearch bought competitor Sidewalk from Microsoft in 1999 for roughly $240 million. Microsoft later regretted selling the property — and probably really regrets it now. Anyway, Sidewalk has been dormant for a long time. Now as Citysearch and IAC build out their distribution and network further they’re doing something really smart, creating a contest for others to develop the domain:

Citysearch is holding a nationwide contest challenging developers to create a new local guide application for the Sidewalk.com domain. The winner will receive $10,000 and the opportunity to develop and manage a new business venture with possibly funding of up to 1M.

If you are a semi-finalist, you will receive a link to download the developer kit so you can start building your prototype

Once you have a working version, you will be asked to submit a video of yourself demonstrating a semi-working prototype for consideration to the next round. (link to upload site)

Finalists will be notified via email and/or Phone on August 17th if you have made it to final round

This is a genius idea and may result in some really creative and inventive things that would not have been developed internally.


9 Responses to “IAC Wants You to Build Sidewalk.com”

  1. ian Says:

    why have an internal product development group when you can get it done cheaper/faster on the outside!

  2. Rich rosen Says:

    $10k? Why not just offer the $1M (w some small print)? Seems like a great idea w a lame incentive.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree that the $10K is probably low for the work involved.

  4. Develop Sidewalk.com for up to $1m in funding « Scott Middleton – Relevant, local & mobile Says:

    […] IAC Wants You to Build Sidewalk.com […]

  5. Sidewalk.com - The Beginning of the Yellow Pages API Onslaught? | Local SEO Guide Says:

    […] Greg Sterling thinks this is interesting because it will help CitySearch come up with ideas that it never could do on its own.  This is probably true, but I am thinking there’s more to it than that. […]

  6. Marina Martin Says:

    Offering $10k as the prize for the amount of work involved? Only an idiot would compete… because they could build it themselves and profit themselves, without Sidewalk.com.

    I hate it when companies hold contests like these, but I probably hate the participants more.

  7. Alexandra Friedman Says:

    Hi Greg, thanks for the post. Last year you wrote about Guidespot.com (https://gesterling.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/local-guides-becomes-guidespot/), which I am the Community Manager for… Seems like a potentially interesting competitor in the long run. I will definitely be keeping my eye on them 🙂

  8. Alexandra Friedman Says:

    oops, that link acted strange… let’s try this one: https://gesterling.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/local-guides-becomes-guidespot/

  9. Greg Sterling Says:

    Well we don’t know what will emerge from the URL. That’s the point to some degree of the contest. Glad to hear that guidespot is still going.

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