Sidewalk is Here: Come Walk with Us!
We’re excited to introduce Sidewalk: an app that provides free, guided walking tours created by anyone with insight about the places they know and love. Starting today, you can download the app (for iOS and Android) and embark on any of the 60 walks that are already live, or create your own and earn a few bucks through Sidewalk’s gratuity-based system, as recognition for crafting a story-worthy experience.
Sidewalk is reimagining how people discover their surroundings, with an emphasis on personal narratives, context and storytelling. We’ve designed a content platform that enables anyone to become a Guide by designing walks that can be shared with friends and family, or discovered by perfect strangers. This always-evolving library of experiences is ready to go whenever and wherever you are.
Stories Create Value
Whether planning a getaway to a far-off destination, or looking for new insight into a familiar place, we often rely on recommendation sites, word-of-mouth, social networks and old school travel guide books. Being pointed in the right direction is a start, but it’s not going to help with truly appreciating somewhere new. Most places and sights are not, by themselves, immediately meaningful — they require context, emotions, stories and experiences. It is this mosaic that leads to understanding, appreciation and memories.
With this in mind, Sidewalk allows anyone to express the significance of places and neighborhoods, and to share those insights. Sidewalk Guides channel their knowledge and perspectives into narratives that add the context and personality missing from other offerings. Sound interesting? Go forth, explore and share the stories behind your favorite places!
Sidewalk is for Walkers
Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Sidewalk is for the passionately curious. Sidewalks are free and ready to go whenever you are, with no advanced booking or payment, and no working around others’ schedules. And, because Sidewalks can be created by anyone, our library will continuously grow with fresh experiences that speak to a vast range of locales and interests.
To get started on a walk, just scroll through the menu of interests and select the ones that fit what you’re seeking — be it a solo mission to geek out on mid-century architecture, a surefire way to impress a too-good-to-be-true Bumble date, or a group outing to explore the ghostly tales hiding in the city. At the end of each experience, walkers will have an opportunity to tip their Guide for the time and thought they put into creating a story-worthy experience.
Sidewalk is for Storytellers
You don’t have to be a storied architect or tenured art historian to have intrigue and anecdotes that will pique others’ curiosity. Curating an experience on the Sidewalk creation platform is easy: once you have a Sidewalk in mind, type up or use your phone’s dictation tool to briefly explain what the experience will entail. Select the walk’s first guide point using our mapping tool and tell the world about it in your own words. Why is it meaningful? What is your secret for getting the most out of it? Are there any fun facts or historical significance behind these spots?
Sidewalk’s creation platform prompts storytellers with cues and questions to help ensure they're leaving no stone unturned. Be sure to add a couple of photos and proceed to the next guide point. Once you’re happy with the experience you’ve authored, publish it and our editorial team will give it a once-over before making it live for the community. There’s no limit to the number of Sidewalks a Guide can create, or how many people can experience any given walk.
After the final stop on a Sidewalk, people have an opportunity to tip their Guide. Guides make money based on how many people tip and how much. Since Sidewalks are provided through the app, there is no hassle to meet people face-to-face or commit to walk schedules. Just create an interesting Sidewalk and keep it up-to-date.
We’re launching with 60 Sidewalks — ready to be explored right now! — in four cities: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, but today is just the beginning. We’re excited to see where YOU lead us. As our library expands with stories of sights and cities around the world, we see an opportunity for Sidewalk to evolve beyond guided walks, to tailored city guides. More on that another day. For now, check out the app on the App Store and on Google Play and tell the community where you want to go on our Facebook page.
Jason Donahue, Co-Founder & CEO
Dave Hotchkiss, Co-Founder & CTO