The History of the Curbside Car Show Calendar and Website
This is the fifth iteration of the Curbside Automotive Blog and Car Show Calendar. I've changed this thing almost as frequently as I've changed calendars in real life and here's my latest effort.
Curbside has always been a "hobby business" of mine - dedicated to automotive stuff, information, a car show calendar and more. Since it's titled a hobby I don't have to follow real journalism rules when writing the articles but I will make sure the facts are as correct as I can verify.
I also do my best to keep up with the car show calendar so you have a great resource for automotive events all over the US but if you know of any that aren't listed, you can add those to the calendar easily.
Like so many websites, this one's supported by advertising. That's just like those lousy TV shows or that radio in your car.
Curbside started in 1996 while I was working at the El Segundo Herald. I had an idea that new vehicle reviews should be in a local newspaper and so, thanks to the kindness and insanity of Editor and publisher Heidi Maerker, the first review was published of a 1996 Toyota Previa. Thank you, Heidi, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the jump start and to Toyota, too, for lending me that vehicle.
Over time Curbside found its way into hundreds of newspapers all over the US with people from all over reading the lousy reviews of all the new cars. I was thrilled to be driving all kinds of exciting new cars while writing mediocre stories that people used to line their bird cages with. What could be better than putting miles on other people's cars instead of my rattly old truck?
Because some people actually were fooled into thinking that there was valuable content on Curbside and that I might actually know something about the subject, a group asked me to put on a Corvette car show in 2006. By this time there was already a Curbside web site where the reviews appeared. I went looking for a great on-line car show calendar to promote the Corvette show and found nothing.
Incidentally, even famous Corvette racing and product guy Dick Guldstrand came to the Corvette show. What a gracious gentleman.
A new idea was born.
On April 23, 2007 the new Curbside website was posted with an on-line car show calendar that included maps to people's events and featured an easy search tool to help people find these car shows. The site exploded in popularity, probably because you didn't have to even look at the reviews to get information. What a releif to computers and eyeballs everywhere!
Despite complaints from all over the country about the lousiness of the stories, those continued. Eventually, after crowds gathered with pitchforks and torches I moved from my beloved Southern California to Northern California. Did you know they actually have winter up here? Yeah - and no car shows during that stupid winter thing, either.
Complaints and threats couldn't stop the articles from coming and unwary vehicle manufacturers even continued to lend me new cars - it was incredible. But what the nation couldn't stop a competition for my time could and the last Curbside review of a new vehicle, the Chevrolet Camaro, was published in March of 2010. What a sad day for me. And, hey, right about then GM and Chrysler went bankrupt. Coincidence? I think not!
So now what? There was actually thoughts of just pulling the plug on Curbside and it was rather tempting to do. I literally had my fingers on the outlet and was ready to pull the plug, but a few misguided individuals argued that there was value in the content and site. Don't people know about AA?
I actually listened this time and decided that a heavy redesign was in order for the site. But rather than actually hiring a capable and talented individual or company to do the work like I did last time, I went about it myself. I feel just like that guy who's representing himself in court!
That means that, instead of intelligently migrating the content to the new site I just got to completely start anew. Now there's a true waste of time! The main reason for the redesign was to dump the forums, which weren't being used at all on the old site, and significantly upgrade the photo galleries. Plus, with all the folks wasting their time at work on things like Facebook, it was determined to incorporate that kind of time wasting into the site, too. Who are we to help with American productivity?
On March 29, 2011 a new Curbside went live and that's the site you're wasting your time on right now.
A year after that, coincidentally, I had the privilege of working with my oldest friend, Greg, who re-wrote the entire calendar software so that it was easier to use and offered some great features. That's the calendar that's on here now so the site is where I want it. For the moment.
In all honesty, I sincerely appreciate all the support and time and suggestions that have been part of my life in these past 15 years of doing Curbside. Thank you for taking your valuable time and wasting it with me.