Demise of A9 Visual Yellow PagesWhile I was planning for my research trip this morning I decided to pull up Amazon's A9 Yellow Pages to get some images of my destinations in Chicago and Denver. I was a little confused when I couldn't immediately find the link on A9's home page. It took quite a bit of digging to confirm that it doesn't exist. This is incomprehensible.
A9 Yellow Pages had a huge effect on my thesis research while I was at Carnegie Mellon, and seeing Amazon pull the plug is staggering. I've always thought of the launch of massive web services as a one-way affair. Even the little experiments that Google rolls out on a regular basis get tucked away somewhere, regardless of whether or not they're thriving. This is Amazon for crying out loud. Imagine if Yahoo unceremoniously killed Flickr or Google abandoned Blogger. Sure they're perpetually in beta, but we come to depend on them.
I guess the collective shrug from the rest of the blogosphere suggests that I'm alone in my mourning. The only reference I can even find is over at Searchenginewatch.com
BlockView? They've killed BlockView? It was the best thing A9 had going for it. Of course, none of these features have helped A9 succeed as a search service. It's gone nowhere...As I think more about it, the disappearance of suck.com five years ago is the only thing that comes close to providing a personal frame of reference for such an unexpected demise on the web. How could something so over-the-top cool with no obvious competition just cease to exist? Maybe it has something to do with A9's CEO being scooped up by Google. Here's hoping.