A Brief Look at Yelp.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008, 14:06 —by Eddie Phanichkul
This item was posted in General, Interviews category and has 1 Comment so far.
Our world is a big place. While the thought of it is sometimes scary, we can take comfort in our locality which in turn brings us back to a smaller place. With the internet, the world becomes even small, and our local region smaller still. There are no shortages of websites that promote local businesses and services. The most prolific of which seem to be the likes of Yahoo, Google, and Craigslist. There’s a newcomer to the scene: Yelp.com, a review site for all things local (in major cities across the US).

Yelp.com is a social network site of sorts that was built to allow everyday people to write reviews of their local businesses. Their trademark is Real people. Real reviews. You’ll find people of all walks of life writing reviews for restaurants, nightlife, toy stores, grocery stores, ice cream parlors, automotive services, and other professional services. The list doesn’t end there. Creative users will review inanimate objects, such as bridges and couches. They even review events and people. Users of the site read the reviews and make friends with whom they want to on the site. They are allowed to communicate via “Talk,” which is pretty much an outdated chat room. It’s just all in good fun though, and Yelpers are encouraged to participate.

Yelp.com is the evolution in social network marketing. It brings real people to events to sample the local scene. Using people as a primary source and exploiting the innate want of social beings to feel accepted and to receive free booze, Yelp.com takes to the streets as a public, social networking organization that helps to connect businesses with people. The Yelp.com strategy is simple: Get people to the business, then get them to review the business. The more buzz, the easier it is for businesses to attract new patrons, and the better positive feedback Yelp.com receives from businesses. Yelp.com has recently opened up a “Yelp For Business Owners” section visible only to, you guessed it, business owners.

In some cases, however, businesses feel disenchanted with the allure of Yelp.com. Some businesses complain that Yelp.com isn’t doing enough to prevent phony reviews, nor co-ops of businesses from pumping their own reviews up with 5-star positivity. While controversy will always continue, Yelp.com’s business of providing reviews to the public won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Yelp.com is here to stay and is quickly becoming prolific in the online search market as well. Searching businesses on engines like Google or Yahoo will often yield a Yelp.com listing.

Through it all, Yelp.com is still growing and will continue to grow. When I asked the CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, about adding more AJAX bling to make the social aspects of the website more robust, he responded, “We’re working on it!”

To join Yelp.com, simply visit Yelp.com.

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One Response to “A Brief Look at Yelp.com”

  1. George said on Thursday, September 18, 2008, 17:27

    Yelp is a great product, just goes to show what can be accomplished when data is user generated. The data come to life and is a lot more valuable. This is the future, business and social interacting.

    Jippidy.com – Video Yellow Pages

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