Well, well, well… It looks like one “Web 2.0″ darling is all grow’d up!
Yelp.com, the popular consumer-generated review site, is about to leave sites like SuperPages.com and YellowBook.com too worthless to line a digital birdcage.
Why’s Yelp such a big deal? Because it’s powered by actual customers; people who care enough about a small or emerging local business to spend their time reviewing it.
But that’s just the beginning. This week, Yelp (finally) showed that it’s flirting with local adversing. They’re even opening up the platform so developers can integrate reviews with maps, photos, phone numbers, and anything else one might need to quickly find the best stuff our neighborhoods have to offer. All of this adds up to big news for local businesses that want to engage with customers directly.
Do you Yelp? If not, you’re missing out on the best thing to democratize American taste since the Zagat Survey.
Scratch that. Yelp’s better. Where else can you find nerdy, ridiculous, artful, concise, trashy, sublime, scathing, and/or funny reviews of restaurants, bars, accountants, tattoo parlors, or anything else that’s odd, hidden and local? Sure, they have reviews of chain stores and restaurants, but the weirder extremes is where Yelp proves its value. Need a mime that speaks three languages but won’t talk? Yelp it. Need to find a deli that delivers vegan pastrami sandwiches that taste like the real thing? Good luck, but Yelp’s your best shot.
Now that big chains like Wal-Mart are getting hip to consumer-generated reviews, Yelp has the power to do the same for small business.
Just one thing, though… Why is it that Yelpers still can’t disagree with me?