07. 05. 2007
Do you YELP?
Unlike City Search or the Yahoo! or Google versions, Yelp has now turned into a social network, with Yelpers arranging to get together to try new restaurants (36% of all reviews are about restaurants), advising newcomers to a city on places to see, clubs to join, upcomming community work...."Hey, we're working on the food kitchen on 46th this weekend...anyone wanna come help out?"
Stephanie Ichinose, Director of Communications, marvels, "We've become much more than a local resource -- we've tapped into a community's voice!"
Adds Russ Williamson, the Marketing Director for NYC, with a laugh, "But we are NOT a dating site!" though they are not blind to the fact that locals with similiar interests are getting together.
City dwellers are getting to know each other through their reviews. As Russ points out, "There are personalities behind each review -- you hear the tone and start identifying with people behind the reviews. Then you trust their judgement."
Which brings up the question of spamming and companies trying to do their own grass-roots marketing. Even with thousands of reviews a day, Stephanie and Russ agree that their "controls" in place are working, and since the community "takes ownership of the site," they are very good at sniffing out false posts.
No surprise to us here at Popgadget, but women were the early adapotors of Yelp. The founders found women to be "more adventuresome, social and active." Now the demographic is more 50/50 .
For the hard-core Yelp! fans, there's the Elite Squad who actively review and post about the happening places and parties and "empower others," as Russ says, who you can tell is a model Yelp! member himself. A typical EliteSquad post runs like this:
It may have been a chilly night in NYC last night, but New York's Yelpers were certainly burning up the dancefloor at Sullivan Room! It was our first open community event and we saw over 300 Yelpers and their friends descend the staircase into our lair of Yelpiness
No longer is the City a dark and lonely place...not with Yelp! Where was this site when I moved to LA?
Check out Yelp to see if your city has been Yelped.