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September 7th, 2009

What makes Yelp so great?

I am frequently amazed that Yelp has managed to remain a reliable source for good reviews of stores and restaurants. Somehow, they’ve managed to avoid the low-level, almost always angry hotel reviews that you’ll find at Tripadvisor and the uneven reviews you’d find of products at places like Amazon. Instead, I’ve noticed how rare it is to come across a poorly written Yelp review (though I’m sure they’re out there) and instead find myself making much more informed decisions about where to eat/shop/visit. How do they do it?

Of course, sometimes you come across reviews by people that are just being smartasses.

Posted in Technology

Paul September 7, 2009, 9:36 pm

I chalk it up to a friendlier atmosphere. Yelp’s done a great job of positioning themselves as a helpful site, one which encourages honesty and openness. I think that just comes through there, versus Amazon – which is trying to sell you stuff. I leaned on Yelp a fair deal for my holiday this past weekend and I wasn’t disappointed.

The tough stuff is working with businesses, I’d think (ie, how do they make money off of it without alienating their contributors?)

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