Sometimes it takes relocating half a thousand miles away to get perspective on how useful some web tools are. Joining team 10 can mean having to give up that beloved home field advantage and all of the local haunts we’re so used to, well…haunting. Where are the best burritos? What’s the best place to hustle play pool? Which barbers actually do what you want?
The kids at Yelp have spent the past two years building a website is giving the power of review back to the people. Instead of being fed highly-edited opinions from a narrow selection of professional critics, Yelp’s data is made by anyone who feels compelled to contribute. There are a number of upsides to this approach. First, because someone has either got to love or hate something in order to be compelled to write about it, there aren’t many middle-of-the-road reviews that don’t help us come to a decision. Second, the site enables readers and reviewers to communicate directly, which creates a social network derived from more than a list of our favorite CDs.
So go forth and Yelp about something already!