07 March 2007

Do You Yelp?

Do you remember the first time you used Google? Me neither. I used to be a Netscape devotee but somewhere along the way, I just started using Google constantly. Soon, everyone was using Google. A bit after soon, Google became an empire.

The same sort of thing happens with Amazon, Craigslist, Friendster, YouTube, Digg, whatever. I'm sure M.Gladwell would say something here about the tipping point but really, I'm sure there's a very well orchestrated way websites like this enter our lives. Somehow, they solve the chicken and the egg problem of "we'll be great when everyone uses us, but how do we get big?" and are now market dominators.

Well now, the new up and comer website is Yelp. I think I'm even slow on the Yelp bandwagon. Until we moved to Fremont, I didn't really need to search online for restaurant reviews. Not being familiar with a new area, we were constantly Googling different types of food. A strange little site would always pop up: Yelp. I paid little attention to it. User generated food reviews? Yawn.

But then Ameer started selling me on Yelp. And he committed to Yelping. See, he's been collecting business cards and creating his own handy food database for awhile now. But he needed some way to take it online. Yelp was the perfect thing.

I decided that my views on local food were important information for people to know. So I started yelping (my page here). Sure, I've only yelped two places but that's because I haven't come up with my gimmick yet. If you're going to review something as a consumer, you need to stand out. Jon G has his "drawbacks?" at the end as his signature. I'm still trying to figure out what my thing will be -- not to mention waiting for a good way to install a personal rating system. I want my one, three, or five stars to mean something.

In the meantime, if you're already a Yelper, let's be friends! If you're not Yelping, get on it!