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Yelp Demystified

  • Feb 14, 2009
  • by
Yelp is my go-to site to discover new local eateries and events.  As a foodie and an adventure junkie, Yelp is definitely my dream site because I've discovered so many awesome restaurants on there.  And when you live in an area that's highly populated with Yelpers (and it's no surprise that SF is full of them, HQ is here!), it's hard not to get addicted!  I get to mingle with like-minded folks about great food in the area, not to mention awesome events.

For really active Yelpers who contribute positively to Yelp, they may be in the running to join the Yelp Elite Squad (must be 21 and over!).  Though nobody (except probably HQ) is 100% sure how Elite members are chosen, it's definitely a perk to be one!  For one, you get invited to Elite events (to be discussed later).  Oh, and you get a shiny Elite badge on your profile.  Plus you get to tell everyone that you're Elite :D

Besides reading and writing reviews, Yelp has a great community:  "Compliments" can be sent to one another.  Yelpers can FUC (vote each other's reviews Funny, Useful, and/or Cool, and yes, the sexual innuendo is intentional) each other.  A message board is available to vent, post news articles or ask for advice (though people can get snarky and start drama, I suggest getting a bowl of popcorn because sometimes, it can be REALLY good >:D)

And my favorite part of Yelp?  The events!  Living in an area full of Yelpers has its perks because there are enough of them to create events!  There are Elite (Yelp-sponsered) and non-Elite events (non-Yelp-sponsered).  Whether it's an Elite event or not, I just love getting to mingle with Yelpers!  I've actually met quite a number of friends off of Yelp and would highly recommend it to people who are new to the area and want to get out and meet people.
Elite events are organized by lovely and gracious community managers and held at a wide variety of venues, from bars and restaurants, to spas and even museums.  There are always free munchies and an open bar.  Sometimes, you get to bring home goody bags with Yelp schwag, such as Yelp clothing, Yelpstick (Yelp chapstick), Yelp shot glass... and the list goes on.  Occasionally, these events are themed, like masquerade, pirate, ugly sweater or 80's.  Whatever it is, I love dressing up!

Non-Elite events, better known as UYEs (unofficial Yelp event) are more across-the-board.  On the events page, anyone can post an event and anyone say that they're "In" or that the event "Sounds Cool".  UYEs have consisted of everything from mac 'n cheese tours to sake tasting, and even strip club hopping, though my favorite UYE would have to be the good ole DYL.  DYL stands for "Destroy Your Liver" and it happens every Friday during happy hour.  Gracious Yelpers organize these at a different bar every week and people can just come and go as they please.  All bars posted are always off of a BART or MUNI stop so that no one has an excuse to drink and drive.  Gotta love those socially responsible Yelpers!

So... Anymore questions as to why I *heart* Yelp?

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December 16, 2010
Great review
April 15, 2009
Love the review... as a yelp contributor myself, I've always dreamed of becoming an Elite. So far, nothing yet. I just haven't tried out too many new restaurants. :(
April 15, 2009
Well, you can always nominate yourself when you feel like you're ready! And you write restaurant reviews? Let's see some of them on Lunch! :P
April 15, 2009
Haha, the sad thing is... I already tried! They said I wasn't worthy to be part of the Elite. I'll definitely post some resto reviews on Lunch!
April 16, 2009
Aw, maybe you can try again in a few months or next year. And yes, please do share some restaurant or food reviews with us!
February 17, 2009
@Friedpez definitely try going to an Elite event, but if you've never been to one, try going to a UYE first! They're more low key and more intimate :) @stephaniezhu I've got friends who work at Yelp and even they don't really seem to know! That, or they're not talking :P @LingEatsCake The people of Yelp have been dispelling those rumors for quite some time now. The only change that a Yelp-sponsored business can make to the order of their reviews is to put their favorite review at the top. But yes, Yelp has a surprisingly large, and interesting community!
February 16, 2009
Wow, who knew there's such a culture around Yelp!? The only thing I have a bit of a grudge against is that they charge businesses for making sure their page looks positive. Check out this NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/05/dining/05yelp.html
February 15, 2009
Oh I didn't know they did UYEs just at bars and stuff?! I hear about Elite events ALL THE TIME from my friends! Ever since they started the Yelp UK I've been going on a manic craze to try and be the "First to Yelp".. HAHA! A few of my friends work @ Yelp actually.. maybe we should ask for the Elite badge formula?!
February 14, 2009
I love how you covered in detail what goes on at Elite events, because I'm a part of that and have never been to an event!! But now perhaps I should pay more attention to their newsletters, especially since you mentioned the open bar!
More Yelp reviews
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2013
posted in Awesomeness
This site doesn't cut it for me. Yeah, the list of restaurants and events is nice, but the reviews too often lack detail and are frequently too grounded in the "it's good because it's good" or "it sucks because it sucks" way of reviewing. I can rarely find out any real details of what I'm trying to learn about.
review by . March 23, 2010
I joined Yelp ages ago, and to its credit it has many positive effects. Being able to find the only trustworthy locksmith in your area is one of them, and getting the skinny on unknown great places is clearly also one of the great benefits of the social web.      From the point of view of being able to provide candid feedback and advice, any review system (such as Amazon or Lunch) helps enormously, but there are some huge problems that have developed specifically within Yelp …
Quick Tip by . April 13, 2010
Sorry, not interested in your forced stories. Gimme the facts. 102 reviews, who cares? Try reading it all...
Quick Tip by . February 28, 2010
Never quite got into yelp... and with their recent shenanigans, I'm glad I didn't invest time there. =(
review by . March 31, 2009
Yelp Love
I stumbled upon Yelp.com when I was living in Sacramento.  I found it usefull when trying out new restaurants.     But it really exploded for me when I decided to move to San Diego.  I started utilizing their local San Diego talk threads to find out pretty much anything about the area and neighborhoods which I was totally clueless about.    They are a helpful and very funny bunch.     The Yelp.com event page is a great resouce of things …
review by . December 13, 2008
I use Yelp.com whenever I need to read reviews and opinions on restaurants, things to do, or other locations/businesses when I travel or go out. The site allows users to review things similar to Lunch.com and is now widely-known among the restaurant community.     However, sometimes I wish Yelp were more like Lunch.com in that on this site, at least, you can review more than just location-based items, such as concepts, books, movies, etc. Yelp is only for reviewing things on …
review by . December 18, 2008
I always consult Yelp before any other restuarant site.  When people take the time to post something on their own accord, I feel the opinion is not skewed/bought/pressured in any form. Sometimes the information is a little bare on a certain location, but the concept is great. I've been a fan and user for a long time and thinks it's the bees knees!
review by . December 13, 2008
it's a peer to peer review site.  and i usually don't go to a restuarant or store until i see what the Yelpers have to say about it.  great way to check out most anything before you try it - the reviews are honest and fun to read and the yelp community is great.  i've submitted questions to the Talk section like "what's a great restaurant for a 40th birthday party that's not too chi-chi  - but feels special" and i'll get several great viable options from other people.  also …
About the reviewer
devora ()
Ranked #4
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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Yelp.com is an online directory website that allows users to review listings and to interact with one another in a Web 2.0-based setting setting.


Yelp.com, one of the top 100 websites as of 2008, is a Web 2.0 company that allows users to review directory listings (restaurants, businesses, parks, etc) and to interact with one another in a style similar to Facebook and MySpace.

Launched in 2004 in San Francisco, Yelp.com has approximately 10.6 visitors per month. In early 2008, the company expanded with a new office in Manhattan, NY and by listing directory information in Canada, allowing users to review and discuss locations in that country. Profitability is expected in 2009.
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