Monday, August 31, 2009

Yelp is a stupid word

“Yelp: Where 10,000 smug and self-satisfied hipsters, can’t be wrong. – The Gore

Well played The Gore, well played. It seems some folks are done with anyone giving the make-or-break review of a local restaurant and thanks to the New York Times food blog by way of the San Francisco Chronicle food blog we know that bloggers with names like The Gore are sick of learning about things from just anyone and once again will heed the review of the real experts.

So the back story: Mel’s Dinner (a chain in California) is giving 20% off to customers in possession of a self-written Yelp review. It can be good, bad or indifferent.

I never really got Yelp, but some people swear by the reviews provided by people they don’t know. Granted it seems like the perfect convergence of Web 2.0 and brick and mortar service establishments. You have 10,000 (or so) smug and self-satisfied hipsters educated consumers providing their opinions on everything from the best local sandwich (with organic bread and shade grown tomatoes) to the fastest place for a manicure (without VOCs).

As I sit and write my smug and self-satisfied response to this well-executed marketing move (I mean the Chronicle and the Times both wrote about it) I got to wonder, as the Mel’s GM stated, how big of a deal could this be if only one or two people a week bring in a review? Why are people so worked up about giving a discount to dedicated customers? I guess it is degrading the holier-than-thou Yelp review process. Hipsters don’t like their stuff to be disrespected but are fine with messing with others because it is so clearly inferior.

Don’t like this? Then Yelp the blog; I will give you 20% your next comment if you send me the review.

Damn it

Thank you Beaver for making my day.

(via FU Penguin)

Friday, August 28, 2009

The worst of the worst form of government

“It isn’t enough for the mayor to have gamed New York’s term-limits law so that he could seek four more years. He also has no interest in making this election a fair fight.

“He has applied a sliver of his fortune to burying cash-starved opponents under an avalanche of television ads, while using another sliver to rent political operatives who normally would have worked against him. In a different society, he might well have draped giant posters of himself on the outer walls of public buildings.” – Clyde Haberman, New York Times (8/27/09)

It is no secret that I am a liberal. But for the past few years I have been intellectually challenged by the once-Democrat, once-Republican, current-Independent mayor of my town Michael Bloomberg. He took a no-nonsense approach to the city that I thought would work for New York. His plans had logical, practical applications and it didn’t really seem to care about his popularity, which made him very popular in a city of “I-don’t-care-what-you-think” individualists (who crave attention and blog about stuff).

His wealth put him above interest groups and lobbyists, he said. It seems, however, as if he forgot about one interest group and its persuasive lobbyist: his ego.

Michael Bloomberg, with the help of the City Council, over-turned a term limit law allowing him to run for mayor once again. It is hard to argue against some of his accomplishments in the years since taking over the City and running it like a business, but there is something about the rule of law. We invade other countries, ones that produce far less and are significantly less important than New York City, over people changing the election law. It is surprising that the Bloomberg pictures haven’t started popping up in subway stations under the heading of Obey. (Someone should get on that.)

But as Mr. Haberman outlines in the above quoted column, New Yorkers don’t have good alternative for mayor. I am told that Bill Thompson is the guy to vote for but I am not excited by a guy who spent the last eight years as the CFO to Bloomberg’s CEO and only recently decided he is adamantly opposed to the Bloomberg policy shop. He has some union support but 51% of the City doesn’t have enough info to form an opinion about the man. And Tony Avella doesn’t have a shot at the primary let alone the general election.

S do we vote for the guy that we know little more than the fact he recently discovered he disagrees with his boss but has the Party’s support or vote for the guy that has done a pretty good job for the environment, rich people, real estate developers, businesses and tourism in the City who has lackluster respect for election law?

Nothing good comes from this situation. Perhaps Thompson will get out there and really let the City get to know him and love him; I sure hope that happens. But that will be very hard in a race where his opponent has unlimited resources and can do no wrong in the eyes of the media. Vote today and Bloomberg wins…vote in November we will see.

One more time

It has been better than a year since I wrote something that would go into the ether of the blogosphere. I wrote a few posts on being engaged and that was fun but really, being engaged was not the story producing machine that I once expected. After longing to be that engaged engaged man, I found life got in the way of a clever little blog concept that I had hoped would turn into a book deal and make me rich. Turns out I am not that clever, nor that good of a writer. Not to mention I am now married so the blog would be done anyway. The failed attempted at the now deleted sibling blog was great but no one understood our art. (...)

I still write for and help out with my Building’s blog but I wanted a new place to strut my stuff and stroke my virtual (and real) ego. So that leaves us here with The dcc - Something I will Delete Soon. I will see if anything comes up it.

Welcome me. Make me feel important. Read my posts on politics, religion, food, media and other things. But most importantly stroke my ego or I will so delete this blog.