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.

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