Wondering, wandering, and making sense of the world.


500 Yelps and counting

I signed up for Yelp back in April 2007.
I started Yelping (writing actual reviews) in January 2009.

Four years later, I’ve finished my 500th review.

For those that haven’t followed my Yelp saga, I’ve been writing reviews in seven words (except for my 500th). The purpose was to provide a concise review that Yelp often lacks (I still advocate a subject line for all reviews), to practice my short prose, and to have a running notebook for all the places I’ve visited.

In the four years…

– Yelp has expanded to 19 countries, and I have reviewed a place in every single one. Now that they’ve bought Qype, they may be expanding faster than I can keep up, and no, I’m not going to countries just because of Yelp.

– I amassed 56 Firsts, 91 Friends, 21 Fans, 90 Compliments, and 210 Useful, 288 Funny, and 207 Cool review votes.

– I became an “Elite” for 2010 and 2011 when I lived in Paris and attended many Yelp soirees being lavished with free food and alcohol.

– I got a passing mention on the Yelp blog.

– Not a single establishment identified me and tried to bribe me.

To be honest, Yelp has been mostly useless in Frankfurt for looking up restaurants and establishments. There simply isn’t enough reviewers and reviews for a meaningful set of data. Tripadvisor is much more useful for choosing restaurants. It was the same in Paris until the community managers rallied the people who started reviewing places. They are looking for a community manager in Frankfurt now so hopefully it’ll start picking up.

I plan to continue Yelping as I’ve been doing. Sometimes I wish Yelp had a better image than they do now. Every so often I come across someone who likes to lecture me on how Yelp is hurting small businesses. I do realize that Yelp does need a business model and make money, maybe they could be a little less aggressive, if what’s written about them is true.


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