I’ve started Yelping, which is definitely up there on the vanity 2.0 scale. After all, I am judging establishments after one meal, or worse yet, one drink. People spend weeks and years trying to design the right atmosphere, dish, experience, and I waltz through sampling the menu and laying down a five-point scale judgment and seven word review for the eternal archives of the web.
Why do I do it?
– I really wish Yelp had a subject line for reviews like e-mails so you can get a sense of the review without having to read paragraphs of one person’s restaurant chronicle. Since concise reviews are hard to come by on Yelp, I decided to fulfill what I see as the unmet need by writing seven word reviews.
– Prose Practice. Yelping, like blogging, is an opportunity to write and practice written language. I could always use that.
– Creativity Challenge. Writing reviews in seven words requires you to be creative or repetitive, and I prefer to be the former.
– Public Notebook. Yelp, like IMdb, is a way for me to remember where I’ve been and what I thought about the place.
– Seven word reviews become repetitive very quickly if you don’t put in the effort. Also, trying to cover everything (i.e. food, atmosphere, cost, service) will inevitably lead to choppy list-like reviews. I try to focus on one interesting aspect or metaphors that capture the essence of the place.
– Short reviews make you sound very judgmental because you can’t talk about “what you think” or “your experience” but have to let the reader assume it (which I hope people do).
– Compliments and review votes are definitely motivators to keep going.
I’m not sure if I want to keep Yelping, but for now I’m doing it. I just reached 100 reviews the other day.