How Yelp.com Is Delivering Local Opinions to Your Mobile

If you haven’t become a Yelper yet, you may soon jump on board to the addictive opinion-sharing opportunities found on Yelp.com. Launched in San Francisco, Yelp.com serves as a platform for users to share opinions on local events, review restaurants, report interesting finds, and seek out other Yelpers right in their home town and neighborhood. The no-frills opinions are listed as reviews per business; finding a local’s heartfelt response and opinion on anything and everything is Yelp.com’s mission.

Yelp.com is growing with the user-generated generation of opinion-sharing online, and has most recently partnered with Palm Treo to deliver local news, content, and maps on not only the Palm Treo, but any mobile device. Optimization of Yelp.com for Yelp Mobile went live in early August, so that members can download instant information on a business as they are driving by. If you’ve caught yourself eyeing that new restaurant on the corner, but just aren’t convinced if it’s worthwhile, stake out a review on Yelp.com and see what others in your city have written about it.

Major cities cover Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and other metro areas. The Yelp Blog offers a subscription service for weekly updates on the latest and greatest opinions and events in the city. Yelp Elite parties are hosted by the group’s managers in the key cities, increasing brand awareness and exposure for its target market.

The freestyle format is attractive for the blogging generation today, as it provides a free-for-all opinion space for daily occurrences. Got a strong opinion about your recent Starbucks service? Can’t stand the seating and reservations process from your recent Italian restaurant experience? Become a Yelper and share your thoughts with the world; somebody may benefit from your tried-and-true opinion or review.

On the other hand, businesses themselves can just as easily begin writing reviews for their given establishment. Local reviews can be good and bad, essentially providing a biased opinion for a sometimes fledgling establishment. Nevertheless, the community-oriented site seems to fare well in balancing reviews; a star system categorizes each review into 5 stars: 1-Never Again, 2-Mediocre, 3-Decent, 4-Very Good, 5-Yelperific.

Yelp.com’s focus is everything local; from the local chain superstore, to the mom-and-pop corner market, if there is an opinion ready for the picking, Yelp.com want’s it plotted and on the site. According to the Yelp.com Blog on good and bad reviews, ‘Yelp’s goal is to build a community of local reviwers-yelpers if you will-who like to share their opinions, good and bad, about local businesses and services.’ Top categories cover restaurants, salons, professional services, museums, and even chiropractors. Any business in the local area can be covered with the musings of every Yelper.

Frequent Yelpers can create complete profiles with friend lists for updates on when they Yelp; avid Yelpers gain the respect and prominence of their reviewed pages on the site’s city page.

If you’re not Yelping yet, take a chance and see what the world of community-based opinion sharing has to offer. Similar to Craigslist, the trend of ‘giving your two cents’ is appearing in various ways on the social networking front. With the added boost of mobile technology, finding insider information on your local neighborhood is easier than ever.

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