Photo by OHventures. With Yelp Columbus' City Manager Christina Christian, and Yelp Employee Kristen Radu
Yelp is an extremely popular and useful tool that has been taking over the interwebs in the past few years as one of the most utilized and most popular review-based websites out there! The concept of Yelp is to allow the general public to contribute their very own reviews of area businesses - everything from restaurants to bars, dentists to gyms! Members rank the businesses on a 5-star system and include their own synopsis of their experiences. Giving honest, first hand accounts and personal stories gives readers the ability to more accurately gauge the quality of each location they read about. Yelpers spice up their reviews with fun language, photos, and tips; while readers can add comments and label a review as being funny, useful, or cool!
The Yelp experience and presence in local communities across the country is not just limited to the online world. You can find decals in the windows of establishments along Main Street in your own town that declare "People on Yelp Love Us." And you might even stumble across a Yelp booth or event that happens to be taking place in your city.
For the years of 2010 and 2011, I was chosen to be a "Yelp Elite" in Columbus. This meant that my reviews were deemed as being exceptionally helpful to readers. I was able to attend awesome VIP events such as the Yelp Rooftop Masquerade (pictured below), Yelp in Toyland, and Yelp's Cinco de Mayo Mustache Party! At all of these events, we got to network and get great Yelp "shwag" and items from local businesses for FREE! Definitely a great payoff for writing reviews!
I also have had a number of reviews awared the title of "Review of the Day" and a couple of my reviews have appeared in the Yelp Weekly (see below)
Reviews of the Day (ROTD):
The Candle Lab
Short North Tavern
Gateway Film Center
Sugardaddy's Sumptuous Sweeties
Appearances in the Yelp Weekly Newsletter:
Commonwealth Sandwich Bar
I have since hung up my "Yelp Elite" hat to focus more on OHventures. However, I still utilize the site to occassionally post a review (as a non-Elite) and to often read reviews before I check out a new place.
I also encourage everyone I encounter to use Yelp if ever they travel to a new town or are looking to see what the masses think of a new pub or diner.
OHventures shares a common goal with Yelp in getting people informed about the great (and not-so-great) things that Ohio has to offer! I will always cherish and appreciate my time as a Yelp Elite and all of the events and cool opportunities that came about from my 2 years networking with fellow Yelpers! I still keep in touch from time to time.
I suggest anyone who loves to write and is looking to meet new people at cool events to get involved in one of the Yelp Communities in Ohio: