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Recent Comments

Re: “Will Oakland Become a No-Festival Zone?

Great article! It's not just festivals that face this challenge, having any large-ish event (I plan one for 1000 guests) requires dealing with this challenge. My permitting budget has more than doubled in 3 years, and I now keep a permitting contingency fund because it's been so unpredictable.

Posted by GBirdee3 on 02/23/2011 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Yelp Extortion Allegations Stack Up

Oh! goodness - everyone is SO dramatic - you'd think that you were on Yelp talk with the amount of hyperbole.

First - AntiYelper, the business owner can respond. I understand that registering as a business owner is free and I've had several owners contact me for both my positive and less positive reviews. I've never had an owner contact me for a less than 3 star review (though with nearly 450 reviews, I have only 8 one star and 22 two-star reviews...180 of them are 4 star....which I think is pretty darn good.) Most owners have been happy to hear what I had to say and most truly wanted to improve. None of these businesses (Mua, Farmstead Cheese, Founding Farmers in DC) are sponsors. My mother is a yelper and she was flat out harassed by a business owner who didn't like her 2 star review. So trust me - there are means of responding.

Second - Yelp Ruins Lives (wow...really? It's not that deep). If Yelpers are AT your restaurant, SPENDING money, they ARE your customer base. And your former employer was wise to factor their input into their work. I'm not saying to make dramatic changes based on reviews, but just as users can get a pretty good snapshot of a place based on what is said - I'm sure business owners can get the same perspective.

I am concerned, however, about the violent reaction toward yelp and yelpers. Here's the deal. At the end of the day, we're your customers - like it or not. And at the end of the day - we're saying this about our friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc - whether you like it or not. Yelp gives you the unique opportunity to see these conversations and thoughts and make any needed adaptations to your business. you can get on board, but I don't think you're putting the cat back in the bag - Yelpers have been given a mic, and they'll keep speaking. Hopefully the allegations are wrong, and Yelp is behaving better...or at least they'll start. But please, get over it - don't hate us. We're your customers and in this economy - you need us.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Grace on 03/21/2009 at 10:21 PM

Re: “Yelp Extortion Allegations Stack Up

OK -- I didn't say anything after the first article even though I found it pretty ridiculous. I'm an avid yelper - and think that there's plenty wrong with yelp. However, I can't help but roll my eyes when I read these allegations.

First - even if good reviews "disappear." Most businesses in the bay area have HUNDREDS of reviews - even those with just a dozen have enough that an intelligent yelper (or even a casual reader) can see whether or not 1 bad review is a fluke or consistent. I think it would be pretty hard to muzzle too many good reviews in order to "punish" businesses that don't advertise.

Second - There are so many ways on a business' yelp page to rearrange reviews that if Yelp was deliberately placing bad reviews at the top, it's not hard to see a true account - heck...all a person has to do is scroll.

Third - everything comes down to this idea that yelp is ruining things for these businesses. Really? How about really thinking about your customer service? While I'm sure there are a few mean or vindictive yelpers who get a kick out of a bad review - but they are few and far between. Most of us are part of the Yelp community because we want to be helpful or interesting. We don't bash businesses for no reason. If you checked most "elite" yelpers - we have far more 3,4,5-star reviews than we do 1 or 2.

It sounds like there's a lot of people with personal problems that they need to fix rather than jumping on the bandwagon that they;ve been "wronged". Fix your service and you won't have anything to complain about.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Grace on 03/19/2009 at 12:12 PM

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