So I woke up this morning to find my inbox filled with "new compliments" from fellow yelpers. I couldn't understand why until I visited the site. To my surprise, my review of Berkeley Bowl has won the auspicious "Review of the Day" award for the East Bay.
I really like Yelp. I find Yelp to be a valuable asset, and is in large part a reason I think the Internet can be used for good. I'm all for a site that promotes "amateur journalism" or media egalitarianism or whatever you want to call it. The truth is that I've found some paid columnists who write on food in the Bay Area to be full of shit, while I've found some Yelp reviews to be honest, balanced and accurate, touching on things that major media publications either can't or won't touch on. Yelp has provided some make or break information when I'm considering patronizing a business, or not. When three Yelpers who don't seem to know each other all give accounts of how they found a dirty sock in their split pea soup or whatever, I'm probably going to pass on it.
My own reviews on yelp aren't without some amount of flippancy (see my review of Hot Topic), but that's how I roll. Some peeps give me props, some peeps give me grief.