Yelp continues to face questions over the ethics of its new-age city guide, billed as a place where "real people" write "real reviews" of restaurants, bars, shops, and other local businesses. And it continues to evade those questions. As we reported in August, several San Francisco Bay Area businesses have told The Reg that …
Salesdroids lie to land business -- film at 11:00...
Is that an axe grinder I hear in the background? Has Yelp's sales force lied in order to close a sale? If they're like every other sales force on the planet, then they probably have. As to the other points: seems to me that if reviews were sorted chronologically, then one of the last things I'd do just before opening a new business is turf in a good half-dozen sterling reviews. You know, before those grotty little proles have a chance to whinge. And "the average user may fail to notice" a label identifying the first review as 'advertiser-promoted'? The average user fails to notice clearly-labeled Cancel, Next and Submit buttons, why should this be any different?
Honestly, I installed Yelp after a tepidly-successful weekend with their other product, iWant, and have doggedly ignored it since. I found it too cumbersome to use to just enter basic info (Yelp and iWant both pander to the "trendy" crowd, so I was hoping to enter "family restaurant"-style places). So I really can't see why anyone would get so worked up over such lameness. Or perhaps I'm simply not the kind of person the author is preaching to.
Ah, the Wisdom Of Crowds(TM) again
Whether the site's ownership are racketeering or not, it's open to abuse by *anyone* and I wouldn't trust the veracity of its user-fiddled^H^H^H^H^H-submitted content any more than I'd put Wikipedia in my bibliography.
"That's a little much from a company that makes its money..."
Wait, it makes money? Hell, for a Web 2.0 outfit, that's cause for celebration no matter what their tactics!
If you have a business, you should be able to choose to opt out of Yelp, free of charge of course. Just because they set up a site to review businesses doesn't mean they should be able to review a business, positive of negatively.