If you've seen this guy lately, he's been talking about Yelp.
This is Alex Shebar, and he's been a friend of ours for quite some time... bloggers tend to run in the same circles, and Alex (and his lovely gf Allison) run the project Watch This, which Dan and I have attended in the past.
Alex is the newly-minted community manager for Yelp Cincinnati, and he took some time to meet with Dan and myself to discuss Yelp's activity in the city. (We had to meet at Starbucks, because Tazza Mia closes at 5:30pm and Coffee Emporium at 6. How horrible is that?)
Yelp is a free service... sort of an Urbanspoon meets Angie's List with a focus on local, local, local. And that's exactly why they want Alex on the payroll... Yelp is global, and in order to truly do a local community justice they need someone on the street, living and experiencing and adding to the community.
Yelp is an interesting tool and fits pretty well with our blog's agenda: to explore the city at a deeper level. Cincinnati is ten times larger than you think it is (or than I thought it was!). Most nights I have to choose between several events I'd like to attend, for instance. Yelp helps the community stay aware of dining, shopping, and event options in the city. Even with the best intentions, our blog only covers 4-5 items a week... because Yelp uses the community as the engine, it's much more robust and up-to-date than any single blog.
Free to sign up, free to use, free to rate and comment and do all the social media-y things you love to do. Free to have a voice about what you love and hate about Cincinnati. Check it out, if only so your next conversation with Alex is that much less awkward. ;)
Yelp Cincinnati: http://www.yelp.com/cincinnati-oh
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