The internet is getting big – I mean, it has always been pretty big, but it’s steadily getting even bigger. It has so much great information and so many fantastic uses that it’s probably impossible to list every single way in which people use it. One of the greatest uses for the internet is that it allows people from all over the world to share their voice, opinions and experiences about basically anything and everything.
…shout it from the peak of the highest metaphorical mountain on the internet. In this case, that mountain is Yelp.
If you’re anything like me, you really don’t care to hear other peoples opinions, but occasionally rely on them to help me make better decisions. If you decided to go on vacation and are visiting a city or state you’ve never been to before, you would probably go online and look up a couple great places to eat or shop, read some reviews, and you would make some tentative plans to visit some tasty places. The goal being – to avoid spending what was suppose to be a lovely 3 day get away hunched over some porcelain. Or perhaps you want to try wind surfing for the first time and aren’t quite sure whether to go with “Dans Windsurfing College” or “Oceanside Windsurfing and Scuba” for your gear and guide. Doing some leg work is always wise, and making an informed decision is frankly the best way to make any decision.
Conversely, on occasion we may we want to help other people make informed decisions about whether they should take a stop at a certain taco shop, or to let people know that it would be smart to avoid shopping at a particular store. Sometimes, you just love/hate a place or service so much that you feel obligated to tell everyone you know how excellent or horrible it is. You wanna shout it from the peak of the highest metaphorical mountain on the internet. In this case, that mountain is Yelp.
If you’re not familiar with Yelp, it’s a website, iOS and Android app that helps “connect people with great local businesses”. It exists to help people find dentists, hair stylists, mechanics, restaurants, events, etc. and consists of an enormous community that leave reviews and provide information about businesses or services for people like you and me – the kind of person who wants to make informed decisions. Yelp claims that its community of users, which they refer to as “Yelpers”, have written over 67 million reviews, and I don’t doubt it. However, just like in real life, it’s important to take all opinions with a grain of salt, having said that, Yelp is a great resource once we’ve taken our pinch of sodium. But it couldn’t exists without the Yelpers who were willing to share their experiences.
Our goal in leaving reviews is not to be inflammatory or controversial, but rather to share information/experiences.
This is where you and I come in. Pretty much any body can sign up – for free – and start leaving reviews and sharing their experiences with the intent of helping other people out there on the WWW. Keep in mind we are trying to foster a sense of community and want to add information that has quality and utility. Our goal in leaving reviews is not to be inflammatory or controversial, but rather to share information/experiences. Don’t be “that guy”.
Yelp sign-up guide
You will need:
- 5-10 minutes of time
- Email address or a Facebook account
- Some experiences and opinions
- Inflated sense of personal importance
When you’re ready, navigate to www.yelp.com and lets get started.
Assuming that the yelp.com website looks the same as it did during the writing of this tutorial, you should see something like this. Notice the button in the upper right hand corner that reads “Sign Up”. Go ahead and click the “Sign Up” button. Or you can click here and go straight to the sign up page.
Your screen should now look something like the image below. This process is very straight forward. You can choose to sign up with your facebook account, or an email account. Both options are very easy, and signing up is a snap. If you choose to use your facebook account, it makes the process a little quicker. Follow the instructions provided on the subsequent pages and fill out the required fields.
After signing up, you should receive an email asking you to confirm that you have indeed created a Yelp account. Confirm your account by following the link provided in your confirmation email. After doing this, you’re basically ready to start leaving reviews!
Leaving your first review
Leaving your first review is a snap. Simply search for a business or service which you have been a patron to. In my example I’m going to use Pizza Mondo, a great little pizza shop located in downtown Bend, Oregon.
Make it your own
If you’d like to, you can supply Yelp and other Yelpers with some extra information about yourself. Personalizing your account is a great way to help other Yelpers know that you are a real person, what your tastes are, if you have any biases that they should take into account when they are reading your reviews, etc. I recommend you include a little bit of extra information, but it’s entirely up to you.