Different topic today. The joys of the online world. Here's my brief history. Was majorly addicted to AOL back in the day with our first home computer, the IBM PS1 (1991-1997). Did lots of ICQing and Friendster in college (speaking of which - they've gotten quite the face lift! http://www.friendster.com/). 2006 signed up for MySpace while traveling a whole bunch when I worked for KPMG. Even went on a date with a cute Cornell guy that found me on it. 2007 quit MySpace. In the meantime, picked up Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/arry.shin). Got really hooked on the whole poking and superpoking bit. Puahahaha. I threw a sheep at you and then bitch-slapped you. Puahahahaha. Now I share hot chocolate and tickle you. *wink* 2009 gave Twitter a try (@ArryinSeattle). Five months later, I'm still on it. 2010.... Yelp (http://arry.yelp.com). Yes, Yelp.
Notice all the links I'm putting into the blog? I have heard that it's a good practice in the world of blogging, so making an effort to do that.
Back to Yelp. I've always (and I mean always) enjoyed food and dining out. I think when I first moved to Seattle and had access to real adult money, spent like $2,000-2,500/month on eating out (with my boyfriend at the time). Yes... we ate REALLY well. Always thought how nice it would be to put together a list of the good and bad of restaurants. Thought about Yelp - but back then, it just seemed like a bunch of nerdy folks on it and way too much effort. Fast forward a buncha years, I'm on Yelp as of January, 2010 (actually, created the account the last week of December 2009).
Now check it out - the whole experience draws you in. Quite fascinating, really. My Yelp mentor or inspiration is Eugene (@euginis) - who is an Elite members (and more on that shortly). You sign up for your account and Yelp prods you on to be real, share because "sharing is caring", put up pictures, fill out a profile that gives your online persona character... Feng shui your profile and create lists. You add a couple reviews for kicks and all of a sudden you get compliments and votes on your reviews. My first fan, too... Wow... drinking the Kool-Aid; drinking the Kool-Aid.
Now the Yelp Elites. You gotta have personality. They say post at least 30 or so reviews before I'll even have a shot at Elite. I hit 31 reviews today, yay! You gotta use your real name - stand by your words/reviews. You gotta have your picture up. You gotta have friends (which I have zero of). Sad. You gotta have fans and compliments. You gotta compliment others, too. The kicker is that once you get Elite status - it's like some club for the special ones (eh-hem, "elite"). They get special gifts and parties. Eugene got a cool lunch box the other day. There are parties exclusively for Elites (significant others excluded often). They get access to cool venues and entertainment... I'm not there yet, but the curiosity is killing me.
So. I'm gonna stick with the Yelp project for a bit and see where this goes. It's been an intriguing experience so far. I can see how the Yelp experience is an enjoyable one - and they've got a zillion loyal members to show it. Don't be shy - feel free to give me advice, feedback, friend me in the world of Yelp!
Check me out: http://arry.yelp.com