Title: CEO & Co-Founder Yelp
Home town: Arlington VA
1. What is Yelp?
We capture word of mouth and amplify it. We’re actually the first site to build a community around reviewing. We bring together like minded people who are looking to share information.
2. How is Yelp different from other “review sites”?
We have no editorial, it’s driven by community here. The reviews on Yelp aren’t run of the mill, straight forward, people can even submit photos. Reviewers fill out a detailed profile, so you have the background on the person who is reviewing.
It’s kind of like a directed blog, you can express yourself and talk about things you love but also it puts a structure around it so other people can find all this great information that you’re creating.
3. How popular are restaurant reviews on Yelp?
The bulk of our traffic is people looking for restaurants, bars, local culture. About 1000 reviews are added a week in the Bay Area. Many restaurants have 20-30 reviews.
4. What great restaurants have you discovered on Yelp?
My favorite Canteen by far, that place is fantastic. Also Isa it’s been around for a while, but I didn’t know about it, I don’t know the Marina that well and I don’t think I ever would have found it. Town Hall.
5. How are Bay Area Yelpers different than Yelpers in other cities?
The other cities are just starting out. There isn’t the love fest that there is here. People who write reviews in SF are passionate people they enjoy expressing themselves in creative ways. That comes through.
We actually hold local events for our hardcore users, we call them the Yelp Elite Squad. When someone gets really involved with the site we try to identify that, and bring them into the Yelp Elite Squad. Then once a month we do events where everyone can get together. It’s a way of getting to know those folks and thank them too. There are about 200 of them so far.