Overheard this week:
- 3 out-of-town business people explaining to their server how they finally decided on this particular restaurant, after checking out a number of other possible options located downtown: “We Yelped you guys before coming in.”
- At a newly opened establishment. One server talking to a group of other servers: “I hear that Yelpers in this town are really vicious. Is that true?”
Besides being great examples of word formation processes in English, these bits of naturally-occurring language speak to the pervasiveness of Yelp in our daily lives.
This week, I launched Phase 2 of data collection for the latest project, which is looking at local businesses’ responses to online reviews. So far, we’ve collected the data on whether or not (and to what extent) area restaurants post replies to reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. And I’m now following up by contacting businesses in our sample, to find out what they think about these reviews and how they go about dealing with them. At this point, I’ve communicated with a handful of businesses on my list, and the general impression I’m getting is that businesses feel like reviews on TripAdvisor tend to be classier than those on Yelp. As one person I spoke with explained, if someone is going to post a nasty, unfair review, it’s more likely to appear on Yelp than on TripAdvisor. I’ll be speaking with more businesses this week to see if this impression is fairly consistent across the sample.
And I also believe it’s a just matter of time before we hear someone say: “um, that was really…Yelpful.” 😉