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From CinciPulse - The Pulse of the City


If you have browsed our site, you have probably noticed the Yelp widget on our pages. I would like to introduce you to the Community Manager for Yelp in Cincinnati, Alex Shebar.  Alex has agreed to an interview to acquaint all of you with Yelp’s services and how they can help your business.   CinciPulse Editor: Alex, What is Yelp? How does it work?
Yelp is a site that connects people with great local businesses - anything from restaurants, bars and spas to dog groomers, mechanics and dentists. Users post reviews and ratings of the places they’ve visited and/or services they’ve received in order to share their perspectives with friends and other yelpers who want to find current and reliable information about something in a given neighborhood, city or area.

How does Yelp help Cincinnati locals?
Let’s say you’re looking for the best place in Cincinnati to eat, get a glass of wine, shop, or any of the things you do on a daily basis; if you look it up on Yelp, you’ll find real people talking about their favorite spots to do it all. Yelp is all about real people and real reviews.

How long has Yelp been in Cincinnati? Yelp has been in Cincinnati since 2008, however, before there was a community manager it was kind of like the Wild West; there was no focus on the site. I was hired in late July 2010 in order to help give the site shape, as well as add in things like a Yelp Cincinnati Event Page and start writing the Weekly Yelp newsletter .  

What do you do in your role as a community manager? Community Manager is a loaded term, since I don't actually “manage” anything. I help yelpers navigate the site and use it to its fullest ability. I bring the Cincinnati community together by interacting with the Yelp community online and off, talking with business owners on how they can use the free tools on Yelp, throwing events, writing a weekly newsletter and much more.  

Describe the Yelp community in Cincinnati. They're a crazy, fun, interesting bunch of people who are looking for great things to do in a city where events and activities aren't always that easy to find. Through Yelp, they find it!

What is a Yelp Elite User?
The Yelp Elite Squad is our way of recognizing and rewarding those yelpers who are active Yelp evangelists and role models, both on and off the site.

We handpick the best yelpers in the city; users who are writing topnotch reviews, welcoming new people and are just generally in the know about what’s going on around town. Yelp Elites have the opportunity to get invited to exclusive local events and parties, where they can meet other Cincinnati yelpers.

How many users does Yelp have?
In October 2010, Yelp had more than 38 million unique visitors and we currently have 14 million unique reviews worldwide. Yelp is active in seven countries and we have more than 50 community-managed cities.

How can Yelp help local Cincinnati business owners?
Cincinnati business owners can "claim" their page using Yelp’s free suite of tools for business owners: www.yelp.com/business . This process is simple and gives business owners more of a voice and a personality on the site while interacting with their current and potential customers. These tools allow local businesses to view stats on how their business is doing on Yelp, reply to reviews publicly or privately, announce special offers to their customers, add additional information about their business and upload photos of their business.

How does Yelp ensure that the content on your site is real? Yelp is not a “drive-by” review site; our site consists of real people and real reviews and we go to great lengths to protect the integrity of our content. T he reason that 38 million people visited our site last month is because the Review Filter helps  ensure that reviews are both useful and trustworthy.   You can find more information on our Review Filter here: http://officialblog.yelp.com/2010/03/yelp-review-filter-explained.html

Does Yelp have a mobile app?
Yelp has a wildly popular mobile application that works with platforms including: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Palm Pre and WAP.  

If you would like more information on Yelp, you can contact Alex at alexs@yelp.com


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