Are viciously negative Yelp reviews putting an unfair stigma on small businesses? Today's two-part episode of The 404 Podcast weighs the effect of crowd-sourced review sites like Yelp and Zagat on independently owned establishments, and asks the question: will future generations understand topical shows like "The Simpsons" and "30 Rock?"
Part one: this insightful article in The Atlantic magazine questions the legitimacy of online reviews and the misplaced responsibility that Yelp bestows on citizen journalists with little or no training in voicing their opinions.
The piece calls out six distinct types of crowd-sourced reviewers who make us all look bad. Our least favorite is the "Hater's Ball," but we prefer to call them trolls--people who make scathing, borderline vindictive criticisms online about the most minor offenses at restaurants that they would never voice in person.
How many negative Yelpers do you think actually call the manager over after a meal to politely voice concerns? Most of the time, Yelpers don't think about how a single bad review can springboard a series of negative press that could potentially shut down an independent business, so make sure your complaints are legit before you post!
Don't forget that there are always real people behind the keyboard...and sometimes they have access to weapons.
Part two: This Salon.com article raises an interesting question about future generations understanding the pop culture references in topical television shows like "The Simpsons" and "Glee."… Read more