Yelp Going Public; Billions to Flow to Reviewers

No, not really.

I am as much of a Yelp fan as I am a Facebook fan — which is to say, not much at all. As a writer, I find the write-for-free-we’re-going-public approach of Yelp/Huff Po/Seeking Alpha utterly reprehensible.

As a gourmand — and a fat bastard — I prefer the Zagat model. There is a value to intelligent editing/curation, and that is worth paying the $25 per year to me. It also removes the gamesmanship and paid & fake reviews from the process.

I am (obviously) not a Luddite — a tech geek who loves his favorite websites, apps and gadgets. But I also recognize that the “Good Enough Revolution” as Wired called it, works great for certain audiences: College students, cash crunched, budget conscience.

However, I think that too often, we seem to be overlooking quality as well.

My issue isn’t Yelp per se — I love the massive set of choices online and mobile (I have both the Yelp and the Open Table iPhone App but hardly use either).¬† You can vote with your feet (or mouse, to use a quaint antiquity) if you want to go elsewhere.

My VC friends are not going to be happy with my saying this, but I wonder if $100 Million IPO makes much sense for a user generated, advertising supported model.

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