Facebook is lucky it missed buying Twitter and now should eat Yelp

Poster inside a Facebook office

Twitter is getting a TON of hype right now. Even today, on ABC radio, I heard about a meter for your plants that tells you they need water via Twitter. Here’s a “Tweet a Watt” do-it-yourself kit that lets you build a power meter that will work with Facebook and Twitter.

Sorry, got distracted there by the hype. Remember when Facebook tried to buy Twitter and failed?

That might have been the best possible thing that would happen to Facebook (and Twitter, actually). Let’s be honest, much of Twitter’s functionality is already built into Facebook, Zuckerberg and team just need to turn on a few new features (Steve Gillmor calls them “track”) and then everyone will get why Facebook will do just fine without Twitter.

But Twitter isn’t where the real money is. Where is that?

Getting businesses onto the social graph.

“Scoble, you’re smoking some of that funky weed again, aren’t you?”

No, hear me out.

Go back and look at the phone books that we all used to use before the Internet came about. In my house we used to get two books: one that was white, which had listings for people, and one that was yellow, which had listings for businesses.

Which one made AT&T tons of money? Hint: the Yellow Pages. I paid thousands of dollars a month to have our camera store advertisement in there. It generally paid off by bringing us tons of customers. After all, when you needed a camera store, or a dentist, plumber, lawyer, or a variety of other things, you’d look in the yellow pages and the one with the best looking ad got our business.

Now, let’s go back to Facebook. What’s the equivilent of the “best looking ad?” The business who has the best reviews. That’s a shift. A major one. Up to today Facebook has built the equivilent of the white pages: a site of people, but not of businesses. Soon Facebook will have tons of businesses on the social graph, but it needs to grab as much of that space as absolutely possible before others, like Twitter, get into the game.

Here’s why: if you have a bar, like my brother, how do you get a lot of Facebook’ers to come into your bar and “like” your bar?

Well, how about you advertise an offer to everyone in your local area? Hint: Facebook is NOT going to let you do that for free. How about you give all Facebook’ers the first beer for free? Think that would get a lot of Facebook users into my brother’s bar? You bet it would. Then, how do I get you to “like” my brother’s bar? Well, I’ll bribe you once again: I’ll give you a free basket of chips if you click “like” on my brother’s bar when you’re there.

“That’s bribery.”

Yeah, yeah, but this stuff goes on every day in business. You think those celebrities on TV that sponsor Nike are doing it for free? No. So why shouldn’t businesses try to pay for you to like them?

UPDATE: a few people have noted that Yelp’s TOS says you aren’t allowed to do this to get good reviews. OK, but you are allowed to ask people to review you, I’ve had that happen, and tons of restaurants around the world have Yelp stickers in the front window, which signal the same thing. And of course restaurant owners ask their friends to help give them good reviews. Heck, speeding is against the rules, but try doing 65 on FWY 280 and see how many people pass you.

Think this doesn’t matter?

Ask Christina Tan. She’s Milan (our son)’s new doctor. I took a picture of her and wrote about her here. How did Maryam (my wife) find Christina?

Yelp.

See, on Yelp, Christina is the top rated pediatrician in San Mateo.

“Scoble, you’re smoking that wacky weed again, Yelp is for rating restaurants.”

Not any more. Yelp is building a list of all sorts of businesses and letting its users rate them.

I asked Christina yesterday how many new patients she’s gotten thanks to Yelp. She said “several.” What’s funny is that Christina has never even been to Yelp (at least as of yesterday, she said she’s very interested in checking it out now).

So, right now, it’s easy to be accidentally “best” on Yelp right now. That won’t last. You think there won’t be a pediatrician who won’t try to figure out how to get the #1 spot away from Christina? I know there will be several. The stakes for new business are too high (restaurants are already seeing the impact of Yelp).

So, that brings us to Facebook. Yelp will help Facebook get to the real money: business recommendations.

I would not be shocked to hear soon that Facebook is in negotiations with Yelp. It makes too much sense to me. I hope Facebook eats Yelp.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. So if Facebook acquired Yelp, you think they just integrate it into Facebook? Or keep Yelp as a separate entity?

  2. So if Facebook acquired Yelp, you think they just integrate it into Facebook? Or keep Yelp as a separate entity?

  3. Scobleizer, you hit this one on the head. Here in Philly I run a plumbing service company with my father and we spend around $8K/month to advertise in two yellow page books that cover the city. Eventually this medium will not exist and will move totally on the internet. I dont like the “yellow page” people and can see Yelp getting larger as non-restaurant businesses get listed on their site. If after every plumbing job we complete we offer a coupon to have them “like” us on Yelp that would be huge. To be the one of the first plumbing companies to do this will give us a heads up. For the most part, plumbers and technology dont coexist.

  4. Scobleizer, you hit this one on the head. Here in Philly I run a plumbing service company with my father and we spend around $8K/month to advertise in two yellow page books that cover the city. Eventually this medium will not exist and will move totally on the internet. I dont like the “yellow page” people and can see Yelp getting larger as non-restaurant businesses get listed on their site. If after every plumbing job we complete we offer a coupon to have them “like” us on Yelp that would be huge. To be the one of the first plumbing companies to do this will give us a heads up. For the most part, plumbers and technology dont coexist.

  5. I’ve randomly bitched and moaned about your posts, and generally I’ll defend what I say. This one is actually smart. The fact that I work for tripadvisor.com has nothing (nothing I say.. please believe me). to do with it.

  6. I’ve randomly bitched and moaned about your posts, and generally I’ll defend what I say. This one is actually smart. The fact that I work for tripadvisor.com has nothing (nothing I say.. please believe me). to do with it.

  7. Matt: you need to back that up. Explain what you mean.

    Drew: you sound like those Microsoft engineers who used to tell me that they could build Facebook or Digg in a week. Bullshit. Yelp stickers are on businesses all over town. They are also all over Google, which is how Maryam found that Yelp had doctor reviews. Facebook can’t gain that territory easily. It’s easier to buy those.

  8. Matt: you need to back that up. Explain what you mean.

    Drew: you sound like those Microsoft engineers who used to tell me that they could build Facebook or Digg in a week. Bullshit. Yelp stickers are on businesses all over town. They are also all over Google, which is how Maryam found that Yelp had doctor reviews. Facebook can’t gain that territory easily. It’s easier to buy those.

  9. Great post. This would be a very interesting strategic move on FBs part, instant population of “yellow pages” directly onto the social graph of its existing user base. It would cause a massive infusion of the “everyday” person onto the Yelp functionality, Yelp is popular but you can bet most of Facebook are not active users of it.

    Restaurant recommendations (and other things now) would be rampant into the news feeds (hopefully in some un-annoying way). And businesses would have to pay FB for advanced pages and functionality (possibly promotions and location-based advertising models as well). Of course, as the mobile web takes even further shape, location based services like Yelp are going to be huge.

  10. Great post. This would be a very interesting strategic move on FBs part, instant population of “yellow pages” directly onto the social graph of its existing user base. It would cause a massive infusion of the “everyday” person onto the Yelp functionality, Yelp is popular but you can bet most of Facebook are not active users of it.

    Restaurant recommendations (and other things now) would be rampant into the news feeds (hopefully in some un-annoying way). And businesses would have to pay FB for advanced pages and functionality (possibly promotions and location-based advertising models as well). Of course, as the mobile web takes even further shape, location based services like Yelp are going to be huge.

  11. Sustainability demands that you provide a product or service that people want or need and that you do it as good as or hopefully better than your competitors.

    Therefore, the identities of the advertising originators and the marjeting “propagaters” eventually become secondary in importance to the quality product or service.

    Facebook and Twitter are current pop culture fads whose long-term survivability depends solely on their situational awareness. They must adapt quickly and effectively to rapidly changing technology and an oft fickle cyber-culture.

  12. Sustainability demands that you provide a product or service that people want or need and that you do it as good as or hopefully better than your competitors.

    Therefore, the identities of the advertising originators and the marjeting “propagaters” eventually become secondary in importance to the quality product or service.

    Facebook and Twitter are current pop culture fads whose long-term survivability depends solely on their situational awareness. They must adapt quickly and effectively to rapidly changing technology and an oft fickle cyber-culture.

  13. Agree w/Drew. I like Yelp, and if Facebook created the simplest implementation of the same functionality that was public-facing, it would take off. But some acquisitions can happen for reasons like gathering intellectual capital/staff/talent, or blocking the competition.

  14. Agree w/Drew. I like Yelp, and if Facebook created the simplest implementation of the same functionality that was public-facing, it would take off. But some acquisitions can happen for reasons like gathering intellectual capital/staff/talent, or blocking the competition.

  15. I can’t agree more. Yelp can rate pretty much anything and a Facebook/Yelp combination could be a very interesting competitor to TripAdvisor/Expedia and make it a bit more challenging for Google to diversify from a pure ad play in the travel space – especially via the ratings path.

    Remember Microsoft had originally planned Sidewalk for location-centric services while they were building Expedia – it was a bit more local event oriented, but location-centric services linked with travel transactions is a huge segment that can help monitize all those users.

  16. I can’t agree more. Yelp can rate pretty much anything and a Facebook/Yelp combination could be a very interesting competitor to TripAdvisor/Expedia and make it a bit more challenging for Google to diversify from a pure ad play in the travel space – especially via the ratings path.

    Remember Microsoft had originally planned Sidewalk for location-centric services while they were building Expedia – it was a bit more local event oriented, but location-centric services linked with travel transactions is a huge segment that can help monitize all those users.

  17. Great post! Yelp is more than just a restaurant-rating site. I move frequently and recently found my new doctor via Yelp! I asked the doc whether she knew that she was being rated on Yelp, she had no idea that the site existed but said that she would check it out.

    Thanks to you, Robert, their other rating services are getting some well-deserved publicity, but they also need to do some work to rebrand themselves.

  18. Great post! Yelp is more than just a restaurant-rating site. I move frequently and recently found my new doctor via Yelp! I asked the doc whether she knew that she was being rated on Yelp, she had no idea that the site existed but said that she would check it out.

    Thanks to you, Robert, their other rating services are getting some well-deserved publicity, but they also need to do some work to rebrand themselves.

  19. I’d like to like Yelp, I really would, especially given the power of online reviews to influence buying behavior. We even have one of those “People Love Us On Yelp” stickers outside our office and I have used it to check ratings myself.

    Our customers are worldwide and relatively fanatical in their loyalty. I find it amazing how much positive press we get that isn’t orchestrated.

    When we moved to our new location, none of our reviews followed which is frustrating but I can accept. Unfortunately going live at the new address coincided with some technical issues that resulted in two poor reviews (which we deserved). Things eventually righted themselves and positive reviews followed leaving us with a respectable score.

    Last week I checked our page and all but one positive review were removed. Their FAQ says it can happen and you have to live with it. Doesn’t exactly leave me with a good taste in my mouth form my business perspective but it undermines my faith as a user as well. As such, I don’t think I would consider them for advertising dollars moving forward.

    Going to stick my neck out and provide the url to our Yelp page despite how poorly we fare.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/tiny-prints-mountain-view-2
    Here’s our old location page which no longer shows up in their search:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/tiny-prints-mountain-view

    I know we have a very good overall reputation if all reviews were displayed.
    Do I take down the sticker I mention above if I’m the only one who knows it?

    Curious to know if anyone feels that I’m out of line with my frustration.

  20. I’d like to like Yelp, I really would, especially given the power of online reviews to influence buying behavior. We even have one of those “People Love Us On Yelp” stickers outside our office and I have used it to check ratings myself.

    Our customers are worldwide and relatively fanatical in their loyalty. I find it amazing how much positive press we get that isn’t orchestrated.

    When we moved to our new location, none of our reviews followed which is frustrating but I can accept. Unfortunately going live at the new address coincided with some technical issues that resulted in two poor reviews (which we deserved). Things eventually righted themselves and positive reviews followed leaving us with a respectable score.

    Last week I checked our page and all but one positive review were removed. Their FAQ says it can happen and you have to live with it. Doesn’t exactly leave me with a good taste in my mouth form my business perspective but it undermines my faith as a user as well. As such, I don’t think I would consider them for advertising dollars moving forward.

    Going to stick my neck out and provide the url to our Yelp page despite how poorly we fare.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/tiny-prints-mountain-view-2
    Here’s our old location page which no longer shows up in their search:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/tiny-prints-mountain-view

    I know we have a very good overall reputation if all reviews were displayed.
    Do I take down the sticker I mention above if I’m the only one who knows it?

    Curious to know if anyone feels that I’m out of line with my frustration.

  21. Yelp isn’t that popular outside of San Francisco in my experience. Facebook needs to think bigger than Yelp. And the company that goes after Twitter should be Google imo.

  22. Yelp isn’t that popular outside of San Francisco in my experience. Facebook needs to think bigger than Yelp. And the company that goes after Twitter should be Google imo.

  23. Two things.

    I think the idea that Facebook should integrate business recommendations through the social graph is definitely the next step for Facebook. Figuring out how to involve business (ie. how to better integrate advertisement capabilities) into this huge environment of people and their friends is something that has to be one the top of their priority list. I am not so sure how they draw the line between offering a full-scale review site for businesses and how to use that traffic for revenue. More ads is too lame. Featured results is intrusive and unfair. Some peaceful balance is the way to go I guess.

    With the enormous user base that Facebook has, I don’t see why they need to really buy Yelp anyways. First, the restaurant reviews on Yelp are getting old. I actually think starting from scratch is just a much better way to go and unfortunately for Yelp, Facebook could push a review site, integrate it into everything, and Yelp would go away in no time.

    Having reviews linked socially is great though. I don’t really have a vision though how Facebook would integrate a Yelp feature set that would make it more like a Facebook feature and less like just any old Facebook app.

  24. Two things.

    I think the idea that Facebook should integrate business recommendations through the social graph is definitely the next step for Facebook. Figuring out how to involve business (ie. how to better integrate advertisement capabilities) into this huge environment of people and their friends is something that has to be one the top of their priority list. I am not so sure how they draw the line between offering a full-scale review site for businesses and how to use that traffic for revenue. More ads is too lame. Featured results is intrusive and unfair. Some peaceful balance is the way to go I guess.

    With the enormous user base that Facebook has, I don’t see why they need to really buy Yelp anyways. First, the restaurant reviews on Yelp are getting old. I actually think starting from scratch is just a much better way to go and unfortunately for Yelp, Facebook could push a review site, integrate it into everything, and Yelp would go away in no time.

    Having reviews linked socially is great though. I don’t really have a vision though how Facebook would integrate a Yelp feature set that would make it more like a Facebook feature and less like just any old Facebook app.

  25. @Rick, I think your concerns and frustration are justified. The recent controversy over Yelp sales people offering to remove the negative reviews of their advertisers highlights the importance of accountability and transparency for Yelp and other rating sites. Without those two elements, these sites risk becoming irrelevant because users won’t trust the reviews and business owners like yourself will continue to get frustrated. That being said, I believe that in the long run good businesses will continue to shine despite short-term setbacks. Good luck!

  26. @Rick, I think your concerns and frustration are justified. The recent controversy over Yelp sales people offering to remove the negative reviews of their advertisers highlights the importance of accountability and transparency for Yelp and other rating sites. Without those two elements, these sites risk becoming irrelevant because users won’t trust the reviews and business owners like yourself will continue to get frustrated. That being said, I believe that in the long run good businesses will continue to shine despite short-term setbacks. Good luck!

  27. Do I really care one iota about what 30 people think of Jimmy John’s? No. And do I need to wade thru 660 reviews to know Chapeau! is French heaven? No. Do I really need to hear 10 people say a German Specialty Food store has “weird and strange” food? Gawd. Do I even need to bother, if going to Cafe L’Europe, Taboo or 264 Grill in Palm Beach? Never and no.

    The wisdom of the crowds is not, results in a mish-mash of fan boys vs. malcontents. Like, don’t like, like, don’t like, in some endless loop, and then add in all the, fakery gossip, slander and mush. Spare me. Get some real professionals, not YouTube/Digg commenters, I don’t want to trust my dining experience to potty-mouthed teenagers and loud-mouth New Yorker types. Bring on the REAL experts, please. I’ll stick with Zagat and Fodors, all the info I need, concise, convenient and well-written, with REAL authority.

  28. Do I really care one iota about what 30 people think of Jimmy John’s? No. And do I need to wade thru 660 reviews to know Chapeau! is French heaven? No. Do I really need to hear 10 people say a German Specialty Food store has “weird and strange” food? Gawd. Do I even need to bother, if going to Cafe L’Europe, Taboo or 264 Grill in Palm Beach? Never and no.

    The wisdom of the crowds is not, results in a mish-mash of fan boys vs. malcontents. Like, don’t like, like, don’t like, in some endless loop, and then add in all the, fakery gossip, slander and mush. Spare me. Get some real professionals, not YouTube/Digg commenters, I don’t want to trust my dining experience to potty-mouthed teenagers and loud-mouth New Yorker types. Bring on the REAL experts, please. I’ll stick with Zagat and Fodors, all the info I need, concise, convenient and well-written, with REAL authority.

  29. honestlysometimessurrondedbyallthesenetheadsifeellikeimtheonlysanepersonaliveabobnewhartmoment.

  30. honestlysometimessurrondedbyallthesenetheadsifeellikeimtheonlysanepersonaliveabobnewhartmoment.

  31. Christopher Coulter: I guess in your world it’s OK to take advantage of people who put their hand out and then stab them in the back over and over. I’d rather live in my little world.

  32. Christopher Coulter: I guess in your world it’s OK to take advantage of people who put their hand out and then stab them in the back over and over. I’d rather live in my little world.

  33. Robert, Excellent point. It’s something that we are trying to do with our facebook app – in India and Singapore. You can check it out here, http://www.locomi.com You absolutely echoed what we had in mind, when we started out!

  34. Robert, Excellent point. It’s something that we are trying to do with our facebook app – in India and Singapore. You can check it out here, http://www.locomi.com You absolutely echoed what we had in mind, when we started out!

  35. @Christopher Coulter

    “AUTHORITY.” – “PROFESSIONAL.” – “EXPERT.”

    Boooo…

    People that actually believe that they inherently embody any of the above characteristics, are usually very annoying people. People inwhich many of us common folk can’t stand to be around for too long, much less tolerate their obnoxious, superior (i.e. yuppie scum bags that are usually getting “paid to praise”.)

    I for one happen to cherish the loud-mouth New Yorker’s and punkass teenager’s raw emotion opinions. After all, they’re two of the most honest personality types left on our planet.

    So you don’t like Yelp – don’t use it. Better yet, go Yelp about Yelp…

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/yelp-san-francisco

  36. @Christopher Coulter

    “AUTHORITY.” – “PROFESSIONAL.” – “EXPERT.”

    Boooo…

    People that actually believe that they inherently embody any of the above characteristics, are usually very annoying people. People inwhich many of us common folk can’t stand to be around for too long, much less tolerate their obnoxious, superior (i.e. yuppie scum bags that are usually getting “paid to praise”.)

    I for one happen to cherish the loud-mouth New Yorker’s and punkass teenager’s raw emotion opinions. After all, they’re two of the most honest personality types left on our planet.

    So you don’t like Yelp – don’t use it. Better yet, go Yelp about Yelp…

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/yelp-san-francisco

  37. Excellent post!! Twitter is like a breath of fresh air on the Social Media scene. I have been on it for just a few weeks now and I have met several interesting people. It is a platform to network with people you would like to meet in real life. Check me out!!

    http://twitter.com/spryka

  38. Excellent post!! Twitter is like a breath of fresh air on the Social Media scene. I have been on it for just a few weeks now and I have met several interesting people. It is a platform to network with people you would like to meet in real life. Check me out!!

    http://twitter.com/spryka

  39. Robert – great post, thanks. The most interesting part is that your son’s name is Milan, so is mine. (Short for Termilan, he’s from Kazakhstan).
    I’ll keep reading.

  40. Robert – great post, thanks. The most interesting part is that your son’s name is Milan, so is mine. (Short for Termilan, he’s from Kazakhstan).
    I’ll keep reading.

  41. Great Post.

    While it is true that Microblogs and Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook are popular tools
    for people to connect they have thus far not been very strong in search.

    This is why to date social networks have not been very successful in there ad efforts compared to search engines like Google.

    I think the reason for this is that the main objective for most advertising spend is to achieve two things:

    1) Attract new customers.
    2) Retain existing customers.

    Social Networks and Microblogs primary use is to exchange messages between people (both actual and more importantly perceived) and as such do not generally have an intent to successfully partner with an advertisement.

    This means that as it stands they will never be as good as search engines for attracting new customers.

    Microblogs and Social Networks are however very good for communication and therefore excellent tools for retaining existing customers. This area is where search engines are not very strong.

    The solution appears to be a hybrid Search & Social service.

    You Might want to take a look at YouPage.com where we are trying to do just that.

    Any feedback more than welcome.

    YouPage Ltd
    Real-Time Local Search

  42. Great Post.

    While it is true that Microblogs and Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook are popular tools
    for people to connect they have thus far not been very strong in search.

    This is why to date social networks have not been very successful in there ad efforts compared to search engines like Google.

    I think the reason for this is that the main objective for most advertising spend is to achieve two things:

    1) Attract new customers.
    2) Retain existing customers.

    Social Networks and Microblogs primary use is to exchange messages between people (both actual and more importantly perceived) and as such do not generally have an intent to successfully partner with an advertisement.

    This means that as it stands they will never be as good as search engines for attracting new customers.

    Microblogs and Social Networks are however very good for communication and therefore excellent tools for retaining existing customers. This area is where search engines are not very strong.

    The solution appears to be a hybrid Search & Social service.

    You Might want to take a look at YouPage.com where we are trying to do just that.

    Any feedback more than welcome.

    YouPage Ltd
    Real-Time Local Search

  43. If we’re going to see this hooked up to our social networks, this only emphasises the need for easy ways to group friends by various categories. Much as I value the opinion of my friends in the USA, I don’t see how their plumber ratings are going to be anything more than frustrating, when I need a good plumber in SE London thousands of miles away. In this instance, I want suddenly to become “friends” with the people in my immediate square mile or so, something that looks a bit tricky unless I start knocking on doors: “Hi, are you on Facebook? Wanna be friends?” is likely to work only with people I probably don’t want to know!

    I’m sure Facebook folks are thinking about this; I look forward to seeing their first attempt at a solution.

  44. If we’re going to see this hooked up to our social networks, this only emphasises the need for easy ways to group friends by various categories. Much as I value the opinion of my friends in the USA, I don’t see how their plumber ratings are going to be anything more than frustrating, when I need a good plumber in SE London thousands of miles away. In this instance, I want suddenly to become “friends” with the people in my immediate square mile or so, something that looks a bit tricky unless I start knocking on doors: “Hi, are you on Facebook? Wanna be friends?” is likely to work only with people I probably don’t want to know!

    I’m sure Facebook folks are thinking about this; I look forward to seeing their first attempt at a solution.

  45. On this one Robert I think you are spot on. The next 5 years or so will bring any business that wants to survive past those 5 years into the social graph. And you’re right, recommendations will be huge. I’m sure you probably saw Winer’s post on Amazon recommendations and how he relies on them.

  46. On this one Robert I think you are spot on. The next 5 years or so will bring any business that wants to survive past those 5 years into the social graph. And you’re right, recommendations will be huge. I’m sure you probably saw Winer’s post on Amazon recommendations and how he relies on them.

  47. Offering people incentives to write a positive review skews the system and makes the system untrustable, the top few entries in a category get filled be people gaming the system, not the real best few.
    (bad Scoble for encouraging this :) )
    However, combine it with facebook and you can now see who of your friends have rated a business and can double check that rating.
    The more popular and influential yelp becomes the more people will try to game it, just like some publishers and manufacturers (like Belkin) do on Amazon.

  48. Offering people incentives to write a positive review skews the system and makes the system untrustable, the top few entries in a category get filled be people gaming the system, not the real best few.
    (bad Scoble for encouraging this :) )
    However, combine it with facebook and you can now see who of your friends have rated a business and can double check that rating.
    The more popular and influential yelp becomes the more people will try to game it, just like some publishers and manufacturers (like Belkin) do on Amazon.

  49. Robert, what’s your analysis of simply integrating Facebook Connect with Yelp, as Citysearch has done successfully since November?

    “In the four months the site has been testing Facebook Connect, 94 percent of reviewers have published their reviews to Facebook, where an average of 40 people see them and 70 percent click back to Citysearch. That has translated into new members: daily registrations on Citysearch have tripled.”
    –NY Times

  50. Robert, what’s your analysis of simply integrating Facebook Connect with Yelp, as Citysearch has done successfully since November?

    “In the four months the site has been testing Facebook Connect, 94 percent of reviewers have published their reviews to Facebook, where an average of 40 people see them and 70 percent click back to Citysearch. That has translated into new members: daily registrations on Citysearch have tripled.”
    –NY Times

  51. @Christopher Coulter:

    You do need to read user comments with a critical eye, but the insights they bring are far more relevant to most people than a review, taken on a single visit, possibly two years ago, by a so-called professional.

  52. @Christopher Coulter:

    You do need to read user comments with a critical eye, but the insights they bring are far more relevant to most people than a review, taken on a single visit, possibly two years ago, by a so-called professional.

  53. Robert,

    You’ve just helped me further conceptualize my business. Thanks!!

    I develop K-12 curriculum. I’ve typically worked with major publishers like Scholastic. But, now I want to do consulting work for Web 2.0 companies. I’m going to help these companies get on the K-12 social graph. Just think about the benefits of getting on this graph: The market is huge and highly influential. Get students hooked on your product now and they’ll want to stay on your product later, as long as it continues to meet their purposes.

    I haven’t been to Yelp. But, I’m going to go and check it out. But, I’m not sure that Yelp will help me that much. After all, I’m not a bar.

  54. Robert,

    You’ve just helped me further conceptualize my business. Thanks!!

    I develop K-12 curriculum. I’ve typically worked with major publishers like Scholastic. But, now I want to do consulting work for Web 2.0 companies. I’m going to help these companies get on the K-12 social graph. Just think about the benefits of getting on this graph: The market is huge and highly influential. Get students hooked on your product now and they’ll want to stay on your product later, as long as it continues to meet their purposes.

    I haven’t been to Yelp. But, I’m going to go and check it out. But, I’m not sure that Yelp will help me that much. After all, I’m not a bar.

  55. Yelp is good for restaurants and retail stores but I wish it had more of the functionality of Angie’s List, with reviews of service people and companies. Unfortunately you have to pay to read Angie’s List.

  56. Yelp is good for restaurants and retail stores but I wish it had more of the functionality of Angie’s List, with reviews of service people and companies. Unfortunately you have to pay to read Angie’s List.

  57. Robert,

    I’m glad you’re continuing to think about the way that Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms can monetize all of that traffic and interactions. This struck me as a particularly useful metaphor:

    “Go back and look at the phone books that we all used to use before the Internet came about. In my house we used to get two books: one that was white, which had listings for people, and one that was yellow, which had listings for businesses. When you needed a ___ you’d look in the yellow pages and the one with the best looking ad got our business.

    Now, let’s go back to Facebook. What’s the equivalent of the “best looking ad?” The business who has the best reviews.”

    You nail it. The social proof of good or bad reviews, customer experience and rating systems based on the collective “wisdom of the crowds” has been one of the most powerful uses for the Internet throughout its history. The tools are much more advanced now, of course, but we could see it back in the early days with IMDB.com & Amazon’s book reviews. Now everything and everyone can be reviewed and rated on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    And, just as MA Bell was a gatekeeper for local businesses, now Yelp, Facebook and other platforms can manipulate or edit reviews they deem unacceptable to the community, just as you can edit your comments here if you wish — though you generally do not, I think, because of your long experience online in forums.

    The issue with Yelp may be in its role as both gatekeeper and private for-profit entity. I suspect you may have read the piece in San Francisco’s East Bay Express entitled “Yelp and Extortion 2.0.” A local alternative paper here in Boston just ran this:
    http://weeklydig.com/%5Bcatpath%5D/200903/they-yelp-me-they-yelp-me-not

    In both articles, the issue of “church & state” in editorial/community and sales/advertising was repeatedly raised. Of course, Yelp has denied any such practice repeatedly.

    I’m not convinced that either platform is the right answer for communities to use for rating systems of businesses or professional services, much less essential services like healthcare, education and emergency services — some kind of third-party without a profit motive would be preferable. The leverage that these private entities hold over a business through elevating negative reviews or removing positive ones is substantial.

    I’m glad you’re spending time blogging again, Robert, despite the allure of Friendfeed, Twitter and other online forums.

  58. Robert,

    I’m glad you’re continuing to think about the way that Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms can monetize all of that traffic and interactions. This struck me as a particularly useful metaphor:

    “Go back and look at the phone books that we all used to use before the Internet came about. In my house we used to get two books: one that was white, which had listings for people, and one that was yellow, which had listings for businesses. When you needed a ___ you’d look in the yellow pages and the one with the best looking ad got our business.

    Now, let’s go back to Facebook. What’s the equivalent of the “best looking ad?” The business who has the best reviews.”

    You nail it. The social proof of good or bad reviews, customer experience and rating systems based on the collective “wisdom of the crowds” has been one of the most powerful uses for the Internet throughout its history. The tools are much more advanced now, of course, but we could see it back in the early days with IMDB.com & Amazon’s book reviews. Now everything and everyone can be reviewed and rated on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    And, just as MA Bell was a gatekeeper for local businesses, now Yelp, Facebook and other platforms can manipulate or edit reviews they deem unacceptable to the community, just as you can edit your comments here if you wish — though you generally do not, I think, because of your long experience online in forums.

    The issue with Yelp may be in its role as both gatekeeper and private for-profit entity. I suspect you may have read the piece in San Francisco’s East Bay Express entitled “Yelp and Extortion 2.0.” A local alternative paper here in Boston just ran this:
    http://weeklydig.com/%5Bcatpath%5D/200903/they-yelp-me-they-yelp-me-not

    In both articles, the issue of “church & state” in editorial/community and sales/advertising was repeatedly raised. Of course, Yelp has denied any such practice repeatedly.

    I’m not convinced that either platform is the right answer for communities to use for rating systems of businesses or professional services, much less essential services like healthcare, education and emergency services — some kind of third-party without a profit motive would be preferable. The leverage that these private entities hold over a business through elevating negative reviews or removing positive ones is substantial.

    I’m glad you’re spending time blogging again, Robert, despite the allure of Friendfeed, Twitter and other online forums.

  59. Even if Facebook doesn’t acquire Yelp, the exact case study you outlined for your brother’s bar WILL happen on FB. If FB doesn’t hop on this and essentially kill the Yellow Pages, they are fools!

  60. Even if Facebook doesn’t acquire Yelp, the exact case study you outlined for your brother’s bar WILL happen on FB. If FB doesn’t hop on this and essentially kill the Yellow Pages, they are fools!

  61. Robert,
    I could never understand why Facebook should buy Twitter – it never made any sense to me. Adding a true blogging platform to FB – YESSS! but Twitter? They got 90% of that functionality as you say, already.

    As for Yelp, from an european perspective, it reminds me of Craigslist: wildly popular in California, but almost unknown everywhere else (I know, I know, I’m being superficial…)

    True, they got stickers on businesses, but Facebook has 160+ million users across the world, just waiting to be “leveraged” somehow, so yes, replicating the functionality seems faster/cheaper than buying a (large) niche user base.

  62. Robert,
    I could never understand why Facebook should buy Twitter – it never made any sense to me. Adding a true blogging platform to FB – YESSS! but Twitter? They got 90% of that functionality as you say, already.

    As for Yelp, from an european perspective, it reminds me of Craigslist: wildly popular in California, but almost unknown everywhere else (I know, I know, I’m being superficial…)

    True, they got stickers on businesses, but Facebook has 160+ million users across the world, just waiting to be “leveraged” somehow, so yes, replicating the functionality seems faster/cheaper than buying a (large) niche user base.

  63. I don’t think it’s as synergistic as you say it is. Yelp has a totally different community, based on shared interests and neighborhoods. Yelp, using a well-aligned community of strangers will do a much better job of gathering reviews than a loose-knit set of friends that Facebook provides. Do I really care what coffee shop my third grade classmate prefers? No.

    Honestly, Yelp + MySpace makes a lot more sense. They already have many businesses with pages and the entire experience is much more aligned around content as opposed to communication.

  64. I don’t think it’s as synergistic as you say it is. Yelp has a totally different community, based on shared interests and neighborhoods. Yelp, using a well-aligned community of strangers will do a much better job of gathering reviews than a loose-knit set of friends that Facebook provides. Do I really care what coffee shop my third grade classmate prefers? No.

    Honestly, Yelp + MySpace makes a lot more sense. They already have many businesses with pages and the entire experience is much more aligned around content as opposed to communication.

  65. Facebook is determined to maintain real identity. This is one of its biggest strengths but it is also a weakness. The other day you gave an example of looking for sushi restaurants and using facebook on your iphone to find the ones your friends like. Clearly valuable but why not get reviews from everyone that cares to share.

    This is where twitter shines – its inclusive. Facebook is exclusive. Both have their place but when I’m looking for a review of a new movie/car/etc and my friends don’t have a clue, I’ll be looking somewhere other than Facebook.

  66. Facebook is determined to maintain real identity. This is one of its biggest strengths but it is also a weakness. The other day you gave an example of looking for sushi restaurants and using facebook on your iphone to find the ones your friends like. Clearly valuable but why not get reviews from everyone that cares to share.

    This is where twitter shines – its inclusive. Facebook is exclusive. Both have their place but when I’m looking for a review of a new movie/car/etc and my friends don’t have a clue, I’ll be looking somewhere other than Facebook.

  67. Excellent post Robert and great discussion. You folks have really given me some food for thought here… Our current project is called The Senior List.com. It is a consumer-opinion site focused on the senior-services sector. Our goal is to become the gateway to trusted resources for the 50+ demo online. We are also entirely peer-to-peer driven… (yes we are up and fully functional now)

    This thread has given me some great ideas to incorporate into our go-forward strategy- thx for that!!! One of our big challenges has been financing the growth of our platform and brand awareness. It’s a huge focus right now-

    Best to all

  68. Excellent post Robert and great discussion. You folks have really given me some food for thought here… Our current project is called The Senior List.com. It is a consumer-opinion site focused on the senior-services sector. Our goal is to become the gateway to trusted resources for the 50+ demo online. We are also entirely peer-to-peer driven… (yes we are up and fully functional now)

    This thread has given me some great ideas to incorporate into our go-forward strategy- thx for that!!! One of our big challenges has been financing the growth of our platform and brand awareness. It’s a huge focus right now-

    Best to all

  69. Twitter = mindless blabber.
    Yelp = Some seriously helpful and well-written content + some quasi-thought out content + some completely insipid and/or mindless blabber.

    I’m still going to give Yelp the win on this, and – since I use both (as do a good deal of my cohorts) – I’d be perfectly down with having them combined.

    ~a

  70. Twitter = mindless blabber.
    Yelp = Some seriously helpful and well-written content + some quasi-thought out content + some completely insipid and/or mindless blabber.

    I’m still going to give Yelp the win on this, and – since I use both (as do a good deal of my cohorts) – I’d be perfectly down with having them combined.

    ~a

  71. they inherently embody

    Who said anything about me? I was saying I like Zagat and Fodors over Yelp. Expert opinions, well-written and to the point, without all the massive noise. Just my preference, if you’d rather the loud-mouthed slandering New Yakkers, so be it.

    And I thought stabbing people who put their hand out, casing your employer (Microsoft sucks etc.) makes you not a shrill and more authentically human, or some social media blather like that. My full modus operandi is a complex and multilayered thing, many masters to serve, more akin to strategy, though I have always loved “strategery”, as when you really think about it, it’s so much deeper than plain old boring “strategy”, it kind of conveys having a strategy about a strategy. A goof that was brilliant, imho. :)

  72. they inherently embody

    Who said anything about me? I was saying I like Zagat and Fodors over Yelp. Expert opinions, well-written and to the point, without all the massive noise. Just my preference, if you’d rather the loud-mouthed slandering New Yakkers, so be it.

    And I thought stabbing people who put their hand out, casing your employer (Microsoft sucks etc.) makes you not a shrill and more authentically human, or some social media blather like that. My full modus operandi is a complex and multilayered thing, many masters to serve, more akin to strategy, though I have always loved “strategery”, as when you really think about it, it’s so much deeper than plain old boring “strategy”, it kind of conveys having a strategy about a strategy. A goof that was brilliant, imho. :)

  73. Scoble good thoughts.

    I’ve been thinking for sometime now how Twitter is about authentic, personal interactions, which I simply do not see fitting into this new ‘Facebook-page-like’ model that’s being suggested.

    Comparing to the two phone books is an excellent analogy which hits the nail on the head. Lets go back to basic branding – clarity, niche, specifics. A monetized, business focussed twitter is mixing the wrong markets.

  74. Scoble good thoughts.

    I’ve been thinking for sometime now how Twitter is about authentic, personal interactions, which I simply do not see fitting into this new ‘Facebook-page-like’ model that’s being suggested.

    Comparing to the two phone books is an excellent analogy which hits the nail on the head. Lets go back to basic branding – clarity, niche, specifics. A monetized, business focussed twitter is mixing the wrong markets.

  75. Scoble,

    I am not much of a Facebooker, I use it as a lead funnel, not so much as a marketing medium.

    But is there or do you see soon a way of advertising decently? I really hate Facebook’s ad system. You can be chugging along fine and Facebook will come back and kill your ad for some TOS full of BS like “Your grammar was incorrect” and you are reminded of AdWords of days past.

    Worse yet advertise a product they hate like my site about Google Friend Connect. I gave up on that one.

    But even when you do get an ad to run long term, I do not see conversions that are worth a darn. My ads are the same ones that do well in AdWords now. I am not a copywriter, but I can get it right.

    Anybody got any suggestions?

  76. Scoble,

    I am not much of a Facebooker, I use it as a lead funnel, not so much as a marketing medium.

    But is there or do you see soon a way of advertising decently? I really hate Facebook’s ad system. You can be chugging along fine and Facebook will come back and kill your ad for some TOS full of BS like “Your grammar was incorrect” and you are reminded of AdWords of days past.

    Worse yet advertise a product they hate like my site about Google Friend Connect. I gave up on that one.

    But even when you do get an ad to run long term, I do not see conversions that are worth a darn. My ads are the same ones that do well in AdWords now. I am not a copywriter, but I can get it right.

    Anybody got any suggestions?

  77. I definitely see yelp as a possibility. Yelp is an awesome service that is in cities all over the place now.

    So yelp has all the business and facebook has all the customers. Almost seems to easy.

  78. I definitely see yelp as a possibility. Yelp is an awesome service that is in cities all over the place now.

    So yelp has all the business and facebook has all the customers. Almost seems to easy.

  79. I really enjoyed your post but I’ve never even heard of Yelp. After reading this I’ll be sure to check it out.

  80. I really enjoyed your post but I’ve never even heard of Yelp. After reading this I’ll be sure to check it out.

  81. [...] But back to Twitter, which seems to be the more ‘active’ competition for Facebook now a days.  Even looking at these two, Twitter doesn’t really have a hope of eclipsing Facebook anytime soon.  It does however have the faster rate of growth between the two , but it cannot match the fact that Facebook collects between 200,000 and 700,000 new users a day.  And, it’s highly unlikely that Twitter will manage to boost its 10 million users to the 180 million user threshold that Facebook’s achieved.  The logical thing to do, one would think, would be to just consume the ‘competition’ which is exactaly what Zukerberg tried to do as I learned through Scoble’s follow up blog entry that did a good job of proving why Facebook was lucky as hell it missed out on buying Twitter. [...]

  82. The integration of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) with review services definitely makes sense and is happening.

    Who do you ask when you need trusted and reliable recommendations, say for a plumber or accountant? In many cases, you will ask your friends or people that you know at work or socially – i.e. you will ask the people on your social graph. This may even extend beyond “one-level” of the graph – e.g. your co-worker’s friend who knows an awesome gardener.

    We’ve developed a new service called Kelpp that builds on this idea and allows you to easily ask your Facebook friends for recommendations and tracks their responses. It also lets users define precisely the “things” they’re looking for or want to review – so you can find the best places for “inexpensive vegetarian lunch” or “family-friendly italian restaurant”.

    Try it out at http://kelpp.com – no need to register, just use your Facebook account. We would love to hear feedback – still at the “alpha” stage of development and we have lots more ideas and features planned.

  83. The integration of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) with review services definitely makes sense and is happening.

    Who do you ask when you need trusted and reliable recommendations, say for a plumber or accountant? In many cases, you will ask your friends or people that you know at work or socially – i.e. you will ask the people on your social graph. This may even extend beyond “one-level” of the graph – e.g. your co-worker’s friend who knows an awesome gardener.

    We’ve developed a new service called Kelpp that builds on this idea and allows you to easily ask your Facebook friends for recommendations and tracks their responses. It also lets users define precisely the “things” they’re looking for or want to review – so you can find the best places for “inexpensive vegetarian lunch” or “family-friendly italian restaurant”.

    Try it out at http://kelpp.com – no need to register, just use your Facebook account. We would love to hear feedback – still at the “alpha” stage of development and we have lots more ideas and features planned.

  84. There is life after Yellow Pages! Michael, I wish I knew how to contact you and all those in your situation.
    I am an ex Yellow Pages employee. I worked in this industry for over 20 years in many capacities. I now help businesses with their Yellow Page exit stratigies. There are ways to begin the transition from YP’s to other forms of advertising. The industry works on fear of loss. You know you have had success in the past, and they depend on that to keep you as long as possible. I have the ability to work with all publishers across the US. Please call me at 513-519-4275 EST.

  85. There is life after Yellow Pages! Michael, I wish I knew how to contact you and all those in your situation.
    I am an ex Yellow Pages employee. I worked in this industry for over 20 years in many capacities. I now help businesses with their Yellow Page exit stratigies. There are ways to begin the transition from YP’s to other forms of advertising. The industry works on fear of loss. You know you have had success in the past, and they depend on that to keep you as long as possible. I have the ability to work with all publishers across the US. Please call me at 513-519-4275 EST.

  86. There is life after Yellow Pages! Michael I wish I knew how to contact you and all those in your situation.
    I am an ex Yellow Pages employee. I worked in this industry for over 20 years in many capacities. I now help businesses with their Yellow Page exit stratigies. There are ways to begin the transition from YP’s to other forms of advertising. The industry works on fear of loss. You know you have had success in the past, and they depend on that to keep you as long as possible. I have the ability to work with all publishers across the US. Please call me at 513-519-4275 EST.

  87. There is life after Yellow Pages! Michael I wish I knew how to contact you and all those in your situation.
    I am an ex Yellow Pages employee. I worked in this industry for over 20 years in many capacities. I now help businesses with their Yellow Page exit stratigies. There are ways to begin the transition from YP’s to other forms of advertising. The industry works on fear of loss. You know you have had success in the past, and they depend on that to keep you as long as possible. I have the ability to work with all publishers across the US. Please call me at 513-519-4275 EST.

  88. Twitter should have taken the $500 million it was offered while it had the chance. Who knows, in another 6 months Twitter could be passe, and something else (Yelp?) could take its place.

    I have a feeling the guys at Twitter are going to be kicking themselves for losing out on that deal. I’ll check out Yelp though, looks interesting.

  89. Twitter should have taken the $500 million it was offered while it had the chance. Who knows, in another 6 months Twitter could be passe, and something else (Yelp?) could take its place.

    I have a feeling the guys at Twitter are going to be kicking themselves for losing out on that deal. I’ll check out Yelp though, looks interesting.

  90. $500 mil in stock on a $15B market valuation? I don’t think they are going to be kicking themselves, they have a strangle hold on this space right now. Even with Facebook entering more aggressively, Twitter’s more open platform is a distinct advantage.

  91. $500 mil in stock on a $15B market valuation? I don’t think they are going to be kicking themselves, they have a strangle hold on this space right now. Even with Facebook entering more aggressively, Twitter’s more open platform is a distinct advantage.

  92. Here is the difference between Facebook and Twitter.

    Twitter is a mobile solution. You can Tweet all day long from your phone.

    You do not need a computer or especially email.

    Watch what your kids do, they are the future of how we will use the Internet.

    They don’t read email. They send text. They could not live without their phone.

    Twitter is an extension of their phone. I saw a table of 10 twenty somethings, 5 couples out to dinner the other night. They did not say one word to each other while waiting for their dinners. All ten of them had their phones out sending texts and did not interact at all with their dinner companions. NOT AT ALL for like 20 minutes on a Friday night.

    Facebook is browser based, you have to be at a computer, it is not a phone in your pocket that is an extension of yourself.

    Twitter is light, portable and above all TEXT based.

    We don’t get this because we are marketers, we want to send URLs in Twitter to get traffic to our sites. These kids just want to chat and above all flirt with the opposite sex.

    Facebook is last years technology, kids don’t even answer their phones, they don’t leave voicemails. They TEXT. That is how they communicate, fast and quietly.

    That is why Google Friend Connect is going to be such a success, everything you can do on your machine is mobile and has a phone based solution.

    Even if you use a mobile Facebook app you still need email to admin it and get alerts. Guess what these kids are using? Gmail!

    It is not us old people that will make Google Friend Connect a success, it is adoption by your kids that will make Facebook the MySpace of the next few years.

    If Google does not buy Twitter soon, I am going to be wrong majorly for the second time. It was me, Chris Lang that was one of the biggest “Google will buy Digg” poster boys there was.

    They came close, I would say Twitter is next. Or maybe not, I have been wrong once before. But just once. LOL

  93. Here is the difference between Facebook and Twitter.

    Twitter is a mobile solution. You can Tweet all day long from your phone.

    You do not need a computer or especially email.

    Watch what your kids do, they are the future of how we will use the Internet.

    They don’t read email. They send text. They could not live without their phone.

    Twitter is an extension of their phone. I saw a table of 10 twenty somethings, 5 couples out to dinner the other night. They did not say one word to each other while waiting for their dinners. All ten of them had their phones out sending texts and did not interact at all with their dinner companions. NOT AT ALL for like 20 minutes on a Friday night.

    Facebook is browser based, you have to be at a computer, it is not a phone in your pocket that is an extension of yourself.

    Twitter is light, portable and above all TEXT based.

    We don’t get this because we are marketers, we want to send URLs in Twitter to get traffic to our sites. These kids just want to chat and above all flirt with the opposite sex.

    Facebook is last years technology, kids don’t even answer their phones, they don’t leave voicemails. They TEXT. That is how they communicate, fast and quietly.

    That is why Google Friend Connect is going to be such a success, everything you can do on your machine is mobile and has a phone based solution.

    Even if you use a mobile Facebook app you still need email to admin it and get alerts. Guess what these kids are using? Gmail!

    It is not us old people that will make Google Friend Connect a success, it is adoption by your kids that will make Facebook the MySpace of the next few years.

    If Google does not buy Twitter soon, I am going to be wrong majorly for the second time. It was me, Chris Lang that was one of the biggest “Google will buy Digg” poster boys there was.

    They came close, I would say Twitter is next. Or maybe not, I have been wrong once before. But just once. LOL

  94. I’m still thinking the word “hint” doesn’t mean what you think it means. Might try looking it up, then using it properly. It would make your writing at least read with some vague hint of authority or insight.

  95. I’m still thinking the word “hint” doesn’t mean what you think it means. Might try looking it up, then using it properly. It would make your writing at least read with some vague hint of authority or insight.

  96. Facebook taught me a lesson… Because we feel so “comfortable” using it, talking to our friends and all, I made comments that I thought were innocent to a friend, forgetting that the other person I was making reference to, had their friend relay my comment to them! Yikes! Can’t be TOO comfortable on Facebook! Crime is increasing. Here’s a good place to find a wide selection of wireless video cameras and video security equipment. (Not to mention “covert” cameras…)

  97. Facebook taught me a lesson… Because we feel so “comfortable” using it, talking to our friends and all, I made comments that I thought were innocent to a friend, forgetting that the other person I was making reference to, had their friend relay my comment to them! Yikes! Can’t be TOO comfortable on Facebook! Crime is increasing. Here’s a good place to find a wide selection of wireless video cameras and video security equipment. (Not to mention “covert” cameras…)

  98. Excellent article. I think the integration with Yelp would be a great benefit to Facebook. The bad part of Yelp is that people can write bogus reviews…Facebook, by its very nature (friends, groups, etc) is the real person all the time. Connecting the FB account to the Yelp account will allow you to read and discuss reviews of your friends and create the social network that Yelp was trying to create when they started out.

    FB has the membership base and Yelp has the businesses and the geographic APIs…great synergy if done right.

    I also agree that FB buying Twitter would have been a mistake…Twitter is a great service, but I think it is cloneable, or people will eventually get the same bang from Twitter and a number of other similar services. And how will Twitter monetize their service?

    It should be an interesting future in the social networking world.

  99. Excellent article. I think the integration with Yelp would be a great benefit to Facebook. The bad part of Yelp is that people can write bogus reviews…Facebook, by its very nature (friends, groups, etc) is the real person all the time. Connecting the FB account to the Yelp account will allow you to read and discuss reviews of your friends and create the social network that Yelp was trying to create when they started out.

    FB has the membership base and Yelp has the businesses and the geographic APIs…great synergy if done right.

    I also agree that FB buying Twitter would have been a mistake…Twitter is a great service, but I think it is cloneable, or people will eventually get the same bang from Twitter and a number of other similar services. And how will Twitter monetize their service?

    It should be an interesting future in the social networking world.

  100. Thanks for writing this blog and sharing it with the world. I would like to know how to go for reading your rss blog. Please let me know if possible.
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