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Wag of the finger to Yelp: Reviews aren’t exposed via RSS

April 13, 2008 Leave a comment

[So I copied Steven Colbert in the title; sue me]

Okay, I’ve started to use Yelp pretty regularly to navigate my move up to the city. I’ve always been impressed by the strength of the community in San Francisco and just how many diverse points of view make their way into reviews of almost every spot out there. The Yelp Talk feature is most excellent – both times I’ve left questions, I’ve gotten north of 10 responses. Within an hour! Now that’s an engaged, passionate community.

Here is what’s bullshit: my reviews (or anyone else’s, for that matter) aren’t available via RSS. Why? Why can’t I, if I choose to, follow a friend’s reviews on Google Reader? Why can’t I send a feed of my own reviews to friends or link that feed to my main line blog feed?

In one word: pageviews? And that’s why Nick Carr says that “It’s worth remembering that the business model of Web 2.0 social networks is the sharecropping model“. For a site whose very existence relies upon users contributing content, shouldn’t it try to let that content free in some limited form?

Did I miss something here?

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