Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of everything in the world. Today I am reviewing Yelp.

As someone who believes strongly that a star-based rating system is the best possible method for communicating the complexity and inherent worth of something, I can’t help but love a review web-site like Yelp.

It’s everything the internet was meant to be — a democratic platform where all opinions are equal, from intelligent, educated professionals with well-rounded life experiences, to narcissists with undiagnosed emotional issues. Everyone’s opinion is just as important as everyone else’s. Except for convicted felons. That’s why they’re not allowed to vote in elections. I wish Yelp would denote which opinions come from felons so I could skip right past those.

My most trusted Yelp reviewer is Deborah H. You’ve probably read some of her work. She writes primarily restaurant reviews — paragraph after paragraph of her personal and intimate thoughts about each dish with clear and thoughtful descriptions such as “tasty” or “too much salt.” If she doesn’t like a restaurant she won’t hold back. Some of her anger-fueled reviews are her best work. They make me feel like I was right there with her when the waiter took too long to refill her water.

I can tell Deborah is dedicated just by the sheer volume of reviews she’s written. To-date she’s contributed over two hundred. I would imagine she’s put in cumulatively a few weeks worth of her life. Good job, Deborah! Yelp must be where a lot of professional food critics get their start.

Don’t be overwhelmed. If you want to find out if a business is worth your time and an eight-paragraph treatise is too much of a commitment for you, there are plenty of shorter reviews such as, “This place sux [sic] no easy parking.” Another helpful one I read was, “Never coming back worst ever.”

If you have opinions you want people to look at, Yelp is the place for you. There are people just waiting to hear what you think! In a way, it’s a disservice to the general public to not tell them what you think of something.

BEST FEATURE: Photo after photo of the exact same dish taken from a slightly different angle by a variety of cell phones.
WORST FEATURE: No printed editions of Yelp, which would be perfect for reading in bed or while on vacation.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing the worst spaghetti I’ve ever eaten.

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