Dave Reviews OC Yelp Reviews, Part 9

Categories: Review Reviews
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Happy New Year! Won't you make a resolution this year to suck less in your Yelp reviews?

Luckily for Yelpers, Christmas and New Year's Day fell on Tuesdays this year; the blithering goons who infest that corner of the Internet had two whole weeks to abuse good sense and the English language.

Now that we're a week into 2013, though, the Red Pencil Diaries are back with a vengeance. This week we've got self-declared experts, people who write bizarre updates to reviews, people who cadge invitations into the much-ballyhooed Yelp Elite, people who sound like shills (whether they are or not), and much more.

Wil C.'s 3-star review of the Yard House:

There's some backstory here that wasn't apparent until I clicked all the way through: the Yard House went through one of its periodic, corporate-driven menu overhauls, and it removed Wil C.'s favorite dish, so he went on Yelp and complained, which is a surprisingly effective way to go about getting the attention of a large corporate chain restaurant. The restaurant's social media watchers contacted him and walked him through the menu, and he tried it three months later and wrote a 5-star review.

That, at least, is what I'm assuming the backstory is, because the review itself is impenetrable in its English errors. It's fine to be a non-native speaker of English writing on Yelp, but it helps to emphasize what should be an ironclad rule of re-reviews on Yelp: always, ALWAYS write a sentence or two referring to your previous review or any backstory.

Also, don't create publicly visible groups with names trying to wheedle your way back into the Yelp Elite. It's awkward, and those of us who aren't rolling our eyes are embarrassed for you; you sound like the high school nerd who tries to get into the party. (Trust me, I know from experience.)

Nina S.'s 5-star review of Posch:

Restaurants have little recourse when angry Yelpers converge on them. Sure, they can write responses, but they often come across as hand-wringing and aren't nearly as visible as the original, often fiery rant. It's tempting to just try and temper the ratings (remember, Yelp is really only useful as an aggregate) by hinting to people that Yelp is out there for their use.

Now, I am not making accusations here, though most of the reviews for the place are 1-star: for all I know, Nina S. had a fantastic time at Posch and was inspired to join Yelp just to write about it. I've never set foot; I can't even say what the rating should be. So, too, I suppose, could the same inspiration have come to Charlie B., Lana N., Cory G., Amir M., and others who have only one or two reviews. I'll say this, though, after a decade of spotting shills on Chowhound: if these are authentic reviews, then they need to read a little bit less like an ad. Learn to write a positive review!

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