Is Yelp Still Strong-Arming Merchants?

For years the complaints about Yelp’s “sales” tactics have been heard. Maybe I am just not paying attention but I thought that had gone away to some extent. Now with Yelp going public and all the positive vibes flying around about the company as an investment it may get even harder to find the reality.

That is until I read this article at SFGate.com entitled “A 1-star, unfiltered user review of Yelp”. It’s written by restauranteur, Bob Larive, whose Fior d’Italia has been around for 125 years so they must be doing something right. He states

As a longtime restaurateur active in the industry and previous board member of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, the California Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association, I think the way Yelp treats businesses and Yelp users doesn’t bode well for it.

New YouTube Features Add Efficiency to Video Viewing

It’s nice to see when a product adds features or services that are truly something to talk about rather than just filler for another lame press release. The folks at YouTube have added three new features to the video viewing service that are truly improvements and will make the service more efficient and useful. Amen.

From the YouTube blog we get the following

Years ago we created a way to link to a certain moment on a video, which let you find, share and comment on just your favorite parts. Now we’re expanding that control even more. Over the coming weeks, you’ll be able to see an image preview or a series of thumbnails with three new features on our video player. So whether you’re sneaking a peek ahead, scanning backwards, or using a thumbnail to find where you stopped watching a video, you’ll soon have three options to instantly look through YouTube videos.

Play Is Latest Consolidation Effort from Google

Google continues its quest to integrate and consolidate the disparate parts that once made up the company. Now the Android Market has been rebranded Google Play and it is the new home for Android Market apps, Google Music and Google ebookstore. The post at Google states

Entertainment is supposed to be fun. But in reality, getting everything to work can be the exact opposite—moving files between your computers, endless syncing across your devices, and wires…lots of wires. Today we’re eliminating all that hassle with Google Play, a digital entertainment destination where you can find, enjoy and share your favorite music, movies, books and apps on the web and on your Android phone or tablet. Google Play is entirely cloud-based so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online, always available to you, and you never have to worry about losing them or moving them again.

Here’s a quick video take as well.

Social Networking Personas: Who Are Your Customers?

“Untangling the Social Web” is a multi-part whitepaper from Integer that attempts to quantify the relationship between social media and business. They just released “Part 3, Social Networking Personas: A Look at Consumer and Shopper Mind-Sets” and it’s loaded with information that can help you sharpen your social media efforts.

The basis of the report is that social media users can be dived into four types: The Bonder, The Sharer, The Professional and The Creator.

Each type comes to social media for a different reason and thus responds to brands in different ways.

The Bonder uses social media to locate old friends and keep in touch with family. Typically, she’s a femle, under 40, and 63% are employed. For her, it’s all about the relationships. She’s checking Facebook first thing in the morning and often throughout the day so she’s always there to support a friend having a bad day or cheer for a cousin who got a promotion.

Grammar Tips to Avoid Looking Silly in Social Media

I talk a lot about my awful habit of publishing typos. I say this mainly to remind myself that I must think about it more seriously thus avoiding the embarrassment of being called out by readers. Typos don’t reflect well on a writer or a blog. It’s that simple.

Another area that is butchered in the online space, especially in social media, is grammar. While you may not think it is important in the larger scheme of things I would beg to differ. I see common grammatical errors every day and they make me cringe.

Apparently the folks at Copyblogger have had enough as well. They, along with the BlueGlass infographic team, have put together a helpful chart to help you avoid looking like you may be a bit under ed-u-ma-cated. Enjoy.

Exp’d SMB Seeks Newbie for Profitable Relationship

Exp’d SMB Seeks Newbie for Profitable Relationship

If interested, come to my restaurant at noon and you can buy lunch.

When it comes to hyperlocal advertising, 49% of small business owners said they do it to find new customers. The data comes from Street Fighter and eMarketer put together this nice chart so you can see it at a glance:

Every business needs new customers and not just to grow. Some businesses need new customers just to stay afloat. Retailers that deal in baby goods need a constant supply of new parents. Textbook dealers rely on a new crop of college students every year.

Perfect 10′s Lawsuit Against Google is a Bust!

It’s a bit of a slow news day so let’s take a look at something from the “This is not a good business model” file.

It seems that that Perfect 10 which is a former publisher of smut has decided that they will try to sue everyone. Hey, it keeps the overhead down (since your only employee is a low life lawyer or two) and if you hit it big (pathetic pun completely unintended) you can hit the jackpot and ride off into the sunset with your unearned earnings. Nice story, huh?

Well, fortunately it looks like cooler legal heads are prevailing. A Google victory has been upheld in this process (at least in one court) and the implications for others, including the likes of Pinterest, could be wide ranging. Mike Masnick of techdirt reports