Yelp Gets Big Coverage, Grayboxx Resurfaces

Yelp logo

In both the NY Times and USAToday, Yelp was covered this week. The lead in the Times story about Cafe Rooz in Oakland is based on my earlier post: ‘No Yelpers’ Says One Local Cafe. This is my highest traffic post of all time with over 10,000 views, which is really surprising and interesting (the next highest is an early one about folders for Gmail). Would that I had CPM ads against those page views 🙂 Alas . . .

Meanwhile, Grayboxx (the anti-Yelp) has pulled out of its deal with Bay Advisor and is apparently seeking to create an auction for its technology/IP (according to the never-wrong Andrew Shotland). I had been contacted by co-founder Bob Chandra earlier saying that a specific player in local was potentially buying it. But we’ll see.

Grayboxx didn’t really have the runway to see if it could gain acceptance of its approach. Yelp’s success in the segment, by contrast, is about trust and transparency rather than technology.

Over in travel, UpTake was doing something similar to Grayboxx in creating a proprietary score for hotels but opted instead to show trusted travel brands to build confidence in its system, which was smart. In retrospect this is an approach that Grayboxx should have taken and any would-be buyer should take:
UpTake reviews

You can have your proprietary score but show it side-by-side with other, familar scores until consumers start to trust yours. Then you can showcase your ratings system and bury or downplay the third party sites.

3 Responses to “Yelp Gets Big Coverage, Grayboxx Resurfaces”

  1. Eric Says:

    Greg – The USAToday article says it was ‘Posted 344d ago’… did you mean to link to a different one?

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Moving too quickly. There was another one this week. Couldn’t find it to correct the link.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Fixed the link. Here it is: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/services/2008-05-20-online-reviews_N.htm

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