Angry small business owners get your keyboards ready — Yelp is going to let you respond to negative comments! This is going to be …. awkward! Oh well, we love a good fight.
From the NYT:
“We think about this as an evolution of the business owners’ communications,” said Geoff Donaker, Yelp’s chief operating officer. “Business owners for years now have been asking for more and more voice on the site. As long as it’s done in a respectable way, it’s good for the consumer and good for the business owner.”
Supposedly, the site will not allow owners to argue or advertise. For example, if you wrote a review complaining that a bar didn’t have a beer that you liked, the owner could respond when they added the beer.
Here’s an example of the sort of business owner who the NYT expects will use the service:
… Peter Picataggio, who owns Tart, a Los Angeles restaurant. He was upset by a one-star review that said that “the turkey meatloaf was gritty and cold and I waited 45 minutes for my second $28 margarita.” Tart’s menu confirms that the restaurant does not serve turkey meatloaf and the most expensive margarita is $25.
Let the bickering begin.