Blogger’s Block – No Burgers, No Web 2.0, Just Wiki

Grrrr! I can’t seem to find anything Web 2.0 related to write about. At least nothing recent. So…

Food News:
Rougue States in Dupont Circle, one of my favorite places to nom, closed down because white-collar curmudgeons didn’t like grease fumes seeping into their Armani suits. That’s pretty interesting in my opinion (although it makes me upset that such a fine burger place is getting taken off of the menu in the restaurant that is DC). I guess I’ll have to go to north Dupont to BGR, or wait for Go Burger to open up right across the street later this year.

 

Web 2.0 News:
Other than that I’ve been reading up on the history of Wikis and the emergence of the masses taking over where the encyclopedia professionals left off – in small circles huddled around hard-cover books mumbling about changes that won’t take place until the next decade.

It sounds dramatic, yes, but this is the impression I got from the stories about how Wikipedia sprung up in 2001; a cheeky experiment to see if an encyclopedia made by anyone could help with the creation of new articles for an encyclopedia made by  professionals. As it would turn out, Wikipedia ended up being the better option.

Why? To put it succinctly, it’s because Wikipedia had more contributors who wanted the site to succeed than detractors who wanted the site to fail or become a fortress of rebellion and naughty language.  This behavior is much akin to how neighborhoods work try to stay prim and perfect. The thought is that the more people care about the neighborhood, the less likely it’ll turn into a “bad” neighborhood with crime. Of course this is a very large generalization and doesn’t take into consideration socio-economic status, race, class, etc..

However, it seems to be working when all these things are not involved. If you’re a dog with broadband, no one else gives a crap whether your a dog (just don’t forget to cite your sources…and pick up your dog crap from my lawn).

Insightful Thought in 3…2…1…
The ability Wikipedia has in kicking the ass of the professional and giving power to the “people” is only due to the fact that the user community has a vested interest in what the site represents and what their thoughts represent (which is the historical record of mankind). This is how Yelp works as well. The power of Yelp is created by the user community. In the end, just like in your neighborhood, the actions of the community are as narcissistic as they are noble. Picking up trash in your neighborhood and mowing your lawn are acts that make both you and your neighborhood look like nice places to hang your hat. Multiply that by 100 and form it into PTA meetings with bake sales and boring late night Wednesday meetings and you have yourself an aware  public who’s looking out for the best interests of the place you call home.

Random Thought in 3…2.

Hey, weren’t we talking about burgers?

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Yelp Finally Unveils App for Blackberry

For those of you who haven’t heard, earlier today Yelp finally unveiled an app for Blackberry users. The existing Yelp app that was recently updated to 2.0 was only for those hip enough to own an iPhone. Unfortunately for us business squares (or wannabe business posers) the land of instantaneous restaurant recognition was one that could not be reached.

Thankfully, with Yelp’s new GPS-enabled divining rod of sorts, the guy with the power tie can finally find the best power breakfast without missing a beat.

yelpapp

Bar Hopping Made Easy

Here’s the rundown of the app:

The Yelp app knows where you are based on your position on the planet, which is triangulated using satellites and cell towers that communicate with the Blackberry (who I’ll call Barry). Because of this union between Barry and space debris, the Yelp app can give you a good idea of what places have been reviewed in your vicinity. It seems to cover about a half a mile (basically reasonable walking distance). This is the first (and coolest) function of the Yelp app. It’s called Nearby.

The second function is Search. Obviously enough, it searches for reviewed places within in your vicinity or any other city you desire and saves recent searches (just in case you used the app to get shwasted).

The third function, Recent,  seems a bit redundant to the untrained idiot (I mean eye) but actually provides you with the recent choices you’ve made from using Nearby instead of telling you the recent places you’ve searched for via analog thumb typing.

Cons

The default first four categories that you see when you open the app are Restaurants, Bars, Coffee & Tea, and Drugstores (including a pretty nifty Hot On Yelp category). It’s great that they provide you with a More Options category, which directs you to (you guessed it) more categories to choose from, but I would like to have the option of customizing which categories are in my top four. I would go for Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, and No Assholes (oh how I wish that were possible).

Also, I don’t have GPS on my phone and this may be the reason why my location is off by a block, but seriously, what douchebag would complain about that?! The fact that I can still get my current location down to a block is a hell of a lot better than the annoying, battery-sucking guesswork of the Google Maps app!

The biggest con of all though has to be the lack of review writing. I can blog on my phone. I should be able to Yelp too.

Pros

Bar hopping just got a lot easier and the question of “where do you want to eat?” and “what’s good around here?” asked by your significant other doesn’t have to be as painful as it once was.  Problem solved!

You get to look like a real know-it-all and never have to deal with painfully slow downloads because you forgot the Yelp mobile web address.

Excuse me while I point my divining rod thataway

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