One of the best things about the Internet is that it’s a great equalizer, enabling just about anyone to have a voice. The most potent demonstration of this egalitarianism is the review culture that the Web has spawned.
Now, with the Internet, just about any product or service can be reviewed by the people that matter most in the production and consumption cycle, the user. Criticism is no longer only within the purview of critics, and, as such, no matter who you are, you can submit a review so that others can read when they’re looking to purchase an item or patronize any business.
The best part about the reviewing culture on the Web is that it spawns a community feeling and brings people closer together, especially when it comes to reviewing local establishments. Here are a few sites to check out if you want to voice your opinion about a specific place, or you want to find out what are the most acclaimed spots to visit in any given location.
Yelp is perhaps one of the most visible and well-known user review sites out on the Web today. Members can rate and review restaurants, businesses, entertainment venues, as well as other establishments like schools, museums, and more. Yelp is unique in that it also functions as a social networking tool, and has built a cohesive community following over the years.
Citysearch is another very popular review site whose main competitor is Yelp. Along with providing details about local business and enabling a platform for user reviews, Citysearch also periodically publishes its “Best of” rankings. Editors suggest categories and users can vote on the best business for a particular category.
3. Angie’s List
Unlike most local business review sites, Angie’s List focuses on services instead of hotels, bars, and restaurants. Angie’s List specialties include contractors for home fix-its and health care professionals. This site does require members to subscribe for a fee, but according to the company, the fees makes the information supplied on the site more reliable. Members can also inquire about services via fax or phone, as well as receive its monthly award-winning magazine with consumer tips and more.
4. Insider Pages
Like Angie’s List, the focus of Insider Pages is more on services than on eating and drinking establishments, although it does have a sampling of everything. Insider Pages is now owned by City Search although the two operate on different sites.
These are just a few user review sites that enable you to find the best that your local area has to offer. They are also useful if you are traveling in an unfamiliar city. For business owners, visiting these websites is a great way to assess how you can improve your business based on honest customer feedback.
This guest post is contributed by Alvina Lopez, who writes on the topics of accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com.