Feb.14, 2008

This is a very simple site, on the verge of getting a little less simple. I live in Chicago. I write reviews of places I've been, businesses I've patronized or witnessed in action, events I've enjoyed or maybe I wish I had missed. I post them, and you see them appear on the profile you're about to visit.

If you'd like to see what others thought, a link at the top of each review will take you to a page of reviews of whatever it was that I was reviewing. While not all of my reviews are of places or events to be found in Chicago, most of them are, and most of those that aren't are likely to be in the Chicago area, for the obvious reason that not having my own private jet, I tend to be found in my own metropolitan area. A lot. I mean, a real lot. (At the time of this writing, I haven't been outside of the Chicago metropolitan area since 2006, and even at that, I was only in Milwaukee). There's your local interest - and the reason why this is appearing on the Chicago rings.

Yelp allows for the insertion of links into reviews,in a very crude format: each url one submits turning into a link. I mentioned that this site was about to become less simple; that option will make this possible. There are a few photo hosting services ... Flickr (where I already have an account), Zoomr and others. I am going to do little photoessays about the places I visit, upload them - sometimes on this site and sometimes to the photo hosting site - with narrative and appropriate links (including "finish" and "my Yelp profile") in the caption, with the chain of photo pages leading back to my Yelp review.

When you decide that you'd like to return to your ring, just return to my profile. It will be the link labelled "Joseph D." (Yelp truncates last names) with this icon appearing next to it

[ You can click on the icon, too ]

and should be on the top of the review page, if you reach it via one of my links. If not, because you've wandered around, the icon is distinctive enough that you shouldn't have any trouble recognizing it. When you've returned to my profile, you'll see a link to "my blog or website". Not surprisingly, that will be your way back home, to a page where you'll find your navbar because there is no sense in reloading all of this just to go back to a ring, and a link back to this page if you feel homesick? Some people are interesting, but I do try to oblige.

April 11, 2009

I came across an alleged interview with one of the owners of Yelp, in which said owner responded to accusations of censorship on his service, and of something bordering on extortion. Unnamed restaurant owners in San Francisco are said to have come forward, and said that in exchange for their sponsorship, Yelp would agree to move the reviews favorable to their restaurants toward the top of the review pages for their places of business. At about the same time, users were complaining about reviews vanishing off of their pages. While I'm not convinced that these people are telling the truth, I'm not convinced that they're lying, either.

I just don't know.

What I do know is that the explanation given for the disappearance of those posts wasn't very reassuring. Yelp is said to have been using automated spam checking - the very same sort of technology that Google (with its far larger, better funded and highly regarded staff) has had such problems over at Blogger - taking one very rash step that Google did not. While Google allowed its softward to lock blogs, Yelp is said to have set its system so that the artificial intelligence program checking for spam would be able to delete posts. Those whose posts were (according to the users) wrongly deleted often said that the Yelp staff said that individual posts could not be recovered. If this is not a misquote, then Yelp, by its own account, conducted its affairs, if not criminally, then at least carelessly.

Yelp doesn't seem to be denying that (aside from the comment about carelessness) that this is what they said, so I've decided to make a backup for my posts on Yelp, just in case a few of them should be lost, either through conscious censorship or machine error. I've set up space on Vox, where copies of my posts to Yelp will be duplicated, with addition content eventually being added - a small blog about the day I'm having as I visit these places, including some photographs of the places I review and discuss, and a little free association.

December 16, 2011

I have mirrored this site on Webring Webspace and Goodluckwith.us / 1FreeHosting. If this site should be running slowly, you might want to switch to using one of its mirrors.

Note: This is not the original location of this site. I had to move off of the original location after my original host suddenly vanished, without warning. It is my hope that Freeservers will have a lot more staying power, which I think it will. Community Architect companies tend to be stable, and this one has been around for a while.

I hope you'll enjoy my little site, which includes pages to be found at this location on Yelp, this one on Typepad and this one on Blog.com, if you'd like to continue. If not, the navbar is a few lines below where you are at present. Yes, right there.

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