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March 31, 2006

Yelp Bites – Hot personal recommendation site acquires rights to Pets.com Dog Sock Puppet


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – April 1, 2006- Yelp (www.yelp.com), the new personal recommendation site for finding real opinions on everything local, announced today its acquisition of the rights to the Pets.com dog puppet personality. The purchase surprised some industry watchers but was met with widespread appeal from Yelp's widespread community.

"Pets.com might not have done a lot of things right back in the day, but they knew how to create an icon of the times that really spoke to the people. While conducting our own mascot search, the idea of resurrecting their sock puppet dog seemed like a no brainer," said Nish Nadaraja, Yelp's Director of Marketing.

The puppet, voiced and brought to life by comedian Michael Ian Black, was really nothing more than a socket puppet with button eyes and a Timex watch around its neck, but that did not stop millions of adoring fans from falling in love with the lovable creation. The puppet, in fact, gained more fame via commercials and other TV appearances than Pets.com, but was sadly "sent to the dog pound" after the demise of the internet start-up.

Through negotiations with the puppet's agents and representation, a deal was struck in late March 2006 for the "use and likeness of the sock puppet" to become the sole property of Yelp.

Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder of Yelp and owner of his own dog Darwin, had this to say: "In the past we downplayed the canine implications of our name, but after reading some inspirational discussions on our Talk Boards, we realized that the time had come for Yelp to have more of personality. And while I would have liked to have used my own puppy, he wasn't nearly as well trained as need be for something of this caliber."

Yelp’s PR Team has already started the branding process for "Yelpy the Dog" and is expected to start a small to medium sized local TV launch, along with some unique product placement opportunities that are still under wraps.

"The future looks bright for Yelp and Yelpy," quipped Mr. Stoppelman. "We aim to show our competition that our reviewers' barks, or rather opinions, are indeed as strong as their respective bites."

The amount of the purchase was not disclosed.

March 29, 2006

Bring da Noise, Bring da Indie Rock

Posted by Michael Ernst

NoisepopyelpSo, for those about to rock, we salute you. And both Yelp and Noise Pop would like to salute you by giving you a free sampler CD from this year's festival. Yelp was 2006's media sponsor, and as some yelpers noticed, they gave us the back of their CD sleeve for us to yelp at you with. That was awfully nice of them, eh? So, if you decide to head out to any of the shows be sure and snag one before they're gone. Best of all they're free and have some kickass tunes on them from Feist, Calexico and John Vanderslice to name a few...

Did you realize that the official festival kicked off on Monday at Bimbos 365 Club with a rollicking performance by the Flaming Lips? Wayne Coyne and company rocked the velvety club with their unique sound and crazy antics such as confetti and giant balloons for the crowd. What a perfect way to kick off the week. But it's far from over! Take a peek at their schedule to see other bands like The National, Heavenly States, Kid Koala, We Are Scientists and Britt Daniel of Spoon that you may want to check out.

At Yelp we all love our music and we're just happy to be a part of all this. Head out this week, see some shows, shove your fists in the air and tell 'em Yelp sent you.

March 16, 2006

Real Models, Real Reviews

Posted by Michael Ernst

I'm sure by now a lot of you have seen the bright red postcards, bags, posters and ads with our yelpers adorning them. While we lovingly designed these promotions and think the world of the yelpers on this stuff, it's time to get some of you new users up on these things. I mean, you all are the reason that Yelp is what it is today with your great photos and witty reviews. Besides, those other yelpers had their time in the sun, now it's your turn for celebrity status.

So we decided to start up the Real Models, Real Reviews campaign to put you in the Yelp spotlight. So check out the Real Models page for all of the details, but basically we need you to sign up on Yelp (if you haven't already of course) and send us a photo and a quote from one of your reviews to enter the contest.

As the designer here at Yelp I'll be working with Geoff and Jessica to pick not only you yelpers who are photogenic, but also exude the cleverness and Yelp-like quotes to match the photo you submit. So, get writing and start striking a pose in the mirror to get ready for your close up! We'll let you know in early April if we're going get your spot in an ad or on a postcard, so stay tuned...

March 13, 2006

Blue Steel

BusinessWeek Online showed Yelp some love today with this cool story. See Russ and I doing our best interpretation of Derek Zoolander's "Blue Steel".

March 08, 2006

Much Love to Yelpland

There is a lot of Yelp excitement in the air tonight as we deliver more of what you've asked for... In fact, there is an entire Mission burrito-load of new site features! Highlights...

  • Who's similar? Find out which Yelpers share your tastes. Like their reviews? Add them to your Favorite Reviewers list and stay on top of their latest finds.
  • Bling for your blog. Are your reviews and lists ready to venture outside of Yelpland? Then take them to-go!
  • If you liked the little map on business pages, you'll go Yelp-tastic for the fancy-pants map that now replaces it.

And that's just scratching the surface, you'll also find cool changes to your profile, messaging, and even the list builder! Yeah we've been really busy this past month, but don't worry we're not slowing down. Other important improvements you've been requesting are on the way...