Yelp Reviews And Their Filtering Process

It’s sometimes interesting how things come full circle; well, at least half circle. I’ve been introduced to a concept that I hadn’t really thought would or could occur, but in retrospect I believe I might have thought about it and just didn’t think all that much about it until now. Confused? Let me get more specific.

In yesterday’s post that talked about being positive while pointing out negative things, I shared a review I’d written on a local restaurant. In that article, I mentioned how I found it interesting that the bad reviews for the restaurant had been hidden and only one good review was showing, but that I’d found the bad reviews anyway.

That review site is called Yelp, and truthfully, I’d never heard of them before looking for the reviews on the restaurant in question. It turns out, through another friend mentioning it to me, that they have a process of filtering out reviews and only showing what they believe are “proper reviews”. In essence, I came across this video, which is also on their site, which explains their filtering process.

At the same time another local friend of mine, a lady named Trisha Torrey, sent me an article she wrote on Yelp that explained how not everything you see on their site is accurate either. It seems that, according to her, they’ll contact business and, for a fee, remove the bad stuff in some fashion, only leaving good things. In her case she’d seen some physicians that had received bad reviews and suddenly those things were gone. She also mentioned, in another article, how not seeing all reviews alters a potential consumers perception of whether a physician is good or bad, and of course that argument extends to other types of reviews as well. By the way, the comments on the second article are pretty interesting as well; obviously some folks missed the point of the article.

Whereas I understand Yelp and what it’s trying to do, I think the implications are questionable across the board. Their position is thus:

1) We know some reviews are fake and we want to catch those
2) We know some reviews are spur of the moment and thus are skewed
3) We believe that people who use our website over and over are far more valuable than other reviews because they put up a profile so we know who they are

Not a bad position overall. But here’s the downside:

1) Just because a person only writes one review doesn’t invalidate the bad behavior, nor support the good behavior
2) Filtering leaves you open to be suspected of nefarious behavior, whether you do what people suspect or not
3) You already have a process where people have to create an account so they can leave their review; shouldn’t that be enough?

I’ve been told by a few people that I should write a review on both Yelp and Trip Advisor about what happened. Based on questions about Yelp, I don’t fully know that I can trust them to leave my review up. Trip Advisor is another issue entirely. They don’t even have the restaurant listed, so I’d have to jump through hoops to get them listed, then go back and write a review. Frankly, I’m not that mad, and I think my initial restaurant review stands on its own for now. At least I know I can’t be bought off, and if I’m asked to remove it we all know it ain’t happening.

Now that I’ve written this it begs the question as to what we can believe and trust when we read reviews on sites like this. And that’s too bad, because I’m sure many sites give us the truth, but now they’re all up for being questioned. What do you think?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2015 Mitch Mitchell

How Do You Review?

A couple of nights ago I watched a documentary called Heckler, which was put together by Jamie Kennedy of The Kennedy Experiment fame. It was all about criticism and heckling of entertainers and how they deal with it mentally, physically, and emotionally.


Jamie Kennedy

Yeah, I know, you’re thinking mentally and emotionally are the same thing but they’re not in my context. Mentally is when you’re thinking about it later on and how it affects you in the long run. Emotionally is how you deal with it then and there, in the heat of the moment. Michael Richards is a perfect example of a guy who one bad night let his emotions get to him in a bad way, and look at how he’s had to deal with it mentally ever since.

There were some interesting things he did with this documentary. He talked to a lot of entertainers, mainly comedians, on the subject of heckling. He had lots of clips showing how some of these people reacted in public. Only one guy hit someone, but one guy got pelted with lots of garbage and another guy told the story of being cold cocked by a guy who heckled him and got insulted from the stage right back. Barbra Streisand’s in it yelling something back at a heckler, and some movie director named Uwe Boll actually dared some critics to fight him in a boxing match; he beat every single one of them up, one guy so bad he was vomiting for a long time afterwards. I don’t know why, but I actually enjoyed that.

But the most interesting thing he did was take many of the bad reviews he received for the movie Son of Mask (didn’t see it) to the people who wrote them, read the reviews in front of them, and asked them why they were so cruel.

His point was that as critics, none of them offered anything constructive, and in almost every case they made personal statements about him in general. A few backed down, a couple said it wasn’t personal (please) and a few were actually happy they’d gotten a rise out of him. One guy in particular said it was his goal to get known by any means possible, and the ruder he could be to someone the better he liked it. Yeah, I thought that guy was a punk.

It make me go back through some of my review posts on this blog to see just how bad I might have been here and there. I noticed that for the most part I’ve been really easy on things I didn’t like. Lucky for me, I like a lot more things than I don’t like; that’s a pretty nice life to have, right?


The only times when I’ve been a bit more brusque than other times is when it was personal. For instance, my last review of Demand Studios wasn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever said here, yet in comparison to reviews by other people it was fairly sedate. I also believe my responses to the couple of people who wrote in support of them was fair and measured as well.

When I wrote my review of the movie Skyline, a movie that greatly disappointed me, I didn’t go after any of the actors in the movie, but rather the breakdown on the script of the movie itself. There wasn’t anything I thought was overly mean or malicious, just truthful.

I think the only time I got really mean was when I was having a fight with the people from some place that I’m not going to name, but it was all about Akismet and involved some other folks as well. To date it’s the only post of mine where I actually deleted comments because some were threatening, and I did a test and found that the email addresses used were all fake; wasn’t having that either.

Goodness, I was even relatively nice (relatively that is) when I wrote a post supporting our friend Sire when he was having a debate with someone over something that, in the long run, was not only stupid, but proved to be accurate regarding commenting. It was a little bit snarky at the time, but even the guy I wrote about stopped by and understood my point, which shows it couldn’t have been all that bad.

Here’s the thing. There are people we don’t like for whatever reason, but there’s no reason to be over the top or mean about it. For instance, there’s a lot of hate I see being directed at this kid Justin Bieber. The thing is he’s only 16 years old; any adult saying nasty things about a 16 year old should be ashamed of themselves. Saying you don’t get his music is one thing; after all, we’re older and it’s not for us. Saying things about his appearance or anything else should be off limit.

I hated when professionals were piling on this young lady below, Janet Evancho, when she was doing opera on one of those TV talent shows. They were saying she didn’t have the chops and wasn’t fully trained as an opera singer. Folks, she’s 10 Years Old! I thought she was fabulous, and in this day and age when many types of classical music aren’t as popular as they once were because more kids want to listen to newer music, one would think these folks would be encouraging her instead of bashing her. So she has an album and you don’t tough!

I guess here’s my main point. Saying “you stink” doesn’t help anyone. Saying “I didn’t like it and here’s why”, then actually telling why, does help to a degree. I’ve had my critics. I wrote in my business newsletter days ago a story on when I wrote my first newsletter I sent it out to a lot of people to get their opinion on it, and anyone who actually made a comment commented on the look and format of the newsletter and not one person commented at all on what I’d written. In that instance I wasn’t helped at all since that’s what I was interested in hearing about.

I’m not saying don’t criticize things when you get irked. I certainly did when I had issues with a plugin that it seems a lot of people liked. But if you’re going to write some type of criticism, either temper yourself a little bit of make sure you do something like this. Now there’s a review! 😉

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2012 Mitch Mitchell

December Income Report – Something To Build On For 2010

At least I can say that December was better than November. Actually, my December income was higher than October also, so maybe I should just shut up. But I really have to drastically increase these numbers in 2010, and I need to get it done quickly, though not necessarily through this blog. But this blog should be generating something, I figure, so some changes will be made.

First, the income numbers:

Adsense – $60.04
Commission Junction – $5.17
Infolinks – $14.84
Firetrust – $14.97
Voxant – $.01
Grand Total – $95.03

So, I made just under $100, which means I was under average for the year. This doesn’t bode well for my 2010 goals, but so be it; we all have to start somewhere, right?

First, you’re probably wondering where the income is from the book I helped promote, Beyond Blogging. I got one person who signed up under me as an affiliate, but that’s as far as it went. I don’t even know if anyone clicked on any of the links, to tell you the truth. All I know is that I didn’t make any sales, though I said I’d consider my part as being successful if there were even 3 sales. No problem; I’m still going to list the book over there on the side for awhile.

Second, I think it’s time for some physical changes to this blog on how I’m advertising things. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do, but I do know that some of the affiliate ads you see now will be removed. There will still be a product or link of some kind at the end of each post, with more products than in the past, and more links to products within a post if something fits. Unfortunately, products don’t always have anything to do with the post, and I’m not going to try to be conscious enough to do that because, well, that just ain’t me. I also want to concentrate on finding more ways of driving traffic to my products, which you see here, but I know that I’m going to have to change up those sales pages to draw more visitors from search engines as well.

Third, I know I’m going to do something with both my Reviews of Everything and Services & Stuff sites, where I’m going to create more sales pages within both of those. My Reviews site will have reviews of some of the affiliate programs I have, since I know something about many of them, and when I review a product, I’m going to make sure to only advertise that product on a page. That will make a lot more sense than what I’ve previously done.

Fourth, my medical billing site is still my biggest Adsense producer, while my anti-smoking site has generated almost nothing, but my medical billing site used to generate way more money than it is now. I’m not sure if Infolinks has taken away from that, but one would hope that the two together would at least equal what I was making before.

No matter. I have big financial goals for my online activities this year, and I figure that my January report has to show at least an increase of 50% over this month to even make me think I have a chance on increasing finances. What you can still believe in, though, is that I still won’t be writing any paid posts, that I won’t be recommending anything I haven’t checked out first, and that I’ll be telling y’all what the heck I’m doing while trying to move forward.

And with that, onward and upward!

The Munsters Munster Koach and Dragula L.E. Tin Model Kit

The Munsters Munster Koach and Dragula L.E. Tin Model Kit

Price – $37.99






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2016 Mitch Mitchell

How Much Do I Write?

At the time I was originally asked this question about how much I write, I thought it was an odd question. My initial inclination was to say that I’m always writing, but that’s not necessarily the case. I do write a lot, but not all of it is what I’ll call creative writing. That being writing my blogs, writing my articles, working on my book, writing for webpages, etc. But most of it is. I thought I’d talk about it a little bit here, just so y’all can see what I do with myself most of my days, unless I happen to be on the road consulting somewhere.

Let’s start with my blogs. You can easily see how much I write here. The first full year of this blog I wrote 300 posts. At the clip I’m going now, it’s going to probably come in around 275 for the year, as my anniversary date is the 12th. I just hit my 200th post on my finance blog, Top Finance Blog and on the anniversary date I wrote post #201. On my business blog, Mitch’s Blog, I just wrote post #622 earlier today, and I’ve had that blog just over 4 years, which means I average about 150 posts a year for that blog; not too shabby if you ask me. So, all told, that’s over 600 blog posts a year.

Next, my newsletters. I write two newsletters, one on general business issues, the other on health care billing issues. I’ve been writing them since 2003. I put the first one out every 2 to 3 weeks, which means at a minimum 18 a year, and the second one, because it takes more time, I write maybe 5 or 6 a year. Each one is a minimum of 800 words, often getting near 1,500 words each.

I write blogs for other people. At this point I’m writing 3 other blogs, each one getting at least 200 words, but y’all know me; how often am I writing anything less than 350 words? Those are all at 20 articles a month.

I’ve been writing articles for other people. My main client has me writing 27 articles a week, almost all of them at least 400 words. One of my other clients has me writing one article a week of around 500 words. I write articles for two other websites that I’m not going to mention here and average 3 to 4 articles at each a week.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m subscribed to around 200 blogs or so. I’m starting to whittle that number down because some folks aren’t talking about things that are keeping me as interested anymore, plus it’s really time consuming trying to keep up with that many blogs, as you can imagine. Being kind of a news junkie, I also read a lot of news sources each day, plus research for articles has me reading even more material. Anyway, I make it a job, so to speak, to comment on at least 5 blogs a day, but some days it can go as high as 30. I don’t write one line comments because that would be disingenuous, and only comment when I have something to say, but I also know that blog commenting is what helps drive traffic to your own blog.

I write articles and other things for my other websites, some of which I’ve talked about here before. I try to write one new articles every couple of weeks for my medical billing site, Medical Billing Answers. I need to write more articles for my reviews site, Reviews of Everything, and I now have a different perspective on how writing reviews could lead to product sales, thanks to these ladies at Affiliate Blog Online, and at my anti-smoking site Smoke Not So Much. I should be adding more articles to my other site Services and Stuff, articles, which actually has a few of those articles being read often, and is my own ezine article exchange that I should be taking more advantage of. By the way, anyone else who’d like to have an article listed on that site, contact me.

I’m also always writing outlines for projects I’m either planning or am working on. For instance, last week I gave a presentation at a medical billing meeting here in town, and I put together an extensive outline for the presentation, which lasted a week. Sometimes I have even more writing that has to come out of those presentations. For instance, when I gave my presentation this summer that resulted in the webinar I’m marketing at the top left of this blog on social media, that came out of an outline I had to write.

And finally, I think, my books and stuff. I’m working on a detective story and, of all things, an advice book for young people. The second was supposed to be a joint project, but it looks like I’ll be doing it all on my own at this point. There was another story also that was supposed to be a joint project that I think, once I get extra time, I’ll be writing that one on my own also. And I have two more ideas for websites that aren’t even at the outline stage yet, as I’m trying to determine how I’d like to work it and what I’d actually put on it and whether I believe anyone would actually come to it.

All that, and the occasional request for other articles and such, and I’m kind of a writing fool. Oh yeah, I didn’t mention the forums, Twitter, Facebook, the 150 emails a day that I actually download and respond to as opposed to the hundreds of others that I eliminate through Mailwasher every day; oy!

Is it fair to say that writing is my life? How do I get it all done? Well, some days I plan it out, and other days I just wing it. But I never miss a deadline; my credibility is always on the line in that respect. And yeah, at times it’s pretty hard work. But I don’t think I’d want to have it any other way, at least right now.

TimeLife.com

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016-2017 Mitch Mitchell