Backed by Max Levchin, co-founder of Paypal, Yelp! is a service that allows you to find, share and manage recommendations for local services from people that you know.
Most online local services sites are not that useful, basically just an online version of the Yellow Pages. In fact, until this year, Dex, one of the major suppliers of local listings, did not even have search.
Google and Yahoo have embryonic local services sites but Yelp adds persistence and reach to the word of mouth process, which is the way most people find local businesses. It’s a marketplace worth more than the entire online advertising market at $14Bn in the US and $40Bn worldwide and so is starting to attract a great deal of interest.
Add Yelp to Yahoo and Google local, Citysearch and Craigslist and an interesting space is shaping up.
Its akin ot what we’ve bene thinking of as PIN-News.