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App of the Week: Yelp

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — I have friends who are addicted to FourSquare. Myself, I’d rather Yelp.

Yelp is an app (and corresponding website) that lets you check in to various locations around town, sure. Just like FourSquare, it also assigns “royalty” to certain places — in this case, I’m the duke of the Missouri Mavs. Hold your applause, please.

The truly wonderful feature, though, is that it also comes with reviews of the places. Yelpers aren’t encouraged to just check in to places — they’re encouraged to write reviews of the places to help out other members. For example, part of my review of Cascone’s Grill downtown:

Members can also rate reviews, submit quick tips about their favorite places and brag to their Facebook/Twitter friends about where they are now.

Some businesses offer freebies for folks who check in on Yelp.  Also, Yelp will occasionally throw parties here in town for members — complete with food and drink from local restaurants and companies. Yelp also encourages reviewers to come up with lists — for example — I have a list now of “places I like to take people visiting Kansas City“.

It’s definitely easier to write reviews and research places on the Yelp website, but the mobile app is indispensable for finding good places nearby, sharing your recent experiences with friends, or bookmarking places you liked and want to come back to later. It’s available for all the major smartphone brands.

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