File this under ‘so obvious it hurts’.
I recently signed up for Yelp, prompted by both the rise of people in my Twitter timeline using it and the number of local businesses on Twitter starting to smartly engage with customers. I’ve been following some of these businesses and it’s great that they ‘get’ how the interactions work, bringing a real sense of the people behind the business, as well as insights into how they are working, where they get their produce from and so on.
Top tip: If you have a recognisable profile photo on Twitter, you may find you walk into a restaurant and one of the owners walks up to introduce himself because he recognises you.
Since then I’ve found Yelp to be very useful as a tool to discover new places, restaurants, cafes and bars to visit in Glasgow. Despite it being my home city, there are parts of it I don’t know well and, given that I tend to stick to what I know, it’s a great way to break that habit.
Of course the reviews are where the value is and, being the sort of guy who likes to give back I started writing up short reviews of the cafes, restaurants and pubs I’ve visited. Not only has this allowed me to see how often I eat out (too often!) it’s also brought to light the simple fact that, when it comes to writing, if I have a specific topic to write about I can be very efficient.
Since joining Yelp I’ve written 23 reviews, the bulk of those in the past few months. They don’t take me long, but I enjoy the process.
The question is, why the hell don’t I apply that thinking here?
I frequently struggle with what to write about, so much so that I end up not writing anything (or, more likely, starting several things but losing my way and giving up). So I’m going to do some thinking and find some topics to cover here. Suggestions are welcomed.