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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Chinesediner.com and Yelp.com

I set up a web site called Chinesediner.com that was a way to find Chinese Restaurants with reviews and one of my hobbies is eating at Chinese Restaurants, the headache is figuring out which ones are pretty good. I had a couple of hundred restaurants I think in Chinesediner.com, there were some headaches.

Headaches:
  • What happens when a restaurant closes.
  • What do you do when the person who input the information missed info.
  • What happens when the information input is wrong.
  • How do you deal with chains.
  • How do you deal with a shopping plaza that has multiple restaurants.
The above if I am doing the editing can take up a bit of time. When I changed E-Commerce Providers, Chinesediner.com died since it was proprietary and hosted by my previous E-Commerce provider. I had this dream of resurrecting it, but with Yelp that has figured out how to generate a huge amount of reviews and works on my iPhone, I don't see a reason to. Is Yelp perfect - no. The coverage really seems to vary from very good in Rowland Heights to pretty lousy in other areas (like between the Denver Airport and downtown Denver). It also has the problem of dealing with restaurants that get closed. When I was in the Bay Area, the Mercury News for a while had an A+ Restaurant finder, but that seems to have died. There was also a fun site for Southern California that was useful, but died www.dailydiner.com. On my iPhone I also have loaded Urbanspoon that is based on newspaper reviews, but I use Yelp more.

I also have a pretty good collection of restaurant guides/books for the Los Angeles area, unfortunately nobody seems to be publishing them anymore, so the ones I have are getting out of date. I have one called places under $10 bucks which is good, and Jonathan's Golds book is great (but it's weak in the San Gabriel Valley). Doing google searches is another way to find restaurants.

References:

Fortune Cookie Chronicles - Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer Lee

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