Today Yelp was nice enough to note that Dan (left) was similar to me. Eleven percent similar to me, to be precise. It would be hard for someone to be more similar on Yelp (presumably this is figured by like places reviewed). My Yelp reviews cover Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and the Washington Coast. It would be surprising to overlap much more that 11%.
The funny thing is, my friend David Anderson has been telling me I need to meet Dan for the last three years. I think we may have briefly met at a party once, but still hadn't actually sat down for a conversation.
So, David, very central to my social network, didn't spur action to meeting Dan. But Yelp, a tool I'm playing around with, caused immediate action. Again, it's that barrier to action issue. Yelp's level of action was this:
1. Is that Really the same Dan?
2. SMS David for verification.
2a. Receive verification.
3. Pop off a quick private message in Yelp to Dan.
The barrier to entry into Danland was almost infinitesimal. Often the response to this is that now social ties mean less because they are so easy to instantiate. However, what I have now is a tie to Dan that is tangible and shared between both parties. David has advocated I meet Dan for some time, but time and distance have hindered that. Dan and I can now use asynchronous and thin types of conversation (email, yelp messages, etc) to chat a bit before we actually meet for lunch or something.
You can read Jim Benson's yelp reviews here.