Top speakers and candid talk filled Steve Espinosa’s Local Search Summit held today in conjunction with SES San Jose. Running from stage to stage, I had the chance to check out at least the second half of it.
Tech A-lister Jason Calacanis gave a quality interview with Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, revealing among other things that Yelp will soon integrate real-time feeds, a la Twitter. This will likely take the form of short real-time reviews or experiences of restaurants and local businesses. This will supplement the longer form reviews the site is known for while feeding general demand for real-time, feed-based microblogging.
Stoppleman also mentioned that Yelp has reached 7 million total reviews — figure I hadn’t heard before. The perennial issue of dealing with inflammatory reviews also came up — mostly diffused by Stoppleman’s claim that this is a combination of media play and selective memory. In reality, most reviews are middle of the road and 85 percent of reviews have a 3 star rating or higher.
The subsequent panel featured Facebook, the big three search engines (or two search engines and a “decision engine” if you prefer) and Andrew Shotland. This group likewise projected that real-time conversation feeds about local businesses will soon supplement the more static local business information they currently serve. This is a concept we’ve explored a few times, and we expect to see more of it soon.
Update: David Mihm has a great (much more detailed) recap of the entire day, including announcements from Google’s Ari Bezman about the elusive topic of the Local Business Center’s “Whitelist.”