Members of Yelp's Elite Squad like [Ed] Uyeshima are an essential part of the website's operations. The site's most prolific reviewer has written more than 8,000 of those reviews.
Uyeshima, 54, a digital marketing guru at a San Francisco mutual fund firm, does it for free.Not exactly.
In exchange, he receives invites to exclusive parties (from Mad Men-themed cocktail hours to booze-fueled scavenger hunts), free stuff (T-shirts, Yelp lip balm) and that certain kind of celebrity that comes with being a part of the food-world cognoscenti.
"Reviewing is really part of my identity," he said. "Yelp is almost like a diary. I find my reviews are a reflection of who I am."Like millions of amateur golfer/duffers, softball players, knitters, mountain climbers, butterfly chasers....
So, naturally someone decides to involve the law;
Yelp’s Elite Squad is made up of prolific reviewers who drive traffic to Yelp in exchange for invites to exclusive parties, free stuff, and the kind of status that comes with being renowned within small, niche communities.
But a new lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles federal court claims such compensation is simply not enough.
The suit, Lily Jeung et al v. Yelp Inc. claims that Yelp Elite members should be paid for writing review content for the online directory site, just as Yelp Scouts and Ambassadors are paid. A similar suit filed by the same lead plaintiff against Yelp was dismissed in February.Here's an idea; let's leave free citizens alone to pursue their happiness as they define it. Rather than sue someone else who is making money running a business through mutually beneficial agreements, start your own business.
That's nicer, no?