“Urbanspoon Serves Up Innovative Web Monitoring for Restaurateurs” My First Post for Schneider Associate’s Launch PR Blog



Urbanspoon Serves Up Innovative Web Monitoring for Restaurateurs


Each week, Frank Bruni and Nick Fox use their refined writing and expert palates to dissect dining for New York Times Online readers. Meanwhile, a Culinary Fool uses Flickr shots and a modest yet engaging personal blog page to digest the best local fare for Seattle diners. Urbanspoon, a small Web startup, harnesses the wisdom of seasoned and freshman foodies alike to help diners locate the best restaurants. Aside from the obvious time-saving benefits this mashup offers to users, Urbanspoon may also offer restaurateurs and marketers a unique platform to manage online buzz about their brands.


Since the birth of the Semantic Web, site developers are able to easily integrate and combine information from a variety of online platforms. The budding business of mashup results in a rise of one-stop-shopping sites that save consumers time previously spent surfing several different platforms to find information on one topic. Urbanspoon aggregates online restaurant reviews from local newspapers, blogs, forums, comment boards and professional review sites, and serves them up in a centralized hub. Urbanspoon users can vote on reviews, leave comments and check out the best, newest and most buzzed-about restaurants. Interactive tools also allow users to rank their favorite eateries and the new Urbanspoon Facebook application allows users to share these favorites with friends.


While this site primarily offers consumers the ability to review comprehensive dining information, it offers restaurateurs and marketers the ability to effortlessly track pickup and online buzz happenings around a brand and its competitors in an expanding range of media. Rather than just monitoring pickup in major publications, Urbanspoon allows us to monitor small personal pages and on-site feedback from users. There is even an option to proactively add a restaurant profile or edit the on-site profile of a restaurant if a user or communications team finds inaccurate data.


Led by Ethan Lowry, Adam Doppelt and Patrick O’Donnell, the site is a proven and formidable force in the restaurant industry. Still in its first year since public launch, Urbanspoon attracts more than 1.5 million monthly page views and 500,000 unique visitors each month.


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