2019,  Food,  Musings,  Sacramento,  Yelp,  Yelp Elite Event (YEE)

Musings: The Elusive Black Badge

Wait…you don’t know what I’m talking about?!?

Badge, not the card! Does anyone even care about the AMEX black card anymore, anyways? I digress. I’ve been Yelping for N I N E years! Holy shit! That is a lot of time writing reviews. Anything from Khol’s to the newest restaurant to pop up in Sacramento.

Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve Yelped Khol’s, among a slew of other things. At the end of each year, I nominate myself for another year of Yelp elitness. Yes, Yelp allows and encourages you to nominate yourself each year. And so I do, with no shame.

To think, this all started as a bet with an old colleague. We both set out to become Elite in our respective cities, whomever reached Elite status first won. I won, duh! My competitive nature always takes over. TB blamed our locations, Sacramento not being as saturated as his area (I don’t even rememer where he lived at the time). Anywho, that was my entry way into the odd world of Yelping.

Nine years later, I’m here still going. Not strong, but occasionally. I use the app a lot, but I’ve lessened my candence of reviewing. I currently have 830 reviews shared and 1,287 photos uploaded to my Yelp profile.

Hollywood and I at the first YEE of 2019
Photo by Donovan Metcalf

As Yelp has grown over the last nine years, it seems to have really grown in the last two years or so, at least in the Sacramento area. It’s harder to get into Elite events these days and they fill up about 30 seconds after Alex L sends out the invites. It’s a tough Yelp world out there, y’all!

But I’m here, still active, trying for that ellusive black badge in 2020. I’ve reviewed a lot random places, but it always seems as if I have a bunch in my qeue to review at any time. My tactic is to check-in to most places and then it essentially leaves me a list of what I haven’t reviwed yet. I try not to review a place after one visit, unless I know thats probably all I will ever visit. I also call that out if I’m an ‘out-of-towner’ too.

My reviews are lengthy, as are my blog posts. It’s the nature of my writing habits. I do find it hilarious when friends and family say they came across my review(s) when using the app. Of course I ask if they read it. Some do, some don’t. I’m good either way, just curious…by nature.

So yes, I enjoy Yelping. I proudly let my freak flag fly on social media and here. I thought I’d share some Yelp deets, in case you were wondering…

What is a YEE?
A Yelp Elite Event. A Yelp event solely for Elites. At times it will be for certain level of Elites, Gold and Black badges get special, rare invites sometimes. Also, Alex L also does events for new Elites too.

Who is Alex L. you keep referring too?
Alex L. is the Sacramento Community Manager. He works for Yelp and coordinates the events in our area. He works with local businesses and the community on Yelp’s behalf. Him and his staff put on awesome YEEs for us, which usually benefit someone or non-profit in our community.

Is there a specific number of reviews you have to do to be Elite?
No, there is no magical number. You have to be active and be a responsible member of the Yelp community — this is totally in my opinion, I’m sure Yelp has it outlined on their website if you are looking to get more active.

This is all probably more than you ever cared to read about Yelp. HAHA! I get if you don’t want to write a review, but I’d bet that more than 75% of you all have the app on your phone and use it to find places to eat or things to do.

So here I am, working on being a consistent Golden Elite for the rest of 2019, so I can get that special black badge for 2020. I’m putting my Yelp nerd goal out into the world, so I will manifest it when the time comes.

Yelpin’ my way to ten years of eating and writing…

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