2020,  Food,  Musings,  Yelp

Musings: The Elusive Black Badge Is MINE!

I can’t believe I’ve been Yelping longer than TEN years!

Remember last year when I was talking about earning the elusive black badge? I’ve been impatiently waiting since January 1 for the coveted email saying I was a Yelp Elite for 2020.

I waited and waited. I text a good friend about it. My co-worker and I talked about it. He even went as far as emailing our Community Manager (CM) to ask when the announcement would be made. We did learn our CM was on vacation until January 6, so I figured we wouldn’t hear until after that. Most of January 6 came and went, so I had given up. Then I randomly looked at Yelp in the later afternoon and what did I see? My shiny NEW black badge.

Yes, I’m totally nerding out about this somewhat exclusive group of people who write about and photograph their food. We also make people wait to eat to get the best pic. We drag family and friends to new spots so we can try them. We deliberately spend our time reviewing our experiences. It’s funny because we don’t make money doing this. We do, however, get invited to some pretty fun events. Normal events, but also events that are different and exclusive at times too.

No, I don’t work for Yelp, nor do I get paid for supporting their business. I just like to be a Yelper. Their Elite program is cool and I also enjoy being a part of it. Obviously.

Nothing changes even though I earned my new shiny black badge. There may be a couple of events for just black (and gold) badges, but otherwise, it’s the same as it is every year. I just like the validation that some people are enjoying my food and adventure musings and pics.

I said it before, but I probably will be less active now that I have the black badge. I wasn’t as active last year, but I still have a process. I bookmark everything I want to try locally and when I travel. It is also a good reminder of what I can Yelp at later dates. I also check-in in most places, except the ones I frequent regularly. They also have an algorithm that tells you where you’ve checked in too, which is another way to remind yourself what still needs to be Yelped.

What started as a bet has turned into at least a decade long hobby. Who would have imagined it would have elevated to this? My friends continue to tease me about it and love to tell our servers I am Yelp Elite while I squirm in my seat. While I don’t really like it when they do that, I also enjoy that they still support my silly Yelp antics and can laugh about it with me.

Happy Yelping, y’all!

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