Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chron goes after Yelp, Guardian's 'best of'

In 1974, Esquire magazine asked Bruce Brugmann's Bay Guardian for ideas for its "Best of the USA" issue. The Guardian responded with its own "best of" issue where readers voted for their favorite businesses." That edition of the Guardian has grown over the years to the size of a phone book — and every competitor has tried to copy it. "Best of" editions have proliferated in the Bay Area in print and online (Yelp, CitySearch). There have even been allegations that one newspaper cheated by favoring its advertisers in a "best of" contest. Now Hearst Corp., owner of the Chronicle and SFGate.com, has teamed up with a software company, CityVoter, that will put the "best of" contest online.
    "Visitors will come to the BayList to give and get the insider’s scoop on everyday decisions — like best dry cleaners in Potrero Hill, best dim sum in Chinatown, or best place for a spa day in Pacific Heights," said CEO Josh Walker of CityVoter. "The content that users generate during the contest and throughout the year will build the value of this online resource."
New content will be punctuated with other community-driven contests over the next 12 months, according to the Chronicle.

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