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Making local reviews meaningful



One issue we face with PlaceShout, our short-form local reviews site, is that many of the shoutouts may not be relevant to you. If you haven’t been to Nihon in San Francisco, you can’t agree or disagree with Natasha’s shoutout: “Swanky whiskey bar/restaurant. Food was good-small plate Japanese and sushi”.

We recently implemented “Shoutouts You Might Be Interested” functionality to make it more relevant.

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Nightly, we scan our database looking for places you’ve been. We find any shoutouts created at those places. These shoutouts are displayed on your personalized homepage, and you can quickly agree, disagree, or pass on each of the shoutouts. There’s a great chance you’ll have an opinion on these places since you’ve already voiced your thoughts on each of them in the past.

Once per week, we email 3 of these shoutouts to you. Directly from the email, you can agree, disagree, or pass:

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So far, it’s been very successful. 38% of users have voted on a shoutout from an email. This increased the number of votes on shoutouts by 27% (real-time voting from Scout):

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It’s had a great impact for 2 reasons – it keeps our users informed of activity at places they’ve been and it makes browsing and searching PlaceShout better. The most accurate (and least accurate) shoutouts now have significantly more votes.



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