I don’t really use Yelp unless I have a truly terrible experience somewhere, like that one time a restaurant was so disgusted with having to serve me, that they sat me near the kitchen and served me cold food for no discernible reason (did I smell? It was a French restaurant!).
This development, of course, means I’ll be doing many more Yelp reviews, I suppose: the Federal government and Yelp have teamed up to allow you to “review” Federal agencies, in a move they believe will help them determine where they lag behind in customer service. Yelp is pretty psyched about it, and the Federal government believes it’s a solid step forward into the information age. Now, instead of arguing with low-level bureaucrats and then crying silently into your banana split, you can air your grievances directly to the Internet, where the Federal government is still free to ignore you.
We encourage Yelpers to review any of the thousands of agency field offices, TSA checkpoints, national parks, Social Security Administration offices, landmarks and other places already listed on Yelp if you have good or bad feedback to share about your experiences. Not only is it helpful to others who are looking for information on these services, but you can actually make an impact by sharing your feedback directly with the source.
It’s clear Washington is eager to engage with people directly through social media. Earlier this year a group of 46 lawmakers called for the creation of a “Yelp for Government” in order to boost transparency and accountability, and Representative Ron Kind reiterated this call in a letter to the General Services Administration (GSA). Luckily for them, there’s no need to create a new platform now that government agencies can engage directly on Yelp.
As this agreement is fully implemented in the weeks and months ahead, we’re excited to help the federal government more directly interact with and respond to the needs of citizens and to further empower the millions of Americans who use Yelp every day.
I love national parks — I mean, it’s hard not to — so I assume that those will get mostly good reviews (though, if Trip Advisor is any indication, that may not always be the case), but I can’t imagine things like the Social Security Office, the Veterans Affairs Administration (particularly the medical bit) or the Transportation Security Administration are going to get rave reviews. But I also don’t imagine that threatning a blue-gloved junk-toucher with giving him a one-star review on a website that has no bearing on their job performance will get much in the way of results, either.
But it is pretty fun. Carly Fiorina gave it a go last night, giving the TSA a one star review for a recent “event:”
This is more of a public service announcement really, than a review, but it still makes some good points. Those naked body scanners that were supposed to save us all from terrorist threats have failed 99% of the time, a bondoggle that cost us only $160 million — a bargain if you compare it to the cost to retain the whole blasted system. At least with the naked body scanners there might be some good photos we can one day FOIA for our own entertainment.