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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

'Nextstop' as Next Yelp -- Or Next Flop?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 4:45 PM

You've got to give some props to a travel Web site that notes the Seward Slides - NEXTSTOP.COM
  • Nextstop.com
  • You've got to give some props to a travel Web site that notes the Seward Slides
Hooray!  Let's all welcome yet another user-generated content Web site where everyone can be a critic -- even the potentially biggest douchebags on the planet. SoMa-based Nextstop is an online travel guide that looks and feels a lot like Yelp ... before Yelp started drowning in its own public apologies. Besides being a tad hard to navigate, Nextstop has a slicker, more professional feel than Yelp. Is Nextstop to Yelp as Facebook is to MySpace? You be the judge.

You can also be the judge of whether Nextstop is truly not-your-average-tourist-guide as it bills itself (most of their "San Francisco Experts" don't seem to be from San Francisco -- or even live here), or whether it's the kind of site that won't even be able to compete with Hoffspace.

There are plenty of legit San Francisco hole-in-the-walls mentioned to make the site worth a visit. All of the usual suspects are there: Tartine, BiRite, Delfina, Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, Alcatraz, SFMOMA, blah blah blahZzzzz.  And then there are some more interesting finds, like the Seward Slides, El Farolito, Buckshot Bar, Roccapulco, Fourbarrel, and Martuni's.  Granted, most of the more obscure locales were added by just one or two ace reviewers, but Nextstop is still very new. It just launched on Monday, so they deserve some slack.

In the meantime, they have some competition to outdo. Sites like Bumblehood, Wikitravel, Not For Tourists,

and, of course, Yelp, are all designed to make tourists feel like

locals and locals feel like experts. It's a smart concept, especially for the site owners -- in this case former Google Calendar product manager Carl Sjogreen, Google's Picasa photo project manager Adrian Graham, and Charles Lin, a former financial manager from Taiwan.

If there's money to be made with sites like this, its the not the folks writing the actual content who stand to make much -- or any -- of it.

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Anna McCarthy

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