It's no secret that I heart Yelp. Yelp is right up there as one of my favoritest social networks that provides one of the most brilliant, most useful services around.
Just the other day, I was chatting with a friend and telling him how I thought that although Y! has made some brilliant acquisitions, I don't see them presenting their different social networking platforms in a collaborative fashion to their end users. Maybe that's a good thing for each of their acquisitions' user bases, but I can see how it can get dangerously difficult to manage with possibly no good reason for Y! to have made those acquisitions in the first place (except for what would have seemed like monetary reasons).
In any case, I was thrilled to notice the other day that Yelp now has a new portal dedicated to publicizing local events (SF only at this time). This is definitely going beyond the scope of providing and managing reviews for businesses (Yelp's mantra). IMO, this is yet another bold move in the right direction for Yelp.
How is this going to be different from upcoming or socializr? For one, Yelp has one of the most vibrant user communities around - Jeremy and crew have been focusing on getting that right from the get-go. Having been a Yelp member for a while, I really don't feel like I'm a member of just YASN (yet another social network). Yelp genuinely fills a void in my life. Their mobile interface is to die for. And, Yelp is not catering to the web 2.0 tech-frenzy crowd (yet). They're doing the right thing by building a giant user base. Personally, for me, all I care about is having a single portal to manage my life. Facebook is coming very close to giving me that (sans email and IM of course). But if Yelp can give me more than reviews, I'll take it. Also, if I know that one of my Yelp favorites has "blessed" a certain event, I know I'd want to be there too.
Congratulations to the Yelp crew!
PS : Here's an interesting article I read on CNN about Yelp's strategy.