Tag Archives: Dining
New Mobile Web App Added to the Wap Review Directory
Eater is a hyperlocal blog network covering dining and drinking in what it calls the US' "most important food cities" which according to Eater are New York, Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Charleston, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Louisville, Chicago, Minneapolis, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. There are separate Eater sites for each of those cites plus one for the state of Maine and the canonical Eater National site which aggregates content from the city specific sites.
Eater is written in a lively, irreverent style with coverage that includes restaurant and watering hole reviews, chef interviews and color pieces like one on the drunkest cities in America (I would have expected New Orleans or Milwaukee to top that list but Boston is winner with an amazing 20.1% of its population classified as binge drinkers).
The Eater Network is part of the larger Curbed network which also includes Curbed, a network of local real estate blogs, and Racked covering shopping and fashion. The Eater network started in 2004 by Gawker Media alumnus Lockhart Steele and is one of the view remaining successful high-traffic blog networks that hasn't been acquired by AOL.
Eater uses separate desktop and mobile templates. Something resembling browser sniffing redirects mainstream mobile browsers to the mobile template at m.eater.com or for a city specific eater a sub-domain like m.ny.eater.com or m.sf.eater.com. However the mobile redirection isn't very smart or user friendly and sends Mobile IE, Mobile Firefox, Nokia N9 and feature phone users to the desktop site even if they explicitly enter the m. subdomain version of the URL.
Ubi is a mobile front end to the prestigious, especially in Europe, Michelin Guides. The mobile site at ubiubi.mobi covers most U.S. metropolitan areas and lets you search for restaurants by keyword and location. Results, which seem to be limited to places listed in the Michelin guidebooks, include address, click to call phone numbers and maps. There are links to the Michelin reviews but registration is required to view them. Basic registration is free but limits you to viewing just 10 reviews per month, unlimited access is $2.50/month. The concise reviews average 130 words and include price range, rating and Michelin's elaborate serries of symbols indicting things like comfort level, wine selection, cash only, etc. There are separate listings by city of restaurants that have won one or more of the coveted Michelin stars or offer "amazing" value, late night dining, brunch or garden seating.
Unlike Michelin itself, Ubi allows users to rate and comment of restaurants. There doesn't seem to be any way to read other people's comments however which seems kind of pointless.
I have to wonder if the Michelin brand is enough to motivate users to go to the trouble of registering and when they have run through there month quota, paying. Ubi faces some stiff competition from free crowd sourced sites like Yelp, Google Local and Boorah which have larger databases and more extensive reviews. What do you think, can Ubi succeed on the basis of the Michelin name or do they need to find another business model like ad supported or reservations and booking? Source Oh! Mobile Directory
Ratings: Content Usability
Ready.mobi Score: 4 "Good"
Mobile Link: www.ubiubi.mobi/