A few weeks ago, I had an email from one of the community managers for Zomato, who had recently bought Urbanspoon. They were looking to have a quick catch up to talk to me about the take over and discuss what it could mean to me, as a blogger. I wouldn’t call myself a food blogger as I’m don’t have a full time food blog, but I do have my Michelin list ambition this year! I’d been using Urbanspoon as a link to my blogs for the reviews, as if I’m going to write them, let’s at least link to a review site.
On looking at Zomato – a review and restaurant start-up that has come out of India – my initial concern was that they want to keep all the content to themselves and you could not just post a review on your own site and have the review site pull an extract. My other concern was over their T&Cs for content ownership, which were not as clear. Urbanspoons start with
You own all content you submit to the Services, including but not limited to profile information, reviews, images, messages, and any other materials
Which is a lot more friendly than Zomato’s first line
By submitting Your Content you hereby irrevocably grant us a perpetual, world-wide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license and right to use Your Content
Now, the licence terms are pretty much the same when you read them, it was just the tone was more friendly on Urbanspoon. But Zomato do have a far more community feel and opush to have events and boards around the food community. So, what was their community manager like? Very nice, enthusiastic about here role and very keen to listen to concerns and also suggestions for improvements.
We talked about blog linking and it seems that that will still be allowed in the future combined site (that should be coming along pretty soon). We also talked about some of the things I’d like to see or suggestions I had
- The ability to look for bookings across a curated list. I have my Michelin list, I’d like to be able to plug that in and then when I have a slot available, the app to show me which of these restaurants have a table on the right day and time. Great for when I’m looking for where to go next.
- Legend status. Urbanspoon has review ranking lists but often the people on there have only posted a couple and it was quite a while ago, or even they used to be a prolific reviewer but have now stopped. We discussed how you could maintain the listing of that person but not include them in the current list, where you may be looking for reviews from people that are active now. So could you have a ‘legends’ list, recognising past contributions but also allowing more recent reviewers to show on the lists?
A good chat, a good initiative by Zomato, I just wait now for the changes to happen and see what they bring.