Enables good service to count against good advertising

But there is something about this idea of local searching [friend and friend-of-a-friend personal recommendation databases] that I fear people will miss, and that’s the fact that it enables good service to count against good advertising. The general trend in local business development has been the proliferation of branded chains, and decimation of the local, unbranded treasures. Charleston has a fine lingerie shop on King Street, but just down the block looms a much larger Victoria’s Secret. Relying mostly on word-of-mouth, local restaurants, plumbers and mechanics cannot afford more than a small-print mention in print or online listings. Yelp! or something like it might blunt this insidious trend.