Yelp Goes Local(er)

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There's been quite a bit of online buzz about Yelp and their newest employees. We, the ever-curious minds at Tech Tease had similar questions: what is a community manager and why does our community need managing?

So, like good little investigators, we tweeted Krys Theilen, San Antonio Community Manager (@yelpsanantonio) and asked to sit down, pick her brain and get the skinny on Yelp’s expanding online empire.

Alright, first question first, what is Yelp?

In short: it's a website that connects locals to great local businesses. At its core, there is a base of reviews. I think what's great about Yelp is that it helps people find amazing things.

How did you first hear about Yelp and the job opening?

Initially, I used the yelp app on my phone. I transitioned from the app to the website as I started reading reviews and wanted to see what was going on online. You can see all the jobs listed on Yelp and I when I read the job posting I had a feeling in my heart. As cheesy as it may sound, I knew I was the right person.

What did you do before coming to Yelp?

I've done a lot of things. Most recently, I worked for an art gallery. I've done a number of things. I worked for a coffee shop when I was younger.

How long have you been in San Antonio?

I've lived in San Antonio for seven years and my family is from here. Even though I went to high school and college in different cities, I came here all the time to visit. I sort of always knew this is where I wanted to be. I love San Antonio.

Has being local given you a leg up?

I feel like San Antonio is really passionate about local. I think a really important element of this job is being passionate about your city. Having passion for the city and the culture, wanting to make it grow and getting that out to the world is what's important for this job.

The million-dollar question: what does a Community Manager do at Yelp?

We do a lot. The most important part is interacting with the amazing and fantastic community of people on Yelp. We read all their reviews and postings and get to know them on the site and we take those relationships and bring them into real life.

Another aspect of the job is the events we throw for the community. We go to a lot of the community's "unofficial" events, too. For example, we had a dog park party on Sunday one of the yelpers threw at Hardberger Park.

Beyond that, I write a weekly article that goes out every Wednesday, you can sign up through yelp.com/weekly.

What's the question people ask when they find out you work for Yelp?

People ask, "Oh, so you have parties for a living?" And that's pretty much it. They either understand what I do and ask about the events or they are interested in what it means. Especially in San Antonio, we're still growing here and people are spreading the word, so it's been fun to get to tell people what it is Yelp does.

What happens during typical day for you?

I wake up and try to make it to a coffee shop. Olmos Perk or Local Coffee, usually. I set up shop for a few hours and do stuff on my computer. I check email, schedule meetings with photographers, local venues and sponsors for events. In the afternoon I'll have meetings. As it transitions into the night, I go to events and interact with the community.

What do you love most about working for Yelp?

The Yelpers. They're really cool, fantastic people. They love San Antonio. I just am honored to get to be a part of the community with them. I have several I've become friends with. They support Yelp and I love to be able to do things with them. Oh, and the tastings. Cupcake tastings, margarita tastings...

What's the weirdest "I met you on Yelp" story you have?

I was in the grocery store and a yelper shouted out my name from across the store. I turned around and she was running and jumping. She said, "you're Krys from Yelp!" She told me her name, we hugged and it was this big, fun celebration. I was buying apples. You feel like you really know people and it's exciting to meet them in person.

Which social networking tools do you use to network within a social network?

Yelp is a really fantastic way to social network. Beyond Yelp, I have @yelpsanantonio, on Twitter, I use Facebook, but I find that Yelp, though the community, the events, the app on the phone, it's really become the social network for me. It feeds all those needs. The rest are just ways to tell people what cool stuff is happening on Yelp.

What's your advice for someone interested in a job like yours?

It's a big job; it's definitely a nine to midnight kind of job. Just love life and love to have fun. I think that attracted a position like this into my life. It takes a big personality and an open book.

Kris Desert Island picks:

Book: The Bible

Movie: Top Gun

Album: Outkast's "Aquemini".

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