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When people want to know about a new restaurant in Rochester, they don’t go to Yelp. They go to rocwiki.org.

The website, started in 2004, is a resource for all things Rochester-related. The site has pages for history, eateries, museums, landmarks, neighborhoods and more.

It now gets more than 300,000 page views a month. There are more than 6,000 users who have made at least one edit.

“The goal is to be a community driven site, not biased by money or otherwise,” said site administrator Pete B.

Rocwiki.org isn’t a nonprofit or a corporation. It doesn’t make money. It isn’t owned by anyone or anything.

“We’re just run by a bunch of geeks who love what they’re doing,” said Pete B.

There are seven volunteer site administrators. Some specialize in coding while others screen content. “We consider ourselves more to be janitors,” said Pete B. “Occasionally you get someone who wants to misbehave and we take care of it.”

For example, the site is pretty quick to flag restaurant owners spamming their pages with positive comments. They also flag people flaming business owners they may not like. Rocwiki.org is a pretty reliable source of reviews and information. The restaurant pages are the site’s most popular.

Rocwiki sees itself playing a role in promoting local business.

The website is now holding a contest for a new logo. A winner will be chosen on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Dark Horse Coffee. Anyone can show up and play a role. It’s a wiki, after all.

Links of the Day:

– Bad jobs are on the rise. A study shows in 2010, 1 in 4 U.S. workers was in a job paying less than $37,000 and offering no health or retirement benefits.

– This is quite possibly the dumbest statement ever written by the Democrat and Chronicle editorial board in a piece about the robbing and killing of Montre Bradley, who was waiting in line to buy sneakers :

Foremost, there’s the reality that one runs the risk of being killed at what have become common public gatherings of people who simply want to be among the first to purchase popular items such as LeBron James sneakers, iPads, Harry Potter books or tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert. Because these eager shoppers obviously have money or credit cards on them, they become easy prey or sitting/standing ducks for robbers.

When was the last time someone was killed while waiting to buy a Harry Potter book? Sneaker-related violence is a specific phenomenon.

– This is audacious. A Congel family member is suing for a portion of taxes awarded to a project of which he is no longer a part.

– A study on the burden of retiree health benefits shows Rochester is doing much better than its counterparts.

– Is an International Baccalaureate program for RCSD kindergartners really necessary? My mom is fond of saying I didn’t learn how to read until I was in first grade.

– Former Rochester Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard is called a “human shield.” Teachers still plan to strike on Monday.

5 Responses to Who Needs Yelp?

  1. I learned how to use Yelp on a visit to NYC. Less useful here, a new restaurant is usually a place you can easily try out or ask your friends about. Then I review online after I’ve tried it if I remember too.

  2. I can’t believe Rocwiki and ‘RocCity 2.0’ are holding a contest for a new logo. We have a vibrant, talented design community here in Rochester. And it’s likely that there’s a designer that would develop a great new visual identity in the interest of promoting our fair city. Logo contests like these are very insulting to graphic designers, and rarely produce good results. I encourage Rocwiki to rethink this and work with a professional designer.

    • December 28, 2012 at 11:18 am RaChaCha responds:

      Well, I don’t know as much about such things as you, but couldn’t professional graphic designers submit candidate designs, as well–? Perhaps Rocwiki, which is pretty much volunteer driven and thrives on community input, is holding the contest either because their business model doesn’t allow a “budget” for design services, and/or because a “crowdsourced” logo is in keeping with their wiki mission of community input. But if a professional designer submitted a logo that was chosen by the well-used and well-loved Rocwiki that would be a feather in the cap as well as a great portfolio addition — no?

  3. I agree 100% with Frank. And if you need a clearer case in point, look at the submissions. Just plain terrible logo designs.

    There are plenty of great, local, professional designers who would do this pro bono if approached — but the contest format isn’t going to, and never does lead to, a good logo.

  4. LOVE Rocwiki! First got to know it during the Chill the Fill campaign to save the subway tunnel, when it became a go-to source for information on the campaign. A year or so later at a Rocwiki event, at a bar in the South Wedge IIRC, someone there suggested I try my hand at blogging. Took me some time, but having now written over 100 entries for the great Buffalo Rising — which eventually led to articles for Artvoice including a cover story this summer — I’m delighted the seed was planted.

    Congrats to Rocwiki on its first great 8 years, and best wishes for the future!

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