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Everyone’s a critic at Yelp.com

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Editor's note: Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp.com co-founder and chief executive officer, will deliver a keynote address during the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco next week. The conference runs from Aug. 5-7. Click here for program details. Everyone's a critic, or so the saying goes. And that saying is the basis of the business model at Yelp.com, an online community that features user ratings and reviews on a wide range of businesses and professionals -- including real estate brokerages and agents. In July 2004, former PayPal pals Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons reunited to launch Yelp.com. "The inspiration for the site was the idea that word-of-mouth recommendations are the best way to find local businesses," said Yelp Chief Executive Officer Stoppelman in a recent interview with Inman News. The original version of the site had a component for user-generated reviews, but it was more focused around users asking members of the online community for...