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Sometimes I miss social media…

…if only to post about Aussie businesses and products we’ve/I’ve used these past few months.

Years ago, I bemoaned the demise of the Sydney Yelp Elite community. I loved writing reviews on Yelp… Admittedly, my first post was a rant about a cafe (my food had plastic in it) but most of my reviews were positive.

I liked how people found my reviews helpful and checked out places partly on my recommendation. When I moved my adventures from Yelp to Instagram, I loved it when restaurant owners commented on my photos and reposted them on their own accounts.

Becoming a “food blogger” wasn’t the primarily goal. I never pulled the “I’m Yelp Elite, give me free stuff” or “I’m going to post a negative review about you or else” cards. I genuinely wanted to share my experiences.

In these times, it feels a bit more important.

In my previous role, I spent the last few months on projects for local businesses. I interviewed several business owners as part of research. Every one of them spoke passionately about what they were doing.

They would say: I want to share my culture, our food. I want to share my love of art. I want to help people, that’s why I want to do this.

Outside of my actual research scope, they peppered me with questions: How can I reach more people? How can I find a venue so I can expand? Does the government have more support for businesses like mine? And they were grateful, so grateful, if I pointed them to services they happened to not know about.

It pains me to think of the economic impact of the coronavirus. These smaller businesses were probably the first to go.

That’s why we’ve made a conscious decision to support local. I’ve also made it a point to be especially kind… I always let the business know if I’ve had a good experience. We’re all in this together, right? More than a few times after sharing my feedback, I’ve been asked: Could you leave us a review? Please?

I don’t publicise this blog so I know only my friends read it (hi guys!). I know one of the benefits of Google reviews or Instagram is that it’s not wholly dependent on the popularity of each particular writer – make sure it’s tagged correctly, and a review’s more or less findable. However, I still don’t like social media as a whole, and I feel like Google reviews aren’t too reliable, but… I’ll see.

Even if you’re not from Sydney and haven’t benefited from any of the recommendations I’ve made lately, I plead: Please support local, support small businesses.

P.S. There’s another reason I’ve been thinking about rejoining Instagram: I’ve been obsessed with looking up sewing projects online! But that’s another story for another time.

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