Class Year

2014

Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Media Studies Program

First Advisor

Dara Greenwood

Second Advisor

Hua Hsu

Abstract

Everyone today seems to be a critic. As our online and offline lives become increasingly intertwined, we have never had so many sites that depend upon consumer opinion-making for content. User-generated media satisfies the needs of certain consumers, but consumers also appear to trust these sources more so than traditional forms of advertising. The effect of online criticism (or word of mouth) is not just cultural, but personal. What brunch we go to on Sundays or what concerts we deem cool enough to check out, are to some extent the result of what is written about that brunch or that band online. This thesis explores the phenomena through the popular website, Yelp.com, focusing on food media and the impact of online review sites on the decisions we make daily.

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