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UrbanSpoon to Refocus on Reviews and Editorial Content

Now that IAC's UrbanSpoon has sold its reservations system Rezbook to OpenTable, they've essentially stepped out of the reservations game. So what's next? Amp up the editorial content, apparently. Doug Leeds, CEO of Ask.com (another IAC property) tells TechCrunch he "sees higher-grade content as the site's best option." (UrbanSpoon will operate under the umbrella of Ask.com from now on.)

That means you can expect "individual reviews for each menu item at a restaurant" (which seems like kind of a massive undertaking?), "expert posts on specific cuisines and cities," and "long-form content and features."

UrbanSpoon is keeping community reviews, although the website hopes to take over the dining arena from sites like the king of community reviews, Yelp. "You don't get travel at Yelp, you don't get plumbing at Kayak, they're focused on a certain thing," said Leeds. "And UrbanSpoon has always been the place where people can get information from restaurants." What will differentiate UrbanSpoon from Yelp is, apparently, the editorial content. As TechCrunch also points out, that puts them in the arena of sites like the recently-overhauled Zagat.

In any case, UrbanSpoon plans to hire an editorial staff as well as freelance writers to carry out their plan. There are a whole bunch of ex-Citysearch writers who are probably available.

· UrbanSpoon to Focus on Quality Restaurant Reviews [TechCrunch]
· All UrbanSpoon Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Food Media Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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