Reviewing businesses

SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 634 ✭✭✭✭✭

Recently my local community started submitting and accepting businesses more, which I think is overall welcome since there are businesses out there that definitely deserve their own wayspots.

On the other hand, there's a significant influx of submissions that are a bit challenging for me to review. Those that don't have, say, their own Wikipedia page or other articles online that clarify the business' cultural importance. Usually the supporting information for those say stuff like "this is a chef restaurant" or "this pub is frequented by students" or "this place has a high score on TripAdvisor" (these are 3 things I've seen multiple times, not just random examples) - and I honestly don't know if these are enough to accept a business that otherwise I know nothing about. Does that qualify those businesses as ones with significant cultural value?

What are your opinions? How do you usually judge business nominations?


  • DaMastaGlen-INGDaMastaGlen-ING Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    It depends I guess but it is up to the person to convince you that it is a local hyper spot. Not everything will have a Wikipedia page, guidelines state that “Popular spots where locals gather but are lesser-known outside the community” are acceptable but with weak descriptions and supporting notes, I would say 1* generic unless they convince you otherwise.

  • TheAuraStorm-INGTheAuraStorm-ING Posts: 75 ✭✭✭

    Well said @NianticCasey-ING, we are absolutely too harsh on businesses that have value and significance, in this vicious circle of trying to review in line with the consensus.

    Sweet shops that have been around since World War 2, Breweries that are a local icon and offer tours & brewing lessons, hotels that have been in the same family for generations. All marked as generic.

    Thank you for clarifying, hopefully these real hidden gems can be done justice by becoming Wayspots.

  • SeaprincessHNB-PGOSeaprincessHNB-PGO Posts: 162 ✭✭✭

    Thank you so much for this clarification. There is a local Middle Eastern restaurant that I would love to submit but I have been worried that it would be rejected as a generic business since it has done well enough to now have 3 locations. The food is authentic and every time I walk in, it is crowded with people from that region of the world. They clearly view it as a local hot spot. It has never sat well with me that we punish businesses that got too successful.

  • JSteve0-INGJSteve0-ING Posts: 440 ✭✭✭✭

    @NianticCasey-ING thanks for sharing your insight. It is very welcome. I hope word gets out to both submitters and reviewers. Can we get this to be some kind of official guidance on the wayfarer site and in the support pages for PoGo and Ingress?

  • SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 634 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for the input Casey, I will definitely take this into consideration with my reviews.

    It made me realize that most of the business submissions I've been seeing came from big cities (usually saturated with similar businesses - although that doesn't mean that necessarily makes them generic, of course).

    I'd love to see business locations in smaller towns. Hopefully the changing attitude towards businesses in my local Wayfarer community will lead to some interesting submissions.

  • DukeOfBellaire-PGODukeOfBellaire-PGO Posts: 73 ✭✭✭

    Because I live in a cosmopolitan city, any for-profit business around here is going to be frowned upon. This is because we have so many other options at nearby parks, universities, architecture, historical markers, biking paths, and fine art around the city.

    Many business owners or general managers has an incentive to draw your attention to spend money in their establishment. So, my ideal criteria for a business to pass as a Wayspot is for it to be:

    • an unusual/hidden gem featured on TV or in publications like Harp Design Co. in Waco, Texas that was part of HGTV,
    • a fascination like a local urban chicken feed store which is rare in many zoned cities,
    • architectural ambience like a mid-century motel with a time-capsule chic cafe in Palm Springs, California, etc

    I do give more leeway in rural towns. But it still needs to be attractive, interesting, and features public safety.

  • DaMastaGlen-INGDaMastaGlen-ING Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    Totally Agree Casey.

    I think the point is, for me at least, it’s not always obvious whether or not something is a hyper spot and unless you are local there is no way to know.

    External sources like Wikipedia, company websites etc may help if they exist but for places that are generally unknown outside of that village / town this is not always the case. It is up to the submitter to give a bit of information as to why that place is important especially if it seems generic for example a franchise of a large chain.

    Far too often does the supporting information have totally irrelevent things in such as ‘the area could do with another Pokestop’ or to quote the OP things like ‘this is a chef restaurant’ (which most restaurants have that aren’t fast food chains so nothing special). If the place is the only coffee shop/pub/restaurant for miles and is a meeting point for all the nearby villages or if it’s got a cool back story, submitters should tell us that so we understand why it isn’t generic, it’s not exactly hard - there is literally a box to fill in during a submission which asks you to do just that.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NianticCasey-ING Would you confirm what I think you just said, please?

    A franchise of an international chain coffee shop should be accepted if it's the only one in town. Is that correct? If so, does that also extend to other large chain eating establishments? If a town has a Starbucks, a McDonalds, and a Taco Bell do they all qualify?

    Are reviewers now expected to check the entire town to confirm that it is indeed the only location? Will the Wayfarer UI be updated to make that easier?

    Is this an official proclamation or your personal opinion? If it's official, will it make its way into the official documentation please? I'm hoping we learned our lessons from G+ days and no longer just leave rules changes buried in comments.

    Thank you!

  • DerWelfe2205-PGODerWelfe2205-PGO Posts: 373 ✭✭✭✭

    How are you going to enforce the rules you made? Where I live every business is a generic business as far as the reviewers are concerned. Same goes for trail markers. 100% rejection rate. Rules that are not enforced are worthless.

  • fpopp21-PGOfpopp21-PGO Posts: 32 ✭✭✭

    Same here, even things with a linked Wikipedia article are systematically rejected.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 3,339 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    That's nice and all, but people are still going to completely ignored this and reject anything that is a business because they are more likely to get agreements that way. I've attempted to get an Asian restaurant accepted because it is unique in our area. There are no other Asian restaurants in the entire county and the next closest one is over an hours drive way. But because Asian restaurants are "common" in highly urban areas, it still gets rejected. Same goes for the regions oldest Japanese steakhouse, which happens to be rated 1 in its category and featured on and the regional travel guide. But nope, rejected as "generic".

    So unless Niantic starts taking proactive action, businesses that meet the acceptance criteria will continue to be rejected without a fair evaluation.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There's no way I am voting favourably on the local Starbucks. If anything, the local Starbucks should be a 'sponsored location'. Niantic once again doing things without really thinking. Business as usual I guess.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Roli112-PGO That makes sense, but it still puts reviewers in a difficult position. It's very unlikely that most reviewers are going to be familiar with the town that they've just gotten the review for. It's almost guaranteed that everyone submitting the local *$ is going to describe it as a hyper-local spot even if 90% of traffic is just travelers pulling off the freeway for caffeine and a bathroom. How would reviewers make an educated determination?

  • SeaprincessHNB-PGOSeaprincessHNB-PGO Posts: 162 ✭✭✭

    "The submitter needs to give better information" is the answer for a lot of these issues. As a reviewer, my primary objective is to determine location accuracy and consider eligibility based on what was written. I can't do their research for them.

  • Feythyer-PGOFeythyer-PGO Posts: 11 ✭✭

    This would seem to open eligibility up to all exercise-promoting businesses like martial arts schools, dance studies, and gyms, not just those where famous athletes trained. Is that correct?

  • 24601LM-ING24601LM-ING Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    I don't think so. It opens up eligibility for more exercise-promoting businesses with local significance. Are there 50 different locations for a particular fitness chain in that city? It's probably generic. Is it the only dance studio in town? Locally significant, and should be a wayspot. Where is the line between those two extremes? Good question. Niantic should give a decent stab at answering it.

    FWIW, "the only coffee shop in town" is hardly ever going to be a big chain like Starbucks. Chains like that aren't interested in tiny towns. But it's fantastic to get clarification that "the only coffee shop in town" is a good enough reason to qualify something as a hyper-local spot. (My read on Casey's clarification is that the intention is not "only outlet for this particular chain" but rather "only restaurant in its category". So, the mom-and-pop diner that's the only place to eat out within an hour's drive? Would count. The only Starbucks in a town that has a dozen other coffee shops of different franchises? Probably not.)

  • My first post.

    I think there is a pretty vicious cycle going on. There seems to be an overwhelming desire to accumulate agreements, and in turn upgrades. So much so that it appears to be a consensus among reviewers to instantly see and dismiss any business as a Generic Business and quickly gain an agreement. Low risk and easy. Even though Wayfarer’s own criteria page list unusual or unique local shops.

    As a result, there are plenty of small shops that I’m certain many players would enjoy discovering that are instantly dismissed. I find myself reviewing a trailhead bulletin board or soccer field #6 out of eight soccer fields knowing they have a better chance of getting approved than the neat looking little antique shop. I think it’s unreasonable to insist a small business be written up on a Wikipedia page, win a Michelin Star, or appear on FoodNetwork to earn wayspot approval. That is unreasonable, unrealistic and, quite frankly, snobbish. It is distasteful and elitist.

    The goal should be to reduce the instant dismissal of any business as generic and cause the reviewer to pause and actually review the business. Wayfarer can help solve the problem and help change what has become a culture.

    I’d like to see Wayfarer instruct the reviewer not to be instantly dismissive of small local businesses.

    Perhaps a note before opening the Review page about what constitutes a generic business? A message about what would qualify as an eligible business? Some sort of communication to the group of reviewers.

    I also believe the first question asked, “Is this a wayspot” should in fact be the last. Only after careful consideration should a submission be deemed worthy or not. As it is, the judgement is instant and the dismissal is instant. It’s a bad set up.

    Reviewers spend more time playing around with the location pin on a baseball field than they do considering a business. That should change.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 223 ✭✭✭✭

    No offense, but the post about your local Starbucks being a valid candidate in your eyes, is possibly the worst comment I have seen since I started on Wayfarer last year.

    This has opened the flood gates with submitters now nominating every single Starbucks, McDonald's, Supermarket, ....

    You may think you had a specific example, but to the masses, this simply meant "Generic Businesses are 5* candidates".

    This is creating an even bigger rift in the community than Trail Markers.

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