Category Archives: Announcements

Judy Picks the Top 10 Farmers Markets!

After all the brilliant reviews, we decided it was time to pick the best of the best. The Judy’s Book team have looked far and wide to bring you the top ten farmers markets but it’s up to YOU to decide which of the ten is the absolute must-go-to farmers market of Western Washington.

Below are the farmers markets (in no particular order!) and the link to review your favorite! Tell your family, friends and coworkers to rate the absolute best. The farmers market with the most and best overall reviews, wins. Good luck!

1. Broadway Farmers’ Market

2. Ballard Farmers’ Market

3. Issaquah Farmers’ Market

4. Redmond Farmers’ Market

5. Mukilteo Farmers’ Market

6. Sammamish Farmers’ Market

7. Bainbridge Island Farmers’ Market

8. Phinney Farmers’ Market

9. Bellevue Farmers’ Market

10. University District Farmers’ Market

Which one was your favorite this summer??


Got a bad review? How you should respond.

Here at Judy’s Book we get our fair share of bad reviews on businesses and subsequent complaints by businesses to remove them.  While we empathize with local establishments, first and foremost, Judy’s Book is a consumer-opinion site that exists to publish people’s opinions – the good, the bad, and everything in between. We do not exist to censor content, so we don’t edit or remove reviews except for obvious breaches of our Terms & Conditions or principles.   We’ve  found that removing a review doesn’t address the root issue and in many cases ads fuel to the fire with the user posting more reviews on our’s and other sites.  Fortunately, our research also shows that potential customers who read these reviews are pretty smart: they understand that people’s opinions are just that – opinions – and they take them with a grain of salt.

New research in Social Media also shows that how a business responds and handles a bad review can really impact the results.  Sometimes going in and engaging a disgruntled customer will help them see your company in a new light and allow other users to get your perspective.  Judy’s Book allows and encourages businesses to comment on reviews.  Here are some tips for handling a bad review.

  • The details aren’t true: Your business is being condemned for giving a reviewer a bad massage and not honoring 50 percent off coffee coupon. However, you don’t offer coffee (just tea) and you definitely don’t offer a 50 percent off.  In this case, speak up and politely let them know that they may have simply misjudged something or maybe they’re confusing you with another company. If it’s a matter of bad facts, step in and politely correct them.  You’re an attorney and the person reviewing you was someone you sued, in this case they’re reviewing their dissatisfaction and not your skill as an attorney.  Confronting in public is much better than ignoring or trying to get the review removed where they can re-post it on any number of sites.
  • Make Amends: Sometimes you just goof. Your company sold a bad product, your employee missed an appointment, the meal was brought out cold, etc. Life happens. People understand. If you blundered and someone is upset, it’s typically in your best interest to engage them and to do your best to make it right. It often doesn’t take much to smooth over one bad experience.
  • When the review develops legs: Sometimes things that shouldn’t be a big deal get out of control and “me too” responses anyway.  These conditions need to be addressed and need to be addressed quickly. Staying quiet simply because you don’t think it’s serious enough to warrant an answer is virtually certain to invite the fervor to spread beyond Judy’s Book and onto other sites. You don’t want that to happen. The best way to contain the mess is to handle it at its source. If something is gaining legs, get in the conversation and de-escalate. Often just a few words from you will be enough to quiet the publicity and get the dialogue on track.


Once you decide a review is worth commenting on, you need to handle it with care.  Don’t rush into a response and try and remain calm.  Upgraded (claimed) listings can send review comments to make sure you include a link to the review you are commenting on and keep the following in mind:

  • Be Honest: If you’re going to engage a negative reviewer, come at them completely honest, sincere and with your hands where they can see them. Apologize for your mistake and let them help you find a way to move forward. Don’t make excuses. Don’t try to spin it to make you look like the victim. If you messed up, apologize and immediately diffuse the situation. If you didn’t mess up, then be honest about what happened. Without pointing fingers.
  • Remain Calm: If you can’t remain calm in a fight, then you should not be allowed to participate in social media. Losing your cool is one of the worst things you can do.
  • Speak Like a Person: If you have a Master’s Degree this isn’t the time to show it off.  Don’t down talk or have gender, social, age biases.  The other day my wife was at our local car dealer getting our Prius checked out for a warning light.  The mechanic said “Honey, the problem was you didn’t tighten the gas cap all the way and air got into the tank” Guess what?  It was me who filled up last.  Needless to say she wasn’t happy with the service.
  • Promise to be better: End your reply with a promise to be better. Whether it’s a promise that you’ll try harder, make amends, listen more, etc., let them know that you heard them, you care, and that you want to be better for them. It’ll go a long way in establishing some goodwill.
  • Listen:  Listen without reacting. The complaints your customers have about your business aren’t really about you, they’re about them. They’re about how they feel. How they were let down. What they need.  Find the root of the problem and address that.  Sometimes that means looking beyond what they’re telling you. They’re commenting on the site because they want to be heard. Show them they have been.
  • Keep it short:  Don’t ramble on, usually 3-4 sentences is enough.

Also remember that most users generally look at the trends and one single bad review amongst many good ones doesn’t have as much weight.  Especially if the good reviews are more recent.

Responding to good reviews with a simple Thank You not only acknowledges the customer who took the time to write a review but it’s an additional touch point for repeat business and to encourage others to write reviews.

Lastly, local search sites wouldn’t exist without honest people making honest recommendations, free from influence by businesses and advertisers.  We’re going to keep fostering that in the Judy’s Book community and hope that it’ll continue to be upheld in other communities.  Thanks for being part of ours.

Press Release: Judy’s Book launches Helping small businesses unlock the marketing potential of social media

Seattle – Local business review site, Judy’s Book, announced on Friday the launch of their new product  This mobile product is the latest addition to their suite of offerings for small businesses that include enhanced listings with photos, video, SEO, and rapid syndication with all leading directories and search engines. provides self-serve creation of a mobile website along with a printable flyer which brings customers to the site via scanning a QR code. The mobile site links to all leading social media outlets and helps businesses gain followers on Facebook, Twitter as well as get more reviews on every leading review site, including Judy’s Book.  All in just 60 seconds!

“Our strategy is to act as a neutral aggregator on behalf of our small business clients.  We want to help increase all of their social media and online review presence,” said John Nelson, Business Development Director of Judy’s Book, which is based in Seattle, Wash. “What better place to solicit reviews and Facebook Likes than right in the business itself?  We want to become a verb meaning to scan an in-store QR code.  This initiative represents a bold new direction for Judy’s Book.”

Customers in a local store will see the display and be solicited to “ for an instant 10% off their purchase.”  The business owner gains fans and followers, and the consumer is rewarded with an instant rebate.  This tactic will help accelerate adoption by the public which has been a challenge in the mobile space.

“We want to ensure that the user experience is smooth and easy for small business owners to use,” said Mike Ma, Lead Developer of Judy’s Book.  “We have made this literally a 60-second process.  We serve local businesses by creating tools to help them navigate the often overwhelming social media and mobile world.” Features:

• Mobile site with hours of operation and links to Facebook, Twitter, Judy’s Book, and leading

review sites

• Flyer to post in the business itself; complete with QR code linking to mobile site

• Mobile loyalty “punch card” Benefits:

• Mobile website establishes mobile presence

• Flyer helps business grow “likes” on Facebook as well as gain “followers” on Twitter

• Business gets more reviews on Judy’s Book and other leading review sites, resulting in SEO


• “Punch card” rewards loyal customers without the hassle of keeping paper records


For more information, contact:

John Nelson at (206) 388-3760 or


Get Your Business Mobile Site and Social Media flyer in 60 Seconds

or less…and it’s not only a mobile website but you also will get a social media flyer for your business.  In the spirit of giving and serving the community, we want to announce a new product offering – – for FREE (won’t stay this way for long):

  • Social Media Flyer
    • Seems like everyday, there is a new tool to market yourself on the Internet.  First it was yellow pages, and local directories, and now Facebook, Twitter and all these Check-in apps; how can you share all that with your customers?  With the social media poster, you can customize the various social media outlets you use (if you don’t have one yet, we can help you out), we’ll generate you a flyer, and you can print it off right away!
    • It’s a 8×11 size so you can use regular color printer and put it on the wall.  You can even get one of the plastic display stands to put it on a table noticeable to your customers.
  • Mobile Website
    • iPhones, Windows Phones, Android Phones and Blackberries and whatever other berries are all popular phones that people use to surf the Internet.  More of them will be poking away at the phone’s screen while waiting in line at your store, or sitting at the table side.  Why not give them a mobile friendly site to look at and find out all the cool things you offer?
  • Mobile Punch Card
    • Would you like to reward your loyal customers? Despite rain or snow, they still trek to your establishment?  You can come up with the rewards, and we’ll do the rest.  Email us on how to get you signed up.
  • Coupons and Deals
    • Why give away 50% of your revenue on these daily deal sites, when you can directly reach your customer base through our mailing list?  You can send out coupons and promotions via us and we’ll deliver to your target audiences.  Email us on how to get you signed up.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level this year?  Get it NOW:

Here are some sign holders we’ve found that goes well with the flyer.  Shop here.

Judy’s Book and Facebook

We’ve been testing this for a while but we are happy to say that now you can log in with your Facebook account, if you don’t already have an account with us.  In addition, we’ve heard your feedback that you wanted to be able to follow your friends or people that seem to go to interesting adventures.  Now, you can follow them and get updates whenever they log their adventures!

We hope that you like what we’ve done and help us to spread the word.

It all started with Judy keeping her own little book of local recommendations and giving her personal advice to her friends and family when they were in need.  We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to build your own community around your interests, passions, and activities.  We are the Social Search engine providing you the reviews, recommendations, and deals that are relevant to you, based on your social and relational network.

More on the Judy’s Book Featured Places: The Technology

As mentioned in an earlier post, Judy’s Book recently started sending local businesses Judy’s Book Featured Places window decals. These fancy decals are no ordinary window sticker, so we thought they deserved their own blog post to help explain the technology behind them.

The decals contain 2D barcode technology (QR Codes), which means that data is encoded in both the height and width of the barcode symbol (unlike regular one-dimensional barcodes), and the amount of data that can be contained in a single symbol is much greater than that stored in a one-dimensional barcode. In fact, thousands of alphanumeric characters can potentially be placed in a single symbol the size of a large postage stamp. So, the advantage of using 2D barcodes is that a large amount of easily and accurately read data can be associated with the item to which it is attached (in this case, a window decal).

When passersby have phones or PDAs that can read these barcodes, they can “snap” the barcode on the window decal and their phones/PDAs will uncover a secret message behind the code.  This allows the phone to display useful information about the business, including new information that the business owner could choose to add if they’d like. For example, they can tell readers about a clearance sale that’s starting tomorrow, even if they’re passing by the store today.

You may be wondering which phones carry this 2D barcode “snap” technology. So far, we know that the iPhone and Google’s Nexus One phone support the technology, should users choose to download the app.  We’ve personally tested these free apps and can confirm that they work.

These are the apps we recommend (feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments section):

  • NeoReader (iPhone)
  • QuickMark Mobile Barcode (iPhone)


We are still rapidly expanding this project and would love to get your feedback on it.  Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, our blog (here).

Window decal “tech support”

Lost or misplaced your window decals? Not to worry: just e-mail us at  Please include your business information and barcode ID (if applicable).  Our team will verify the information and will send a replacement decal.

Want your favorite businesses to be on?

Read up on how we pick these businesses.