Many companies have felt victimized by the growing clout of online review sites, typified by Yelp and others in the travel industry. The negative reviews aren't representative of their services, these firms will say, or at best highly-exaggerated. Consumers, of course, see these sites as a leveling of the playing field, with an individual able to sound off about - and warn other consumers - about a shoddy experience or product.
Now a new twist to this model is emerging: some companies are starting to write their own reviews about customers and share them with their counterparts. In England, a hotel blacklist is being developed about rowdy guests that made too much noise, steal towels or caused damage, according to USA Today. GuestScan is building such an online database for hotel managers. It will allegedly also keep information about race and sexual orientation, writes ClickLiverpool - a development that is being targeted by privacy advocates.
Another, more positive offshoot of this trend is seen at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which is developing a system to mine social media data in order to offer gold star treatment to customers with the best social media footprint. (via Ad Age). It is using Klout's social footprint measurement system to build the Klout Klub which "will allow high-ranking influencers to experience Palms' impressive set of amenities in hopes that these influencers will want to communicate their positive experience to their followers."