New Hobby - Adding Pics and Posting Reviews

I’m a Local Guide Level 6. 

I have no idea what that means, but it sounds sort of cool.

What am I referring to? Why, my level as a Google Maps Reviewer, of course. So I guess I know what ‘Local Guide Level 6’ means in a technical sense, but in the scheme of all things ‘Google Maps, Photos, and Reviews’ I’m not sure if that is something to boast about or not!

Lyn here and I like to post pictures and reviews of local non-franchise restaurants and small town businesses on Google Maps. Yeah, that’s a thing.

I started doing this a number of years ago without any real plan. Nothing systematic. Just whenever we’d eat at a neat place, I’d usually take a picture and write up a short description. The dang app knew where we were, of course, so I’d get a notification on my phone asking me if I wanted to review where I’d just been. Sure, why not?

Later, I’d get an email that said my review or picture had garnered five hundred views or a thousand views or some such number. And I thought, “What?” So I kept posting. I now have over 100 pics on Google Maps. The positive feedback loop works like that!

It’s crazy, but some of my pictures have been viewed over 50,000 times! One of my favorite from four years ago when we were in Puerto Rico on a work trip has over 92,000 views. It’s an image of some fried food displayed in a kiosko at Puerto Parguera in the southwest part of the island.

A kiosko in Puerto Rico - over 90,000 views.

I call my work, “Fried Heart Attack.” Delicious for an occasional treat, but not to be eaten on a daily basis! 

One of my first pictures, and absolutely my worst because it’s so boring and tells the viewer nothing about the quality of the restaurant, is my photo of the inside of Wok Hey, a Chinese takeout place in Wichita, KS. Great food but no atmosphere. Just a bare bones set up with a TV on the wall. Somehow that pic has picked up over 200,000 views. Go here and see it! (I’m too embarrassed to show it.) 

My reviews get some positive feedback as well, usually from the owners of the places I visit who then like and comment and thank me for my kind words. You see, I only give 5 Star reviews. There may be exceptions if you scroll through my timeline but I generally only review places Julie and I really enjoyed. And mostly local businesses who need the positive word of mouth.

Abba-Zaba bars at Abt Electronics in Glenview, IL - 59,488 views.

So it’s a fun little hobby. Something we do when we’re out and about. Visit a cafĂ© or bookstore, take a picture, post it and write up a short, glowing review. Then I sit back and watch the view count increase.

A few months ago, however, I turned off my notifications from Google Maps. We were just too busy selling and packing and moving here to Puerto Rico. So I’ve not been getting any reminders asking if I’d like to contribute a new picture or review. I guess now that we’re settled I should turn that setting back on.

Because if I want to get to Local Guide Level 7, I have to reach 5,000 points. Sadly, I have just over 1,700 right now. I have no idea what game I’m playing, but it’s kinda fun. So I better get going and post more pictures and reviews. Level 7, here I come!

Two pieces of Lou Malnati's pizza in the West Loop of Chicago - 18,503 views.

Allow me to indulge in a little fatherly pride. These final two shots are of Intercrew Restaurant on Wilshire Blvd in LA which my architect daughter and her business partner happened to interior design! 7,204 views of the beautiful bar. Didn't she do an amazing job?


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