Yelp, the Web site offering user-generated reviews of bars, restaurants and other places, has raised $10 million in venture capital from Benchmark Capital.

Yelp, like other recent Internet companies, is challenging incumbent sites like Citysearch by developing a community of local reviewers. By encouraging loyalist users to review often, Yelp bets its site will be fresher and more compelling.

After launching initially in SF, the SF-based Yelp has since launched in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose and Seattle.

Rather than unleashing armies of people to go out and build a massive repository of reviews, like Citysearch did, Yelp has managed to build a local community that keeps reviews fresh, giving Yelp a more lively feel. And with more reviews, you can begin to parse them in different ways — for example classifying them to show which one are written by 20-year-olds, and which ones by 40-year-olds. That way, users can judge reviews based on their preferences.

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