unvarnished — a reputation site worth looking at

unvarnished — a reputation site worth looking at

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Well, the deal is that one's reputation drives the trust people have in you, and it really is a major asset.

There's a lot of buzz around a new site, still in closed beta, Unvarnished.

People can write whatever they want about you, and vice versa. They do have some controls around that, and maybe that'll be enough. Might work, given what I've seen in fifteen years of customer service. People do look out for each other.  It'll probably depend on having enough people looking at reviews, to overwhelm any disinformation.

Mike Arrington has good insights at Techcrunch, including the common observation that people will understand that there's a lot of disinformation around, in Reputation Is Dead: It’s Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions


Trying to control, or even manage, your online reputation is becoming increasingly difficult. And much like the fight by big labels against the illegal sharing of music, it will soon become pointless to even try. It’s time we all just give up on the small fights and become more accepting of the indiscretions of our fellow humans. Because the skeletons are coming out of the closet and onto the front porch.

Meanwhile, lawyers are offering some speculation.

No one knows where this'll go, and it plays into the whole role of trust on the Net, which I'm writing more about.

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8 Comments

Stephanie Padgett

Ask your local professor how they feel about this as sites such as RateMyProfessor have been around for years. I don't think these sites are very successful in providing valuable information as they are dominated by a few vocal respondents usually on opposite sides of the fence. Initially they created quite the buzz and stir but as time goes on fewer students pay attention to them as they know it is not accurate.

Anonymous

There's nothing wrong with reviewing people anonymously. The concept is great. But the funny thing is that its useless in a business context. Rating people isn't illegal, but basing hiring decisions on that probably will get people sued. Also, logging in with facebook is such an obvious trap that I can't believe that more people aren't calling Peter out on this. It's not real anonymity.
But the business reason is why this concept can't be anything other than mindless entertainment. That's the spin that http://www.dirtyphonebook.com took and it's working out spectacularly hilarously for them so far as far as I can tell, despite some of the personal attacks on that site.
PS: By the way, dirtyphonebook is pretty useful for checking for scammers on craigslist.

Guy Martin

Well, 'Anonymous', I'd have to respectfully disagree with you.
Communities (and let's face it, that is what Unvarnished is, or will become) have a trust fabric that is destroyed when people don't own their opinions. There are certain cases (such as Digg or Slashdot), where a certain amount of anonymous trollish behavior is expected and dealt with, but when you are talking about people's reputations (either through specific ratings sites like Unvarnished or in a software development community setting), a breakdown in the trust fabric just makes the overall data gained by the 'freedom' useless, IMHO.
My thoughts on this topic are basically crystallized in a blog post I wrote more than a year ago on Trust in Communities – http://blogs.open.collab.net/oncollabnet/2009/01/trust-in-commun.html

Adam Lavine

Seems to me people will want to use these sites to settle personal scores or attack enemies. Wonder what the signal-to-noise ratio will be.

osg

Anonymous-
Your analysis is weak best.
How many online articles did you base your opinion upon?
Did you test drive the site?
Very few people, in the world in postions that matter, base a decision on a single point of data unless it is egregiously negative and verifiable (like a conviction for embezzlement or a violent crime)
Most people collect data, give each piece an appropriate weight based on their own experiences relationship / trust in sources, value system,etc.
My wife gets rated on RateMyProfessor all the and seldom (like almost never) gets an inaccurate review.
She's tough & fair, she expects the students to work. If she gets dinged, oh well.
I don't like my cardiac surgeon as a person (he's an egotistical jerk) but I picked him for his skills with a blade…….not as a guest at a dinner party.
As to his profession 'rep' ….he'd be getting very high ratings from me except in the area of people skills. But so what? It is what is.
Properly constructed & managed this site could be valuable.
Like Yelp for the rest of us.

Anonymous

I'll be happy to try out the site osg just as soon as I don't have to login with facebook.

Softcialis

I am so impressed with your example of positive language and yes I do appreciate your example.There is clear different in that sentence.

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