Unvarnished.com: Do you want your professional life reviewed anonymously?
The new beta site Unvarnished is causing quite the stir. It describes itself as “an online resource for building, managing, and researching professional reputation, using community-contributed, professional reviews.” What that means is anyone can anonymously critique how you handle yourself professionally — your skill, productivity, relationships, and integrity. The site claims it will foster candid but fair reviews that “maintain a helpful, business-focused approach” by allowing Unvarnished users to rate each other’s critiques, so each person has a “Reviewer Authority score.” Individuals can create their own profile or claim one that has already been built for them by someone who has reviewed them; either way, they cannot delete reviews — they only have the opportunity to respond to them.
What do you think the chances are of people using this site the way it was intended — to check out professional contacts and potential hires — as opposed to as a means for trashing professional competitors and personal enemies? Will you play, or will you not engage? As a professional blogger who’s read her fair show of anonymous comments, I plan to stay away. And yet, I know how hard it’ll be not to peek. Great. Now I’m already hating Unvarnished for making me feel like I’ll have to.