Yeah, the site keeps many business owners awake. It takes just one unhappy customer to cause the biggest online reputation headache of your company’s life.
Now imagine a service that could end up doing the same for your personal reputation.
OK, you don’t need to imagine it–it just launched!
While I’m sure the founders of Unvarnished don’t consider themselves to be anything like RoR–and I’m confident that’s not the modus operandi–it likely won’t take long before the new review site becomes the playground of the upset, revengeful, and down-right pissed off.
The site is in invite-only beta, but what we do know of it paints a picture of LinkedIn meets Yelp meets Wikipedia. Yes you can claim your personal profile. Yes, there are some safeguards to prevent flat-out defamation or mischievous reviews. And, yes, the reviews can be moderated by the community. What’s not there is what could cause Unvarnished to become the RoR of personal reputations:
You can claim your profile, but unlike LinkedIn, you have to accept every post, warts and all. And once the profile is up there’s no taking it down. I asked co-founder, Peter Kazanjy, “Will you ever give users the option to take down their profile?” Kazanjy’s reply: “No, because if we did that, everyone would take their profile down.”
Perhaps the most concerning is that review can be left anonymously. I’m waiting for the day when reviewers are held publicly accountable for their comments–maybe then we’ll all be a little more civil to each other!
The lack of moderation by the recipient, the anonymity of the reviewer, combined with an inability for a resolved matter to be expunged, is the exact formula that makes RipOff Report despised by so many.
It’s still early days–the site is still in beta–and maybe Unvarnished won’t get the traction it needs to have any serious impact on your reputation. However, if you thought, as an individual, “I really don’t need to monitor or manage my personal reputation” then consider this your wake-up call.