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This Is Going To Suck — But It Sounds Like A Business Opportunity

April 15, 2010

How would you like people to post reviews of your work anonymously online? It sounds like it could fall somewhere between uncomfortable and out-and-out bullying. Yet a new website called Unvarnished, currently in beta, aims to do just that. Unvarnished allows anonymous “reviewers” to comment on your professional work. As this blog writer, Leslie Gaines-Ross, notes:

What are Unvarnished’s creators thinking? How can this be good? With no accountability and no restraints, people will review and rate bosses who fired them, colleagues who rose above them, clients who complained about them, romantic targets who proved immune to their charms. Rumors, innuendo, and hearsay will be aired, regardless of whether even a scrap of truth lies beneath them.

Gaines-Ross, a reputation strategist, says that regular workers are now going to have to take care of their images the same way corporations do. Companies’ main tactic when reputation snipers start taking pot shots is to react quickly to protect their good names. She cites the example of Starbucks and how it reacted when false rumours were spread about an alleged refusal to supply coffee to US troops because Starbucks’ executives “don’t support the war and anyone in it.” The company responded quickly on its website and reported the hoax to sites like snopes.com and hoaxbusters.org.

Since those options are not available for individuals, Gaines-Ross is predicting they will be if Unvarnished — and presumably new entrants it attracts — gains traction. So get your thinking caps on, and run out now and register PersonalSnopes.com.

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