The personal reputation site (now in beta) is similar to Yelp.com; but instead of reviewing restaurants, products and other inanimate objects, users rate and review people (mostly with respect to their performance as professionals).
As it stands now, you have to be invited to participate by an existing user. Once registered, you can review any other member. If someone doesn't already have a profile, you can create one -- without their permission. And, if someone writes something awful about you ... guess what? You can respond to it, but you can't take it down.
It's up there. On the Internet. Forever.
I haven't yet been invited to the site (and after this post I doubt I will be). But just in case I am, I thought I'd practice writing reviews -- namely, I'm going to evaluate the Founders of Unvarnished (three entrepreneurs formerly of VMWare, eBay and LinkedIn, according to the New York Times.)
Founders of Unvarnished
The Founders of Unvarnished are great idea people -- except in the case of Unvarnished, which is the worst, most nightmarish idea of all time. Typically, these folks use social networking for good (Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook), but in the case of Unvarnished they are using this power for evil. Their ability to cause paranoiac outbreaks among fellow professionals is one of their greatest strengths. Their refusal to envisage that a reputation site has the potential to instigate online adult bullying represents an enormous oversight on their part. I'm sure they would be pleasant to work with if I didn't live in constant fear of their beta site.
Integrity: Negative 278/10
Do you think a site that allows users to rate and review other people is a good idea? Or a dangerous one? What do you think about Unvarnished?