When I was a cadet attending the ROTC Summer Camp two catastrophic things happened. First Mt. St. Helens erupted spewing ash all over the western US. Secondly, the curriculum included a peer rating system. After a few weeks of working together, you rated the 30 people in your platoon from top to bottom. I did not look forward to this. The Special Forces officer and sergeant who were to give me my results asked, “How do you think you did?”
I mumbled something about being stack dab in the middle. I figured that most people either hated or loved me, there was rarely any middle ground. I thought I saw them blink when I expressed this and they said, this survey confirmed that for me. I would like to think that I’m less harsh on those I don’t respect so that today there are more people in the middle ground. But that could just be wishful thinking on my part. I do find myself fortunate that my wife and some friends lessen the impact of Jim (the hammer) Glass.
I saw this today and was reminded of my peer rating experience. I got off lightly btw; there were folks (in the bottom third) who were devastated by the peer review. These were private reports. Now imagine them being made available to the world:
Picture this: You and another coworker are vying for the same promotion, but your boss awards it to you. Your coworker congratulates you through gritted teeth, then logs on to a new corporate-inspired burn book, and blasts you for "sleeping your way to a promotion that you didn’t deserve."
Not anymore. Today, Unvarnished made its debut. Unvarnished is an anonymous social network (think: LinkedIn meets Yelp review features) where professionals can praise—or criticize—past or present coworkers. Right now, the site is in invite-only beta (so you can breathe a momentary sigh of relief). But you can join the waiting list by visiting the site, or wait for a private alpha user to request a review from you via Facebook.
Once you’re a member, you can choose to claim your profile (which gives you "super user" privileges, which include updates, ability to comment and request new reviews), but with a catch: You have to accept every post people have submitted—the good, the bad and the ugly. And once you’ve claimed your profile, there’s not taking it down; it’s there forever, the company says.
If you choose not to join, people can still post about you. You just won’t have the opportunity to add anything yourself. It’s an unappetizing situation, either way.
I just don’t see an upside. There seem to be quite a few sites out there for rating you and your co-workers (a Yelp.com of sorts, only for people). In addition there is http://www.medentify.com/ that rates people by phone number or email and also http://www.coworkers.com/ that does co-worker feedback.