Unvarnished: A New Web Site For Bashing Your Boss?

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A new website is betting you’re willing to dish about your co-worker’s job performance just as you would a Netflix movie or an Amazon purchase. The site, dubbed Unvarnished, came out of private beta testing last week and aims to create an open forum to rate professionals in the workplace — for better or for worse.

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It’s a concept that has caused some controversy, particularly since Unvarnished allows employees to be reviewed anonymously and with no way of removing a negative review. But the co-founders, veterans of sites like LinkedIn and eBay, think there’s a market for honest, unfiltered feedback about how individuals perform in their jobs, arguing that their site will ultimately be more useful than the carefully selected job references or curated blurbs on someone’s LinkedIn profile. “We’re trying to take how professional reputation works in the offline world and port that online,” says co-founder Peter Kazanjy. (See the 50 best websites of 2009.)

Here’s how it works: Say you have a gripe with your co-worker. You can log in to Unvarnished using your Facebook profile and either create a profile for your co-worker or add a comment to a page already created, assigning them a rating and giving a description of your issue. Your name is kept anonymous, meaning your co-worker can’t seek you out for retribution, and your comment is left there for the world (and potentially future employees) to see. Want to give someone an attaboy? You can add that comment on their profile too. The site aggregates reviews to spit out your professional reputation on a five-star scale, along with comments from individual reviewers.

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