Review Your Peers With Honestly

May 7, 2011

11:00 am

The personal recommendation has become a highly valued tool for selecting the right products, services, and employees. We tend to trust information that has been supplied by someone we know to have good judgment. Perhaps nowhere does reputation matter more than in our interactions in the business world.

Honestly is a website featuring candid community-created reviews of business professionals so that everyone might benefit from the power of personal recommendation. Honestly’s reviews are focused on professional reputation as seen through the eyes of someone’s work peers–co-workers, clients, colleagues, and business partners, for example.

The site can be used to research the professional reputation of a potential business partner, or it can be used to give kudos to a colleague for a job well done. The idea is to build and provide an organic professional reputation management tool that will accurately reflect a person’s work ethic and past performance.

While the participatory nature of the site might encourage the benefits of a self-monitoring community, such as transparency and personal responsibility, a flag of caution might also be raised. As any regular participant of online communities knows, online interaction too often devolves into name-calling or worse. The reality is that some people choose to use public forums in vindictive or hateful ways.

So far, Honestly seems to be rising above any negative noise and focusing on balanced and fair reviews. Honestly has a set of community guidelines in place, so hopefully this community of professionals will remain professional!

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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