I hate to have my first blog post after over a year be a negative one, but I feel like these guys need calling out.
I recently received an email from a company, Honestly.com, that got me quite curious. I looked up the website to see what it was all about, and I saw that they are a way of reviewing former/current coworkers and business partners. Their tag lines are “Get the inside scoop on your potential boss, coworkers, or business partners.” and “Candid community-created reviews of business professionals.” I sort of expected them to be a more extensive version of CubeDuel (which was quite fun for the first few minutes), but with full reviews rather than just ratings…
Seeing this email (“Someone created a profile for you…”) after seeing what their company does instantly made me think that someone left a public review about me. Naturally, I was quite interested in seeing what it said, so I clicked through.
Bringing me to the site…
Step 1: Their only option is to Login with Facebook and give them your Facebook info and a list of all your friends. Kind of annoying, but I login with Facebook lots of places online, so whatever.
Step 2: Get your email address
Step 3: Try to get your email contacts
Step 4: Try to get your LinkedIn contacts (your Facebook friends weren’t enough apparently)
Step 5: At this point I think to myself that I’m done with all the “let’s try to make this web app viral by gathering as much info as possible” crap. Nope… the next screen is the best one yet.
As you can see, I’m so close to being able to see all these reviews about myself. See look – they’re right there on the screen already, just dimmed out and they say “Review text will be available after you like us on Facebook.” It looks like there are already several reviews/rankings for me and as soon as I click “Like” I’ll be able to see them.
I don’t want to “Like” Honestly on Facebook. I don’t like them so far (they haven’t done a single positive thing for me at this point) and I certainly don’t want to broadcast to my friends that I like them. But as I’d also not like to connect my LinkedIn and leave reviews, I “Like” them knowing that I can fix this on Facebook immediately after.
So finally, the big moment of getting to see my reviews!!…
WHAT?!?! All that for nothing! So they sent me an email saying “Someone created a profile for you on Honestly.com” and there’s nothing there — what a bait and switch. Sure, you can debate the semantics of someone “creating a (blank) profile” vs. someone “leaving a review”, but they are clearly taking advantage of both me and whichever of my Facebook or LinkedIn’s friends that “created a profile” for me (a.k.a., probably just imported their contacts with no intention of all of them getting a deceptive email).
Bottom line: I think the idea is good and I have plenty of respect for investor Joshua Schachter of del.icio.us… but with a name like “Honestly” and a tagline of “Truth in reputation”, they should drop the sleazy and spammy tactics. If you’ve got a startup then by all means: use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to grow. But please, do it in a respectful and honest way.