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Online Reputation Services

This did­n’t real­ly belong in that last post, espe­cial­ly after I added oth­er stuff. So aren’t you lucky? You get anoth­er one!

A while back, I noticed that an old post in which I had pub­lished my Opin­i­ty ID badge in order to claim this blog had bro­ken links. I checked their site, and found a notice say­ing that they’d be back up in two days.

Well, after sev­er­al months, that notice was still up. Unless they’re talk­ing about some­thing like Plu­ton­ian days,1 I think they’ve missed their tar­get.

So when I looked up Zooomr at Crunch­Base ear­li­er, I thought, “Hey, maybe they can tell me about Opin­i­ty!” They had zero information–not so much as a sum­ma­ry or descrip­tion. There was just a list­ing with the name of an “advi­sor,” I think they called him.

But! Then I ran a search, since I had­n’t done so in a while. And lo and behold, I found an Infor­ma­tion Week arti­cle from June 2007 that says that Opin­i­ty ran out of mon­ey before its con­cept caught on. The CEO went to work for Google.2

Opin­i­ty seemed the best of three sys­tems that all start­ed around the same time (or that I became aware of around the same time, any­way). ClaimID is still around, and, um, I don’t remem­ber the oth­er one. Oh! iKar­ma! Rapleaf came lat­er, I think.

I liked the fact that Opin­i­ty ver­i­fied each thing you claimed. If you said you were such-and-such a user at eBay, Yahoo!, Live­Jour­nal, ICQ, etc. you had to have access to that account to get through the ver­i­fi­ca­tion process. I don’t think Rapleaf, ClaimID or iKar­ma do that with any­thing but email address­es. I think it was iKar­ma that also had odd lim­i­ta­tions on how many items you could add to your pro­file, and some sig­nif­i­cant omis­sions in their list­ings. If you have too much of an online pres­ence, you just can’t get it all in on iKar­ma. And if you use ser­vices they don’t choose to list, tough luck. They do have a link for sug­gest­ing new sites, but I’ve nev­er received a response to sug­ges­tions that they add ICQ, Google Talk, and oth­er ser­vices.

Tru­fi­na has a dif­fer­ent con­cept in some ways, and does actu­al­ly check infor­ma­tion against var­i­ous data­bas­es. You have to pay to have more than the most basic check done on you, but their prices are rea­son­able. I just saw some­thing on their blog about work­ing with LinkedIn, which seems very inter­est­ing.

Do you use any of these rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment sites? If you screen new employ­ee can­di­dates, do you research them online? How? How much weight do you put on what you find there? Would rec­om­men­da­tions or rat­ings from such sites mat­ter to you at all?


1 And no, I did­n’t look up the exact length of a Plu­ton­ian “day.” It’s a joke, son!

2 They have their fin­gers in every­thing else, so maybe they’ll come up with some­thing sim­i­lar in the future.

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