What Do People Really Think of You? Web Site Helps You Find Out

PHOTO What do your friends really think of you? A new site allows you to invite friend to comment on their true feelings...anonymously.

Ever want to know what people think of you, but are too afraid or embarrassed to ask?

A new Web site is promising to offer you a way to help you find out.

Now in beta, Failin.gs is an online tool that lets users solicit anonymous feedback from people that they know. Once it's live in a couple of weeks, anyone will be able to create a profile, invite others to comment and then sit back as the (hopefully) constructive criticism pours in.

"As you know, nobody is perfect," the Web site says. "We all have our own idiosyncrasies and personality flaws. Just think of all the people you know. We are sure you can identify what they could improve upon. We bet your friends know a thing or two about you that you don't know yourself!"

The founders, a pair of forthright friends with backgrounds in computer programming, say their site is intended to be a social experiment in brutal honesty.

"We've never been afraid to tell each other the truth," said Chicago-based Stephen Celis, 25. "This really started from that, it's all in good humor."

Failin.gs Is Experiment in Brutal Honesty

His partner, 31-year-old Danny Peck, from Asheville, N.C., said that while most popular sites online tend to stroke users' egos, they wanted to "flip the model on its head."

"It's an ego buster, so to speak," he said.

Once users sign up, they can send the link far and wide, asking friends and family to submit their critiques.

If you've always wanted to tell your former college roommate that she's not a good listener or let a co-worker know that it would be nice if he offered to buy a round of drinks once in a while, the site will also let you anonymously invite them to the site so that you can point out their flaws.

To discourage Internet trolls from turning the site into a hate-fest, the founders say they will require commenter's to answer a question that only people who actually know the person being reviewed will be able to answer.

All profiles will include only the users' first names, so Peck said that at the moment the site simply asks people wanting to make a comment to type in the last name of the person they are critiquing. But he emphasized that the question could change before the site's launch.

Users Can Choose to Keep Account Private

To further uphold the spirit of the site, he also said that Failin.gs will include a feature that allows users to report abuse, similar to those on Facebook and other social networking sites.

Though the profiles are public by default, each user can change their settings and elect to keep the comments they receive visible only to themselves.

"We didn't want to create a site that would scare people away. It has an air of whimsy about it," said Peck. "It's fun and light-hearted, that's the image we hoped to project."

Though they said Failin.gs will start out as a place for individuals to solicit and submit critiques, it could grow to something more.

"People could potentially use this inside a corporate environment for employee feedback," said Peck.

The site itself will have its own account so that users can comment on their positive and negative experiences, and he added that, in the future, they could see corporate brands, like Starbucks, or celebrities maintaining accounts for the same purpose.

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