Honestly.com Wants You to Rate Your Co-Workers

Controversial person ratings site Unvarnished changes name, opens to everyone.

ByABC News
October 19, 2010, 11:25 AM

Oct. 19, 2010— -- You can already rate movies, restaurants and products online. Now, Honestly.com wants you to rate your co-workers too.

Originally launched in March as Unvarnished.com (as in the "unvarnished truth"), the site today announced that it was not only changing its name, but opening itself up to a broader online community.

When it first hit the Web, the site was invitation-only. As of today, however, the site is accessible to anyone with a Facebook account over the age of 21.

When it debuted earlier this year, some tech blogs were merciless with their criticism, calling it everything from a "clean, well-lighted place for defamation" to a "public bathroom wall for everyone on the planet" to "a completely evil social network."

Detractors have said that there is little to stop conversation on the website from descending into the hate-fests found on so many sites with anonymous comments.

But the site's founder Peter Kazanjy and others say that in the months since its launch, the site has not only maintained a professional tone, it has become a resource for those looking to hire or build a business.

As a testament to its potential, the company also announced today that it had raised $1.2 million in new funding from investors previously (or currently) affiliated with eBay, Twitter and the financial services site Mint.

Since the site's launch, he said, it has attracted tens of thousands of reviews from about the same number of active users.

"The power of Honestly.com is less about the fact that you can leave somebody a one-star review? but instead in its ability to leave someone a 4-star review," he said. "[That's] the kind of information that is important information about people and the information that is hard to access right now."