Even I find it hard to believe the stupidity of some of the latest Web 2.0 sites. I came across a real gem today. The GORB was introduced to me by David Berlind. It's a site that encourages us publish our opinions about other people. Why do we need it? According to the site:
The GORB is an online community of professionals where real life reputations are be earned and viewed by others. We accomplish this by collecting personal and professional opinions from our members and use them to drive the dynamic GORB Scoring System. Our unique social network allows members to reveal, discipline and reward the good and bad conduct of others, while openly evaluating each others' online reputation.
Reveal, discipline & reward? Does this mean that we are supposed to rate the spanking qualities of our more intimate friends? I like to be disciplined -- but this is really going too far (at least in public).
The GORB has seized the moral high ground. "Contribute to the improvement of your friends, business associates and family members by sharing your experiences with the rest of The GORB community," it tells us. In other words, publicly humiliating a friend or family member is good for them because it will improve their behaviour.
What is particularly ridiculous about The GORB is its hypocrisy toward anonymity. The whole point of the site is to publicly expose the behaviour and qualities of others. And yet it actively encourages its users to anonymously post their thoughts about other people:
The GORB combines anonymity with accountability. If you provide an anonymous opinion about another person, and if the community around that person accepts your opinion as fair and balanced, then your reputation as a fair and objective person will be enhanced.
The GORB combines anonymity with accountability. This wins my Ministry of Truth award for the best doublespeak sentence of the week. They might as well just say: The Gorb combines truth with lies (which would actually be a lie since there doesn't seem to be anything at all truthful about The GORB)
So what kind of sociopathic idiot is behind the GORB? Not surprisingly, the site doesn't tell us. I'm sure that the people who came up with such a tasteless idea are ashamed to admit it in public. Anyway, I'd like to reveal and discipline them, so they can be improved. I want to give them the most public of moral spankings.
So if you know the moral hooligans behind The GORB send me an email (email@example.com) and I'll do my best to ruin their reputations. Don't worry though -- I won't reveal your name.