Big Yellow Tutu

QDOS – more dangerous than helpful? December 11, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 1:28 pm

I’m starting to become a bit of a sucker for any site that proclaims itself to still be in beta. I like signing up and feeling a bit more tecchie than I know I am, even though I only usually notice things like menu bars changing colours.

Last week I signed up to QDOS, another of community site with a pretty enough design to woo me. QDOS claims that it “measures and therefore manages the way we look online, we call it digital status”. I spent about twenty minutes tracking down all my profile names for each and every social network I belong to and set about inputting them into QDOS’s calculator. By measuring activity, number of friends, number of connections it can calculate:

Popularity
Who you know and the extent of your online network.

Impact
How much people listen to what you say online.

Activity
What you do online e.g. shop, chat, blog.

Individuality
How easy you are to find online according to your name, your age etc

We all know that how we look online is fast becoming important when looking for a job, or apparently hiring a plumber (so the QDOS site claims). I confess to having looked people up on Facebook before interviewing them for a job.

You get given a little visualization of your score, one I’d love to include here but annoyingly it doesn’t let you embed results. Apparently I’m not very popular, not very individual but people listen to me and I spend a lot of time online.

Maybe I’ve missed something, but I don’t see how this is useful if you need to alter your digital profile when applying for jobs. Is the aim to have a high score for all four categories?

People have been fired for posting rather odd photos on Facebook, and I possibly would think twice about employing someone who had added a few too many Nazi based Facebook applications; but QDOS takes none of this into account. I could have a profile on Bebo full of pictures of me getting drunk and slagging off my boss, but so long as I had a few thousand friends listed and I spent a lot of time on there QDOS would think me a saint.

When you look at someone else’s results profile it lists all their social network profiles, which seems odd to me. If you’re worried about how you’re perceived online, is having one place where every single bit of information about you a good thing?

The QDOS site asks for feedback, so I duly sent a chipper email asking a few questions about the service – including how I change my individuality score, i.e. if I post about something obscure will my score rise? 24 hours later I received a response that felt like a copy and paste from a press release….

Garlik has analysed tens of millions of records as well as searching the internet itself to calculate QDOS. The more information and links you can give us on you, the higher your QDOS score will be.

I wish someone would tell me where I’m going wrong with this, as it seems like such a good idea in theory.

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