MyCareerWeb is a new web service (currently in beta) that promises to do for your online presence what credit scoring bureaus like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion have done for your financial life: assign a number to it. The currently free service analyzes your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles, compares the data against a "fact checking" search of the web, and spits out a number between 350 and 850, with the current "average" score being 589.
The goal? To help you build your "personal brand" and be in control of how you appear to prospective employers, most likely. How (and if - they're currently at just 4000 users, a number that Facemash surpassed in an hour or two online if anything from the movie is true) they will monetize the service is what worries me more. Sure, there's the opportunity to sell individual users a score monitoring subscription service, or one-time access to a score, like the major credit-reporting companies do. But they could also sell reports to employers, who might actually use this nonsensical number to make human resources decisions.
So how did I fare? I went ahead and signed up for the beta - you can use your LinkedIn or Facebook sign-in to get started without creating a separate account, which is a nice touch. One you sign it, it automatically tablulates your score, but it's only looking at the initial account you provided. For instance, I logged in using my LinkedIn ID, so my first report was based exclusively on the data from LinkedIn, without factoring in my other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) I had to go back and add each of those separately, each of which inadvertently factored into my revised score. Here's the final results, considering all 3 of my accounts:
Congrats to me. I'm a 667, which puts me squarely in the lower half of the above average segment (UPDATE: See the bottom of this post for info on how I boosted my score to a 697 in just a few minutes). I haven't taken a deep dive into the methodology used to arrive at that exact number, but it seems to look for how many people you are connected with, how many of those people have worked with you in the past or present, the types of content you post and others post on your "wall", validation of information you display on your pages through a web search, etc.
I've used my Facebook page largely for personal enjoyment, not professional advancement. So it didn't surprise me when my score was docked a few points because they found "inappropriate" content on my wall. It likely won't surprise any of my coworkers, either. Here's what the report said:
When I went to the "Go To MyData" link it suggested to review the offending Facebook wall posts, I was able to scroll through the last 9 or 10 months of posts made to my wall. It instructed me to review the highlighted posts to find the offenders, but no posts were actually highlighted, so I guess I will never know.
A few of the reports you can generate were actually quite interesting. I liked this one, which showed me the distribution of my LinkedIn contacts across industries:
Again, no major surprises. I work in the computer software industry, in marketing and advertising, so it makes sense that more than 75% of my contacts would be comprised of those two categories, along with Information Technology. It did serve as a good reminder to diversify, though. If the tech industry took a hit (which has NEVER happened), my skills could still be quite useful in other segments, but I would lack the contacts I need to effectively network.
It would be awesome if MyCareerWeb took the analysis and recommendation to the next level - perhaps offering recommendations like the one I inferred above about diversifying my contacts by expanding into new industries. Maybe we'll see that level of thought when (if) it comes out of Beta.
It should also include the ability to link to your blog for it to extract information like frequency of post, number of commenters and audience engagement, etc. You could have a blog with 10,000 readers and not tweet, but this score would be blind to how established and reputable you are in the "blogosphere." Not that I am there. I'm just grateful that 20 people are reading :-)
UPDATE: I followed up on one of the suggestions MyCareerWeb made and added my employment information to my Facebook profile, and my score surged 20 points to a 687. Apparently, a "free" account allows you to update your score 3 times. I've used one of them. I will go back and make a few other adjustments based on their recommendations and see if I can break the 700 mark and report back to you.
UPDATE 2: I added two more of my previous jobs to my Facebook profile, and updated Facebook with which of my friends I had worked with at each of these jobs, and boosted my score another 10 points to a 697.