A new feature for the oDesk Team client (download here) has been launched. The new client will give a notification of the desktop snapshot when it is taken. Here is an excerpt from the "What's New" page:
The oDesk Team client will never be the same! During the last release we auto-upgraded the oDesk Team client. It is now configured with an important new feature:
Live snapshot upload notification and control
After a snapshot is captured by the Team client, the snapshot thumbnail pops up in the right lower corner and allows the user to optionally review, do a quick zoom and decide whether they want to have the particular snapshot sent to the server or not.
Why did we do that?
The purpose of the feature is two-fold:
From the provider side we want to provide better control of private information and better user experience and convenience.
As for buyers the result of this feature is straightforward : more accurate timelogs and less opportunities for misunderstandings.
Providers already have full control of their client - they can suspend it, in which case no information is being captured and they can turn it on when they want. They can also visit their workdiary after the fact and review, delete or memo annotate their time as they see fit. However, most of us tend to let the Team client always on while we work; we just try to be careful and review immediately the diary after we do something of private nature, plus we do the occasional daily/weekly review of the diary to cleanup any non - work related activity. That's not very convenient. For starters if private info gets captured in a group-visible teamroom it might be too late. And it is really a pain having to check the workdiary continuously just in case. Its no wonder that the workdiary is the single most visited page in our entire application.
So we changed the logic of the team client and let the user be a bit ahead of the workdiary "tape". Just like the TV moderators are a few seconds ahead of the live broadcast, similarly the snapshots are now sent to the server with a configurable up-to 60 seconds delay allowing the user to moderate their "tape" in the same way.
The feature does not compromise in any way the accuracy or randomness of our snapshot logic.