January 30, 2008 by Josh Breinlinger

So, as you may know, oDesk offers 100 free online certification tests available to users to prove their skills.

Rewind 1 year ago:

-Many users complained about the quality of the test content.
-We didn't have the bandwidth to review and improve all of the content ourselves.

So, after a number of users had brought the quality to our attention, we launched two new feedback mechanisms.

First, any user could Report an Issue with a specific question.
Second, any user could provide a Content Feedback Score at the completion of the test.

Now, let's look at today.

Over the course of 1 year, over 2,500 issues have been reported to improve the test content. Together with our testing vendor, ExpertRating, we have used these issues reported by our users to dramatically improve the test content. These improvements are reflected in the content feedback scores from our users; they have gone up 33% from around a 3.0 (out of 5.0) to over 4.0.

Online Certification - Content Quality Feedback

This confirms our beliefs that communities are critically important to shaping the product and offering. While it was initially painful to hear the complaints of our users, it forced us to build a solution that allowed the community to get involved. And it has paid off.

The job going forward for oDesk, and for all Web 2.0 companies, is to continue to build in more ways for the community to contribute.

Josh Breinlinger

Senior Associate at Sigma Partners

Josh joined Sigma as a Senior Associate in 2010, bringing six years of startup experience building exceptional teams, products, and communities. He has a black-belt in online marketing and a strong track record of success in user acquisition and retention. Prior to joining Sigma, Josh was the Director of Product and Marketing at AdRoll, an online advertising company, where he helped grow revenue 4x in… read more

  • Josh Breinlinger

    Hi Jennifer,

    Apologies for the delayed response -> we had an over-reacting spam filter going on that unfortunately blocked your comment for a while.

    You can certainly act as both a buyer and a provider on oDesk. Currently, you would have to register for 2 separate accounts, 1 buyer and 1 provider. With your buyer account, you could post a job and hire any providers. With your provider account, you can complete your profile, take certification tests, and apply to jobs.

    Feel free to check out the Forums at http://www.odesk.com/community for further info or for any other questions.

  • http://www.a2zofficesolutions.com Jennifer Z

    I think ODesk is great, however, I am new to it and I do not fully understand how it works. If you are a contractor, in my case for instance, I am a Va (Virtual Assistant) can I only apply to jobs or can I actually post jobs I am offering (i.e. my website). I dont understand can someone clarify.