All Things oDesk
July 1, 2008 by Michael Levinson

We are pleased to announce the Beta launch of the oDesk Message Center! This is just one of many features we are launching to improve our communications capabilities, both from us to you and between you and other oDesk users.

What is the Message Center?

The Message Center is an email-like interface that captures messages generated by oDesk or oDesk users within the system. Messages are divided into 3 tabs:

  • The Account Alerts tab contains message with direct or indirect financial implications. Examples include hiring actions (hire confirmations, raise rates) as well as payment-related messages (e.g. payment and withdrawal confirmation, payment methods changes)
  • The Updates tab contains other system messages, with no direct financial implications
  • The Tickets tab will contain discussions with the oDesk support team – no more fishing through your email to find our response to your support inquiry!

Will I still get oDesk messages via email?

For now, yes — all messages from oDesk will continue to be sent to your email account. But we are working on Message Center Preferences, which will allow you to configure which message types you receive in your email, your Message Center, both, or not at all. By enabling you to opt out of certain message types, the Message Center will help reduce your email load from oDesk and help you focus only on the highest-priority messages that truly demand your attention.

Will my messages “expire” from the Message Center?

For now, no, but once we have Message Center Preferences, we will likely delete Message Center messages after some period of time. You will always have the option to receive messages via email that you want to make sure you permanently keep.

What else is coming?

The next big thing is the “Inbox”, which will contain messaages from other oDesk users. The inbox will contain interview correspondence and team invitations, and will also enable buyers to email their team and keep the correspondence in one central location.

Oh, and by the way — you may notice that “My Stuff” has disappeared. We have moved “My Favorite Providers” into the “Find Providers” tab, and “My Referrals” into “Billing & Payment”. We think this is more intuitive, and hope you don’t mind!

Michael Levinson

Vice President of Product Strategy

Michael Levinson is the Vice President of Product Strategy at oDesk, where he is responsible for overall product strategy and definition. He joined oDesk in 2006 and was instrumental in building oDesk's global billing and payment platform. He later became Director of Product, where he led day-to-day product management. Prior to oDesk, Michael was a management consultant in technology, healthcare, and the public sector, starting… read more