One of the biggest complaints we get is "you guys send too much email!" And yet despite (or perhaps because of) all that email, it's still easy to miss important things that happen in your oDesk account. With this in mind, we have developed a new system for notifying users about important account events: Notifications.
Notifications are one-line news items, most of which link to a relevant destination within odesk.com. You get a notification whenever something potentially newsworthy happens with your oDesk account. For example, if I sent an offer to a provider, the provider would get a notification that read:
Michael Levinson of Acme, Inc. contacted you about the job opening "Senior Web Developer".
If the provider accepts the offer, I would get notified with:
John Smith's assignment has started.
Notifications cannot be "opened" or individually read or unread; we keep track of how many new notifications you have since you last viewed your notifications, that's it. This makes them much easier to manage, similar to Facebook notifications. Right now there is an email sent for every notification, and if you opt out of an email, you opt out of the notification as well. Soon we'll be implementing more advanced notifications preferences, and you'll be able to choose for each type of notification, whether to receive an email, a notification, both, or neither.
Notifications are currently in beta, and once we have polished all the content we will be phasing out "Account Alerts" and "Updates", which today are redundant with the emails we send, and frankly, no one really reads them anyway...
The Notifications tab is available in the Message Center.