Broadband USA. At last.

June 3, 2006 by

The number of US residents with broadband Internet connections surged 40 percent last year alone to a total of 84 million, according to a recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. DSL connections are now leading the charge, with certain companies in the Bay Area wooing customers with rates half as low as were common for dial-up during the early days of the Web. Like many things Internet, the era of broadband connectivity was seen as imminent during the go-go days, and then quickly forgotten about when things turned south. Well, it turns out that the baby may have been thrown out with the bathwater, and that reality is finally creeping up on the early hype. So what does this mean for another great promise of the Internet- the ability to unshackle knowledge workers from the claustrophobia of the cubicle? It can’t be too far behind. And while tech work attracts the spotlight when it comes to remote arrangements, the stats regarding the US are especially promising with regard to the myriad of other types of knowledge work- such as tech writing- where the US has an especially talented workforce. We’re sure to hear more of this story, so stay tuned. Read Full Article

We are moving!

June 1, 2006 by

Hi guys, We are about to move to our new offices in Menlo Park, right off the 101 highway (see links to our location below). We have completely run out of space in our current offices. People have been forced to use conference rooms. When I joined about a year ago, we had an even smaller office space, and about 5 of us were stuffed, elbow-to-elbow in a small conference room about the size of 2 cubicles. We called it the Boiler Room. I ran across this cool mashup of Google Maps to create a map-based Wikipedia. Check out Wikimapia.org You can search for the tag for our new office location: odesk Or click here to go there directly. Here is a Google Maps link. – Abid … Read Full Article

Job Application Quota

May 26, 2006 by

We just implemented a quota on the # of jobs that a Provider can apply to in a week. Providers used to be apply to apply to an unlimited # of jobs. Now the # is capped at 10 per week. Check out why we made this change in our Community, and let us know what you think. Read Full Article

oDesk MiniCamGD for Google Sidebar

May 19, 2006 by

Everyone at oDesk has the Google Desktop installed on their computers. It is a good way to search through the piles of emails and months old documents. No need for cleanly organized folders anymore, it is much easier and quicker to search with Google Desktop. Most of us have the Desktop enabled as a Sidebar. Cool thing is that developers can create plug-ins for the Google Desktop Sidebar (not good news for Konfabulator, now acquired by Yahoo, that was creating Apple-style widgets for PCs). Naturally, the extension of that is to create oDesk plug-ins for the Google Desktop Sidebar. One of the first to come out is the oDesk MiniCamGD (version 1.0.4 can be downloaded here). This integrated into the Sidebar as a minicam window, resizing automatically, and when you click on it, it opens into a full resolution webcam shot. Take a look at my ScreenSnap. It also integrates with oDesk Team, i.e. if you are running the MiniCamGD, it will not restrict your webcam from uploading your picture with the Work Diary. You can pause it by pressing (CTRL + ALT + P). More options and preferences can be accessed by right-clicking on the webcam picture area. Before you go crazy… let me tell you that there is NO support for this plug-in, NO guarantees that it will work, and oDesk takes NO responsibility if the MiniCamGD plug-in makes your entire Sidebar go kaput. Now, you may go crazy. Oh, and please do leave comments about what other plug-ins would be cool-to-have. – Abid … Read Full Article

Skype makes local calls free

May 19, 2006 by

Skype now offers free calls within the US and Canada. This doesn’t really help our international providers, but it is interesting for all oDesk users in North America. Now Skype calls make sense if the laptop is closer than your cell phone… … Read Full Article

oDesk is generating a good deal of discussion

May 5, 2006 by

Community is at the heart of oDesk. So we thought you would like to know that we have caused quite some discussion since our launch last week. We’ve been picked up in the blogosphere- for example, here and here. Mashable, on of the highly regarded blogs covering Web 2.0, has dubbed us Rent a Coder 2.0. We’re still mulling over the moniker. There is also quite some back and forth about oDesk and the challenges of remote development. Meanwhile, our Business Week profile seems to be generating debate about the merits of outsourcing. Some see offshore development as ineffective and bad for American jobs. The other camp sees oDesk as an innovative company pioneering free markets and transparency. (Though the debates don’t totally miss each other. At the Mashable blog, an American programmer says he doesn’t feel threatened by globalization and looks forward to oDesk.) As always, we encourage our community to participate and share their candid thoughts on these interesting topics. Read Full Article

We’re in alarm:clock

May 3, 2006 by

Notable tech blog alarm:clock carried an item on our funding yesterday. There is a quick summary of the funding news and a bit about oDesk. alarm:clock is a great blog featuring the latest in the tech businesses. We check it regularly. Read Full Article

Great resource for all things homeshoring

May 3, 2006 by

We came across this site and thought we would share it with our community. It’s an excellent resource on the Web to keep a tab on the home shoring story- one that you can be sure to hear more off as innovative work arrangements continue to spread. While the economic benefits of these new arrangements are very important, the site promises to be especially interesting because of it will also cover the impacts on society at large. Read Full Article

Skypecasting unveiled

May 3, 2006 by

Skype just launched its Skypecast service. PC Mag has the story. Skypecasts are public conversations, so we might be using them for upcoming training webinars with our users. We at oDesk are big fans of Skype, Google Talk, and Yahoo Messenger. Let us know which service is your favorite. On that note, we’ll soon be unveiling a Jabber-based oDesk Chat service to make it easier for buyers to interview providers, and to see which providers are “online now” when searching for providers. We’ll keep you posted. Read Full Article

Announcing the oDesk launch!

May 2, 2006 by

For some of you, it may be surprising that oDesk is just now announcing its launch.   After all, so many talented tech workers from around the world have been using oDesk to find great gigs. And companies all over the world have tapped our network to find great people, irrespective of their physical location.   Well, while we’re very proud of how far we’ve come, we at oDesk are ready to work with our community to take things to the next level.   For starters, we are excited to unveil our venture capital backers. It’s great to have the super smart people at Globespan Capital and Sigma Partners see the promise of our vision. And while we’ve been in silent mode so long, we’ve now started talking to the media as well. We’re off to a great start, to say the least- check out our profile in Business Week.   And that’s not all. We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the oDesk blog, or oBlog. Stay tuned for the latest discussions on the future of work, how to grow a business using remote talent, and getting ahead by being your own boss. Most importantly, the blog is a way for us to have a conversation with our great community- so please don’t hesitate to comment whenever you get a chance. Read Full Article

Watch this space!

April 26, 2006 by

oBlog – the oDesk blog – will launch in early May.   We have some exciting news to share with the oDesk community and we will be unveiling it next week.   oBlog will serve as a forum for conversation among our community. We will delve into all aspects of remote work, including how to find great jobs, build an all-star global team, and nitty-gritty of working in a distributed environment.   Stay tuned for more! … Read Full Article