Spotlight Providers (November 2009)

November 24, 2009 by

Each month we like to highlight 4 providers who’ve received exemplary feedback. Great job Shervin, Deborah, Tigran and Julia — you’ve earned this!   Shervin E 12yrs C/C++/Java, 2D/3D Graphics Apps, AI, Masters degree in Robotics Total oDesk Hours: 51 Overall Feedback: 4.66 (Based on 3 feedbacks) Comments: Our cooperation was excellent. My provider managed to finish the assignment before the deadline and was always available when I needed him. He’s got great skills and the quality of his job is excellent. Deborah H Specialist in Online Help, Manuals, Presentations, and More! Total oDesk Hours:532 Overall Feedback: 5.00 (Based on 3 feedbacks) Comments: Debbie was great to work with. She produced a high-quality deliverable in a timely fashion. She was flexible with our demanding team and showed a commitment to doing the right thing for the project. Tigran S 1400+ Hours In Odesk/Asp.Net/Vb.NET/MsSql/C#/Vba/Access/Excel Total oDesk Hours: 1,489 Overall Feedback: 4.84 (Based on 14 feedbacks) Comments: Tigran is a valuable resource and a consummate professional who goes above and beyond his commitments. When a deadline is agreed upon, he works as hards as needed to deliver. Julia N (Affiliated with Oggetto Web) Experienced xHTML/CSS/JavaScript developer | WordPress | Magento Total oDesk Hours: 1,478 Overall Feedback: 4.92 (Based on 8 feedbacks) Comments: Julia and the Oggetto team did an excellent job, one of the most professional and attentive providers I have worked with over the years on oDesk. Spotlight Providers must have earned a 4.5+ feedback score with a glowing comment on an assignment in the past month, have a 4.0+ overall feedback score, … Read Full Article

Group Profile Enhancements

November 19, 2009 by

We’re happy to announce a few small, yet important changes to the group profiles. We launched groups several months ago in order to give providers a way to differentiate themselves based on their expertise and give buyers a way to find the experts. Groups are like little expert marketplaces within the overall oDesk network. So what’s new? Each group now features new metrics designed to highlight its quality and success: Group member average rates and average feedback Overall oDesk average rates and feedback Total number of jobs posted to the group RSS feed of recent job posts to the group And we’ve cleaned up some of the interface to display group members in a clearer format. We hope you like the changes. We’re also happy to have some great partners on board as sponsors of groups, including Yahoo!, Network Solutions, Joomla!, Drupal,, Intuit, Zend, and many more. Read Full Article

oDesk SVN to be Discontinued

November 12, 2009 by

oDesk is discontinuing its integrated SVN repository service. Even though this change affects only a small number of users, we’d like to describe the upcoming changes and ensure that all have sufficient time to plan them. When will SVN be discontinued? Effective immediately, no new oDesk SVN repositories will be provisioned. Existing SVN repositories will be discontinued according to the following schedule: December 15, 2009 – repositories will become read-only and no longer accept new commits. December 31, 2009 – repositories will be disabled completely and all data will be deleted. What do I do now? You may download a copy of your entire repository anytime before December 31, 2009. Click here to download your repository. We have also made arrangements with our partner, CVSDude, to offer you a tremendous value and seamless transition to their SVN solutions. By migrating your SVN repository you will receive a full FREE year of CVSDude Team Edition “XS” plan (a $200 value). You can also purchase any of their other plans at 25% off by using promo code “odesk25″. Click here to learn more. Why is SVN being discontinued? At the time we introduced the oDesk SVN there weren’t many good offerings for management of private source code repositories. Since then, new services have come to market that offer a far more complete feature set than the oDesk offering at competitive prices. Our SVN no longer sufficiently serves the needs of our customers and we decided to focus on what we do best, while partnering with top-notch providers that we believe offer quality SVN services and great value. If you have additional questions please contact Customer Service. Read Full Article

Freelance Fun: oDesk t-shirt Day

November 9, 2009 by

Today is oDesk t-shirt day! Check out my own bedazzled creation below… Some of our festivities include: Facebook Contest Become of fan of oDesk on Facebook and upload a photo of yourself in an oDesk shirt to be entered to win a $50 Amazon giftcard! Don’t have an oDesk t-shirt? No worries! Get creative and make your own! Live video Jason from is wearing his oDesk t-shirt today, and will be doing a live video blog at noon Pacific time. We’ll be chiming in inside his chat room during that time, join us! … Read Full Article

Making hiring easier, part one: “Confirm Hire”

November 4, 2009 by

Over the next month or two, we will be releasing a number of enhancements to make hiring on oDesk easier than ever. Tonight was the first release, a redesign of the hire confirmation page. The page is now crisper and cleaner, highlighting the most important parameters for buyers. It also turns a three-page process into one page plus a confirmation box. Plus, if we say so ourselves, we think it just looks better! There is one new field: “Title/Role”. Buyers can now give their providers a title, different than the one listed in job opening. As a result, the unwieldy “Michael Levinson, Looking for top-noch web designer for e-commerce site” can be replaced by the more natural “Michael Levinson, Senior Web Designer.” Stay tuned for more meaningful improvements over the next few months, but in the meantime, please share your feedback in the comments, or submit a feature request or suggestion in our feedback forum. Read Full Article

oDesk and Zendesk Team Up to Deliver Efficient Online Customer Service

November 3, 2009 by

In a previous blog post we spoke about the growth and performance of the oDesk Customer Success Team, and the progress we have made this year. As we experienced a doubling of our case load to nearly 10,000 tickets and chats submitted per month, we also recognized the need for improved internal tools to help us achieve operational efficiency, and meet to overarching goal of better serving our customers. After an exhaustive search of more than 15 help desk software solutions, we have selected the one that we feel best meets our needs, as well as the needs of many of our users. We are pleased to announce the selection of Zendesk as our internal case management solution. Zendesk’s open architecture and rich APIs were a key factor in our decision. We find the SaaS solution elegant, easy to use and learn, and very robust. We look forward to an early 2010 launch of a new customer support portal, which will make use of the Zendesk platform and enhance the experience for all users. We believe so much in the strength of the winning team of oDesk and Zendesk that we are also thrilled to announce a deeper partnership that includes a new Zendesk Group on oDesk. Within this new group, oDesk buyers will find tried and tested customer service agents, admins and integrators who are experienced with Zendesk. These approved professionals can help transform your help desk and, more importantly, your business. The strong pool of customer service experts available on oDesk combined with the increasing demand for this type of work ensures the ongoing success of this group – we look forward to great things to come from our partnership with Zendesk! … Read Full Article

Congratulations to our Top 25 Providers for October 2009!

November 2, 2009 by

We are pleased to announce our best Providers for October 2009! We have over 350,000 Providers on oDesk, but these ones stood out as the cream of the crop this month, as they performed the most hours of work with the highest feedback rating. They have been given special badges recognizing their achievement. oDesk Buyers, you might want to get in touch with these Providers soon…they just completed assignments and are available now, but probably won’t be for long. Click on their profile to check out their work and contact them for an interview! BEST FREELANCE DESIGNERS Top 25 Freelance Designers for October 2009 were: 1 Arvind T. PHP/IIS/MS SQL, joomla, PHP, Drupal, MySQL, Ajax, XHTML 2 Susan B. Silver Cat Studios – Audio/Video/CBT Production; Script/Copy Writing; 3 M Paul 3D artist/animator -3DSmax, Zbrush, After Effects, Flash… 4 Vivek Acharya Programmer in Iphone/VB.Net/ASP/C#/PHP/Joomla 5 Kim M. Senior Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver, and InDesign 6 Abdullah Al-Baki Ultimate 3D Modeler and Architectural visualizer 7 Anna P. Graphic Designer 8 Mick D. Web Expert, Photoshop,Flash Animation, HTML/CSS, Web2.0, Logo Designer 9 Xenia S. Search Engine Optimization, Blogging, Social Media Marketing 10 Herbert M. Fine Artist, Over 600 oDesk Hours, Perfect Rating, Great Portfolio 11 Guillaume Le Taeron 3D for game & Illustration, Iphone game development, Android 12 Bill Whitney Illustration, animation art, for corporate presentation and law cases 13 Stanimir S. <+> Creative Freelancer 2D & 3D Designer (Architecture) <+> 14 Anait Sagoyan ►► PROFESSIONAL LOGO & WEBSITE MOCKUP DESIGNER WITH HIGH-END PORTFOLIO 15 Agnes B. creative logo designer always … Read Full Article

Congratulations to “Stylish and Dry When it Rains”, oDesk’s Design of the Month!

November 1, 2009 by

Congratulations to “Stylish and Dry When it Rains”, the winner of oDesk’s October Design of the Month Contest. This project was for a skilled designer to create a postcard that demonstrated his or her best creativity and skill sets while also representing the products and message of They actively promoted their contest submission, bringing in an impressive number of votes and helping them win a $1,000 oDesk credit and an Apple iPhone 3GS. Runners-Up: “iPOV Corporate Website Design” This project was a complete overhaul of the design of the buyer’s corporate website. The purpose was to clearly communicate their instructional design approach to visitors and potential clients. The new design has a new look and feel, layout, and diagrams to help get the buyer’s message across within a clean, professional design. “LingQ Redesign” This was an update to the design and functionality of the buyer’s website at The talented providers hired for this job made significant changes to the site’s core functionality and design to provide a cleaner and more user friendly appearance. “HelperHire Website” This was a design of a database driven website similar to a dating site in functionality. The buyer wanted a simple design with the least amount of pages and text as possible but also user friendly with a friendly, outdoors, happy theme. This month’s contest served as a reminder of the amazing design talent we have in our oDesk community of providers. All oDesk buyers who completed any type of design job through oDesk were eligible to submit their designs to the contest. Winners were determined entirely by oDesk community voting. We’d like to thank all of the participants in this month’s contest and helping to make it yet another success. Stay tuned for our … Read Full Article

The Future of Work

October 28, 2009 by

The oDesk team recently pulled together our thoughts on the ways business, technology and the working world intersect. The result of our brainstorm? The Future of Work: An educational presentation that explores how technology is changing how the world works. The Future Of Work View more documents from Jeff Brenman. Check it out, share it, discuss it – We’re excited about the future of work, and we hope that you will be too! … Read Full Article

oDesk Helps SNAP Summit Companies Succeed at FailCon

October 27, 2009 by

We’re excited about taking part in today’s FailCon event being put on by the folks at Snap Summit.  It will be a great venue for entrepreneurs to share ideas about the most common startup mistakes, and take away practical and actionable advice to help keep each other from the dreaded #fail. In an effort to do our part to help startups succeed, we’re extending the oDesk Challenge to all of the companies demoing at FailCon.  We’re going to roll up our sleeves and find the very best talent on oDesk for these companies, so they can build online workteams to save money and stay flexible. Here are the companies showcased at FailCon – we’ll be personally extending our offer to them during the event today. Webvanta Webvanta is a new kind of hosted content management system (CMS) that allows designers to easily build content-rich sites with structured data, without having to mess with back-end code. YourVersion YourVersion is a revolutionary real-time discovery engine that lets you easily discover, share and bookmark new, relevant web content tailored to your interests. WeMakeItSafer Statistically, you have at least 5 products with safety defects in your home right now and don’t know about it. WeMakeItSafer has the only recall search tool with advanced filtering and image gallery to help you quickly identify potential hazards. MyJobReferrals With, it’s easy for individuals to browse through open job opportunities and identify positions that a friend or colleague might be interested in hearing about. Klout Klout measures influence on topics across the social web to find the people the world listens to. Freshout We’ve had … Read Full Article

oDesk oConomy Hits $100 Million

October 26, 2009 by

Moments ago, the odometer at oDesk’s oConomy rolled over. Our providers have earned over $100 million dollars on oDesk – a fantastic feat that has all of us here in Menlo Park cheering. This rate grows every day, and there will be more work done on oDesk this month than on any other online work marketplace. Period. In addition to passing this tremendous milestone, oDesk continues to grow 3-5 times faster than any other online work marketplace. So congratulations to our incredible providers, and to the buyers who have hired them. You guys are changing how the world works! … Read Full Article

Announcing the new oDesk Affiliate Program

October 22, 2009 by

We’re excited to announce the new oDesk Affiliate Program via Commission Junction! We look forward to working with affiliate marketers to grow the oDesk community.  We are even more excited to introduce the world of affiliate marketing to oDesk.  Publishers can use oDesk for all of their day-to-day needs, since oDesk is a great place to find web developers, graphic designers, blog writers, virtual assistants, and online marketers (SEO, PPC, and social media experts). Why should you enroll in our new program? We will pay affiliates $10 for each new buyer they send to oDesk that signs up & verifies a payment method. We will pay affiliates 10% of all of the money we make from those buyers for the first year after they sign up. We’ve provided a variety of banner, text link, and flash options for affiliates to choose from. We’ve also provided a list of recommended keywords for them to use in their online marketing campaigns.  We’ve even created some APIs so affiliates can create custom sites using our job feeds – Affiliate marketers and users of our user-user referral system are welcome to apply to the new program. Click here to get started now! We’re excited about our program and hope you will be, too.  We want to work closely with our affiliates and help them succeed, so if you have any ideas about how we can make our program better, let us know!  Email Read Full Article

oDesk wants your feedback

October 22, 2009 by

Our community has always been instrumental in developing new oDesk features and improving its applications. We’re dedicated to improving the way we capture your input and over the last several weeks we’ve been testing a new feedback forum powered by User Voice. The forum has been working very well and we decided to add a floating widget throughout the site — so you can tell us what you think on every single page. Please don’t hesitate to give us your  feedback, positive or negative, no matter how small it may seem. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite suggestions — it will help us focus on improvements and future developments. Read Full Article

Relaunching the Candidate List

October 22, 2009 by

In an effort to make the job post page easier on the eye we removed the candidate list last week. The feedback of our community was loud and clear, and we decided to reverse the decision and bring the candidate list back to public job posts. We thank you for not being shy with your comments. In the near future, we’re planning to make some changes to the candidate list on job openings to display it in a better format and provide only the most critical information. Based on your feedback, we’re also working to add a label to the job post that will mark jobs to which you’ve already applied. As an organization oDesk firmly believes in incorporating user input and testing everything we develop. If you felt that we did not gather enough opinions on this change before rolling it out, we apologize. As we grow together it’s important to constantly improve our processes and we’d like to do a better job of capturing your voice. To that end, we launched our feedback forum and we welcome your suggestions, feedback, and votes. Read Full Article

Time Reports API

October 22, 2009 by

We’ve lately added quite a few new methods to the oDesk API Center and today there’s a new member of the family — Time Reports. So how can users leverage the Time Reports API? * Buyers can generate detailed hourly reports for their oDesk team, agency and company. * Providers can generate detailed reports for their personal oDesk accounts. * Users can control what the reports display and how they are formatted — the reports are very versatile. * This API and its variants deliver a quick way to plug into an large library of existing Google display widgets and formats. To learn more about the Time Reports API click here. Please share your feedback and suggestions for ongoing improvement in the comments. Read Full Article

Find the job you want – the new Job Search results page

October 21, 2009 by

The job search results page has undergone a major redesign that makes it easier to find the quality jobs you’re looking for. So what’s all the fuss about? Looks: The page is now easily scanned from top-to-bottom highlighting the important details about a job. Focusing on only the most necessary information it lets you quickly identify the jobs that are the best fit. Search criteria: A clear and detailed display of the selected search criteria  The controls to modify your search are kept out of the way until needed so you can focus on the jobs themselves. Modify Search: Job posts are now searchable by specific skills as well as generic keywords. Buyer details: Easy-to-read icons denote buyer activity and feedback scores at a glance. Full details are found by mousing-over the icons. Filter sidebar: An adjustable criteria display that narrows down search results by category, sub-category and Groups. This is just a first step and we will continue making improvements to the job search pages in the next few months. Please share your feedback and suggestions for ongoing improvement in the comments. If you have any enhancement ideas please share them with us in our new feedback forum. Read Full Article

Spotlight Providers (October 2009)

October 21, 2009 by

Each month we like to highlight 4 providers who’ve received exemplary feedback. Great job Dmitry, Jacqueline, Khalid, and Poonam — you’ve earned this!   Dmitry Y (Affiliated with Rus Wizards) ASP.NET/C#/LINQ Certified Professional Total oDesk Hours: 2,091 Overall Feedback: 5.00 (Based on 3 feedbacks) Comments: The quality of his code exceeded my expectations, he quickly adopted the rest of our team’s coding and style guidelines, and he incorporated all of my feedback right away. Jacqueline L 5-star Rated Copywriter with Business/Sales & Marketing Background Total oDesk Hours: 206 Overall Feedback: 5.00 (Based on 6 feedbacks) Comments: Working with Jacqueline is a dream. She’s delivers great work, is reliable and responsive. Communication is very smooth. I had a couple of “wow”-moments when reading her content and generally enjoy working with her. Khalid B (Affiliated with Eye Opener Digital Studios) Professional Flash Developer and Designer Total oDesk Hours: 441 Overall Feedback: 4.96 (Based on 21 feedbacks) Comments: Great addition to the team, can-do-attitude, very clear on what’s possible and what isn’t and not afraid to offer creative solutions to achieve the outcome. Poonam G (Affiliated with ANIMATIONVISART) Creative Graphic Designer Total oDesk Hours: 438 Overall Feedback: 4.82 (Based on 67 feedbacks) Comments: Poonam did an excellent job…and was very fast! I had no idea how I wanted my logo to look and she created something that everyone liked. Very nice work, highly recommended! Spotlight Providers must have earned a 4.5+ feedback score on a recent assignment with a glowing comment, have a 4.0+ overall feedback score, an impressive profile, and … Read Full Article

Buzzworthy! (October 2009)

October 21, 2009 by

The blog buzz really picked the past few weeks! Our favorite was Duncan Riley’s—it’s not often that a buyer takes the time away from his business to post a thoughtful discussion of how oDesk providers make his life easier and his business more successful, but Duncan has done just that. It’s worth a read, especially if you’re interested in the invaluable art of the virtual assistant. On the provider side, Bangladeshi blogger Tamal Anwar has done a very nice overview of the oDesk experience, with great tips for newbies. A number of providers in the Philippines have commented on the note we sent to Filipino users in the wake of the flooding that has done so much damage there. We’re just glad to see so many of our providers coming online to say they’re okay! As always, if you’re blogging (or posting on other people’s sites) about the glories of oDesk, send the link to, because for up to five of our favorites each month, there’s an oDesk T-shirt! … Read Full Article

Upcoming Event- BizTechDay – Oct. 2009

October 19, 2009 by

On October 22-23, oDesk CEO Gary Swart will be joining Silicon Valley business leaders at BiztechDay. If you’re attending, make sure to grab a moment with Gary and ask for his insights on the Future of Work – his answer will give entrepreneurs, investors and executives fuel to rethink, retarget and change how their business works. Read Full Article

Minimum Rates on Job Posts and Candidate List

October 14, 2009 by

With tonight’s release we made several tweaks that affect job posts on oDesk: Minimum Rates on Job Posts: Starting today, we will no longer accept fixed price job posts with a budget less than $5. For hourly jobs, the maximum rate preference must now be at least $3 per hour. These changes only affect the job posting, so that candidacies and assignments may still occur at whatever rates and amounts are agreed upon by the buyer and providers. We’ve noticed that job posts with budgets or rate preferences below these thresholds tend not to fill and when they do fill, it is often at greater amounts. By introducing these limits we are hoping to dissuade non-serious buyers and set more accurate expectations from the start. Candidate List: Users have been telling us that the candidate list in the Job Facts page is disconcerting and very few people found true value in it — we are therefore removing the candidate list from job opening pages. We will continue displaying the total number of candidates and interviewees at the top of the page in the Job Facts so that providers can gain an idea of the competition for a job before applying. The name of the provider who was hired will also continue to be displayed. We’re committed to providing a high quality experience for all of our users. If you have ideas (or would like to vote on ideas) that you think will contribute to a quality experience, please share them with us at Read Full Article

Provider Voices – the oDesk Manifesto

October 13, 2009 by

The oDesk Manifesto is a declaration to both freelance service providers and the companies that hire them. A while back, we asked oDesk providers to submit videos of themselves reading our oDesk Manifesto. We received responses from across the globe, from providers proud to lend their voices, faces and home towns to bring the oDesk Manifesto to life. The response: (direct link) We really can’t say it any better than they have! oDesk. Changing How the World Works. Read Full Article

Congratulations to Thumbtack & the rest of the JuicePitcher finalists!

October 11, 2009 by

It was a pleasure to attend last Tuesday’s JuicePitcher event and see the finalist’s pitches.  These startups are creating some impressive offerings.  We’re also excited to announce we’ve extended our oDesk Challenge to all of them.  We’re going to roll up our sleeves to help them find the very best talent oDesk has to offer. Our sincere congratulations goes out to the winner,, a marketplace for local work.  Not only do we think Thumbtack offers an innovative service, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that they are already a happy oDesk buyer!  Thumbtack uses oDesk providers to review all of the job posts on their site, to make sure they meet the community standards.  According to Marco Zappacosta, CEO of Thumbtack, “the quality and timeliness of the work has impressed [him] every step of the way.” The ten finalists (and latest oDesk Challenge takers) are: Thumbtack is a free way to find new clients and manage the ones you already have. Just post your service once, and we’ll take care of the rest. Viralogy is the Social Media Rank that measures how influential everyone is on the internet based on a variety of social media metrics. You can think of them as Analytics for people, not websites. Cloudmach’s disruptive technology renders the 3D world in a cloud and delivers immersive 3D graphics to Web browsers using AJAX. That allows the technology to ubiquitously integrate into social networks, leveraging existing social graphs. IDNTITI is a social rating tool that allows you to add questions and parameters to the questionnaire or feedback form, thus allowing you to get precise and objective feedback from the entire community. A team of professionals with a passion for innovative businesses that improve communities. In their ranks are … Read Full Article

Time reporting like never before… TimeAnalyze

October 8, 2009 by

oDesk has retired the WorkAnalyze report in favor of the newly upgraded TimeAnalyze report. We’ve combined the best of both reports and added some of the top-requested new features. Users can now: Easily get a snapshot of cost and productivity of their workteams Drill deep into line items per individual providers, timeframes, and tasks Enjoy a better than ever reporting on offline time: Determine which tasks were done online or offline Display percentage of charges for offline time You may notice that TimeAnalyze is still in beta testing. This is because we’re still working on improvements, so please share your feedback and let us know what other features you’d like to see in the TimeAnalyze report. We expect to complete all improvements to this report in the next few months. Read Full Article

New additions to the oDesk API Center

October 8, 2009 by

oDesk is adding to its API Center two new APIs: oTasks API Buyers can now integrate oDesk with their in house or third party project management systems by leveraging the oTasks API to: Assign tasks from from an external system to providers and teams on oDesk Access oDesk tasks that were synced between the systems, monitor them and generate reports Enjoy accurate time tracking and cost control through oDesk though task managment Read more about the oTasks API here . Job Search API The Job Search API enables website and application owners to build custom oDesk job searches into their products or dashboards. Display up to date oDesk job postings tailored for your audience, or only show jobs posted by your company. Learn more about the Job Search API here. Read Full Article

oDesk Demo at Tonight’s Entrepreneur & Small Business Academy Meetup in Berkeley

October 7, 2009 by

Patrick Schwerdtfeger, one of the Bay Area’s preeminent Social Media evangelists, will be hosting his next Entrepreneur and Small Business Academy event tonight at 6:00pm at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza, in Berkeley, CA. At the event, special guests Kane Minkus & Jeff Slayter will share their wealth of Entrepreneurial experiences with their presentation, “Blatantly Unfair Sales Magic Sooo Powerful You Might Be Afraid To Use It.” The presentation will cover: Stealth email tricks that boost client loyalty Linguistic tools that make you indispensable A precise system for creating a constant stream of clients and customers Three behaviors of top-producing Entrepreneurs that will change your perspective on how to do business in the current market place Advanced techniques for balancing multiple income streams Patrick will also have copies of his book, “Webify Your Business: Internet Marketing Secrets for the Self-Employed“, and his new 6 DVD Set “Social Media Victories – Real Businesses, Real Campaigns, Real Results” available for purchase.  Patrick has agreed to offer oDesk users a $100 discount to the DVD set. We’ll have a table at the event to chat with folks about oDesk, so make sure to stop by and say hello! … Read Full Article