The Net Neutrality Debate

April 14, 2010 by

Since Comcast's successful appeal of the FCC's enforcement of Net Neutrality, the blog world has been buzzing with opinions surrounding the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. While the court cases and policy debates are far from over, this was the first big ruling in the US, enforcing an ISP's authority to filter and throttle traffic on it's network--in this case, peer to peer file sharing over the bit torrent protocol. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

oDesk Partners with Startup Weekend

April 5, 2010 by

Last weekend we attended another Startup Weekend in beautiful Miami, FL, and again came away excited to have been a part of such an innovative and exciting event. The intense, three-day event was jam-packed with brainstorming exciting ideas and executing on them to form multiple brand new startup businesses in just one weekend! We love to participate in these events, because we're all about helping startups build online teams from all over the globe and enabling them to work together as if they were in the same office. We helped each of the startup weekend teams get started on oDesk and showed them how they can do more with less by finding software programmers, web designers, virtual assistants and other professionals on-demand. We’re thrilled to announce that oDesk is partnering with Startup Weekend nationwide, and will play an important role in the events they organize across the country and around the world. Have an idea for a startup but not sure how to make it happen? We encourage you to attend an upcoming Startup Weekend in your area and join with other like-minded individuals to see what amazing things you can accomplish. And don’t forget, oDesk will be there to help you every step of the way! … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Free Work: When Developers Give it Away for Free

March 31, 2010 by

Gifting your skills to a project can be a great way to gain experience, and boost your resume/portfolio. "Free" is a relative term, and in this case, your payment should -- at the very least -- be experience, and contacts. There are some instances in which it might make sense for both the experienced and neophyte developer to work without monetary compensation. Giving work away for free is really more about who/what you're working for, and below are three situations where it might make sense to work for "free." Read Full Article


Coworking and the Future of Work

March 16, 2010 by

Yesterday, Gary shared his vision for the future with attendees at SXSW 2010 as part of the panel "What Coworking Tells Us About the Future of Work". Today, he shared with me some of his thoughts on coworking, co-location, and the future of work: Coworking is the future of work. There’s a community, a synergy, bred by coworking that may not exist in corporate-mandated structures. Where I differ from the other panelists, though, is that I don’t believe coworking needs to be tied to a physical location. Clay Spinuzzi shared this earlier. The key for me is that this “space of endless mobility” this “space made of flows of information and communication” is managed by the Internet. Think about it… If its managed by the Internet, why do I have be at a physical THERE? With this in mind, what does the future of work look like? It’s Coworking without location. Currently, people are telecommuting. They’re working from home, from coffeeshops, from coworking spaces. They are making a shift away from rigid corporate structures towards a more flexible, more online way to work. And it’s a shift that will keep growing. How do I know? Because oDesk has more than doubled in size, year over year, for the past 3 years. How much work is really happening online? To provide a little perspective: In just one week, online workers accomplish more online workers accomplish more than 80 years worth of 40-hour workweeks. How do they do it? It’s transparency. The Internet has opened the door for this open, free flow of information and communication between workers and employers, beyond the limitations of the physical environment. As an employer, you gain the ability to collaborate with workers anywhere in the world, and find the best … Read Full Article


Online Jobs Report: Web Design Isn't Dead

March 10, 2010 by

The oDesk Online Jobs Report was just released, and after having a chance to review the numbers, there is a very interesting anomaly. The "skill", "web design" is down 26 places from last year, however the category "Web Design" has remained unchanged in it's #2 spot. Below we'll see if we can shed some light on to this interesting discrepancy. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Do Away with the “Starving Artist” Mentality

March 9, 2010 by

By: Ed Gandia There’s a general attitude in many freelance associations, meetings, conferences and blogs that’s becoming increasingly popular. It’s what I call the “starving artist” mentality. Basically, it’s the general feeling that good-paying freelance work is hard to come by. That it’s a struggle to make a good living as a freelancer as companies lay off employees and hire freelancers (without paying them benefits). That clients beat you down on price, expect you to bend over backward and then take forever to pay you. That it’s a “war” out there, and you need to do everything you can to survive. There’s a reason why we like to engage in these conversations. We create a bond with someone when we talk about a struggle we share. Especially if there’s a lot of emotion around the issue. But guess what? If you engage in these discussions, they will absolutely KILL your performance! And your income. They will lead you to even more situations where you’ll be forced to work for peanuts. They will help attract even more terrible clients. Which will make you even more miserable. And so the endless cycle goes. Here’s a fact I’ve learned the hard way: You get what you think about most of the time. If you talk and think about the struggle, you’ll get struggle. If you engage in discussions about lousy clients that don’t appreciate quality work, you’ll get more lousy clients. Conversely, if you focus on the fact that organizations everywhere are hiring freelancers at a faster pace than ever before—and the fact that millions of freelancers have figured out how to make a very nice living while enjoying more freedom and flexibility—you’ll start getting the kind of success you want. I don’t know why that is. And frankly, I don’t care why … Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

SXSW, oDesk and YOU!

March 8, 2010 by

Going to SXSW this year? Party in style with oDesk and the other members of the Small Business Web! Come for food, drinks, and great networking with hundreds of small businesses and web application vendors just like yourself. When: 4-7pm Saturday, March 13 Where: The Pure Volume House at 504 Trinity St, Austin, TX. Who: The Small Business Web– we connect web apps to help small businesses bloom and grow! You must sign up here for the party. (Austin law requires us to have a guest list) _____ The Future of Work at SXSWi oDeskCEO Gary Swart (@garyswart), will also be presenting on the panel "What Coworking Tells Us About the Future of Work" on Monday, March 15, along with Clay Spinuzzi (professor at University of Austin), Liz Elam (of Link Coworking), and Drew Jones ( from Shift Workspace) Are you heading to SXSW? Let us know - we can’t wait to see you all there! … Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

The oDesk Dashboard - where all your oDesk stuff lives

March 2, 2010 by

The oDesk Dashboard is a new page designed to be "home" for all oDesk users. It shows, at a glance, a snapshot of your entire oDesk account, with links to key pages like the team room, your financial account, your open jobs, and more. The initial includes the all-new Notifications, My Teams, Payments, My Job Openings (for buyers only), and the oDesk Learning Center. Next up is a "My Provider Activity" module, which is in development now. Every oDesk user can find their dashboard at odesk.com/dashboard. What else would you like to see as part of your dashboard? What's missing or needs work? Share your thoughts in the feedback forum. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

Buzzworthy! (Feb 2010)

February 25, 2010 by

Checking out the blog buzz, it seems oDesk is doing well in taste tests. First, buyer Simon Bunker compares our marketplace to a competitor and declares we're "now the site of choice for all my outsourcing activity." Then for the provider perspective, the remote-work gurus at CertifiedFreelance.com provide "Five Reasons Why oDesk Tops Other Freelance Sites." Network Solutions blogger Steve Fisher talks about using oDesk with your iPhone, and a provider writing as "Sufidreamer" offers his fourth in-depth post about getting started on oDesk, this time focusing on cover letters and interviews. If you're tired of reading websites, here are a couple of YouTube videos you can watch: Camitta Davis offers a video intro to becoming an oDesk provider, and "MrWebMarketing" asks, "Is Outsourcing Just a Fad?" Watch and learn, folks — and remember to send us your links when you talk about oDesk online. For a few lucky winners each month, there's a free T-shirt in it. Over at the developing oDeskGuide.com, Rikki John De Castro continues to create an independent resource for oDesk providers. Recently he offered a friend advice on dealing with a difficult buyer who kept demanding broad revisions on a fixed-priced project (check it out just for the cartoon about a web design project gone awry), and he finished January by celebrating his first $1,000 in earnings through oDesk. Congratulations, Rikki! … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

To Spec or Not to Spec? What a Stupid Question.

February 24, 2010 by

Your butcher wouldn't let you take a roast home, cook it, eat it, and then only pay if you enjoyed the meal. So, why would you ever consider doing the same with your own time and resources? Working speculatively has become unfortunately too common in today's marketplace. The advent of "design contests", and other euphemisms for working without a secured payment is only making matters worse. If you're a freelancer, it's important to value your time appropriately, and if your a consumer of freelancer's services, it's important to understand that only amateurs work for free, and you get what you pay for. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

Introducing Faceted Provider Search

February 24, 2010 by

Finding just the right oDesk providers got easier! We've unveiled a new advanced search box for Provider search to let you drill down into your search and find candidates who match more specific criteria. You can choose multiple categories, locations, and more. We have a lot more improvements planned for provider search, and we'd love to hear your feedback and feature requests. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Embracing the Freelance Life... Unexpectedly.

February 23, 2010 by

Perhaps you expected the layoff. Even so, your knees turned to water when your manager says, "Can you come in here... and close the door?" if the HR person (whom you haven't seen since the day you started at the company) is in the room. But it's not the layoff that's the problem. It's the great gaping hole in your life that starts right now, and the wail that begins with, "How am I going to earn a living?!" Read Full Article