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We’re excited! Today we announced that we’ve signed an agreement to merge with Elance.

We’re excited! Today we’re announcing that we’ve signed an agreement to merge with Elance.

First things first: we’ll continue to serve you on odesk.com, and Elance customers will continue to work on elance.com. In other words, oDesk and Elance will operate separately and as usual, even after the merger is complete.

Why, then, are we putting the two companies together?

The answer is pretty simple: we think we can do a better job this way. We are both inspired by a similar vision: to deliver online work experiences that create freedom and boundless opportunity for clients and freelancers everywhere.

The merger has not yet closed, but here are the kinds of things you can look forward to:

- Significant technology investments. This includes tools for more successful hiring, seamless online collaboration, better mobile support and freelancer skills development.

- Higher quality results. With our combined expertise in engineering and data science, you will enjoy a host of quality improvements, such as superior job and freelancer recommendations over time.

- Participation in how we evolve. Please join us in crafting the future together. Email me personally at garyeswart@odesk.com. Tell me your likes, dislikes, suggestions and comments about oDesk -- and about Elance if you’ve tried it too. We’ll reflect feedback in future innovations and share back what you’ve taught us in an upcoming forum post.

I also have a personal announcement. I’ve decided that after the merger closes I will step aside and hand the reins of the merged company to Fabio Rosati, Elance’s CEO. I will remain involved as a strategic advisor. We have been spirited business rivals over the years, but I have always respected Fabio. I could not possibly imagine a more dedicated and capable CEO to oversee the merged company. oDesk executive chairman Thomas Layton will also be a leader of the new combined company, continuing his same role.

We’ve prepared a Q&A in case you have more questions. Please note that the closing of the merger, expected to occur in Q1 2014, is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions (including regulatory review and approval). In the meantime, I am so proud of what this community has accomplished and excited to reach new heights by teaming with Elance. You have my promise that we will work harder than ever to make sure that YOU, our customers truly love the way you work!

Gary Swart
oDesk CEO

Q&A

Why did oDesk and Elance decide to merge?
Both companies are leading innovators driving the adoption of online work. Combined, we will have the resources to invest in products and services that better meet our customers' needs.

For example, specific expected benefits of the merger include:

- Significant investments in technology, including tools for more effective online hiring, seamless virtual collaboration, improved mobile accessibility and job skills development.
- Higher quality results. Combining our engineering and data science expertise will deliver quality improvements including better-matched freelancers for clients and superior job recommendations for freelancers.
- Accelerated growth and scale. The overall global demand for staffing is enormous and is transitioning online. Combined, the companies will be able to help accelerate this transition.

What is the vision for the new combined company?
Just as Amazon reinvented retail, and Apple iTunes transformed the music industry, together oDesk and Elance will revolutionize the way we work. This merger will create unprecedented freedom for people to find job opportunities regardless of their location, and will allow businesses of all sizes to more easily access the best available talent.

What does this mean for current clients and freelancers on oDesk and Elance?
Both odesk.com and elance.com will for now continue to operate as separate, independent services. Your accounts and profile records will not be impacted.

For freelancers, your profile and work history and other aspects of your online reputation will not be affected.

For clients, you will still be able to hire, manage and pay exactly as you have in the past.

After the merger closes, expect accelerated product and quality innovations that help both oDesk and Elance serve you better.

How are you evolving the two platforms so they become more differentiated?
We are inviting feedback from customers on both odesk.com and elance.com, and will be actively incorporating this feedback into differentiating innovations on the platforms moving forward.

Will there be more competition for good jobs among freelancers as a result of this merger?
As both odesk.com and elance.com will continue to operate as separate, distinct online work marketplaces for now, we don't anticipate any changes in freelancer competition due to the merger. We will also continue to invest to attract more businesses to hire online and increase the number of jobs available for freelancers.

How much work is happening on oDesk and Elance?
Freelancers will earn about $750 million on the two sites in 2013.

How does this company fit into the overall market for hiring and staffing?
Global staffing is a $422 billion market (according to Staffing Industry Analysts) that we believe is ripe for reinvention. Online work, any type of work that can be done via the Internet, is an emerging sector within it that SIA predicts will reach $5 billion by 2018.

Who will lead the new company?
oDesk executive chairman Thomas Layton will continue in the same role at the combined company, and Elance CEO Fabio Rosati will serve as chief executive officer.

What will the new combined company be called?
As the merger is not yet complete, it’s too early to say. The name will be announced after the deal closes.

Will any of the features I’m used to go away?
We update our platforms on a regular basis and will continue to do so, but clients will still be able to hire, manage and pay as they have in the past, and freelancers’ profile, work history, etc. will not be affected. Login information will remain the same.

Will there be any change in fees or membership structures?
None are planned.

What’s the timeline for concluding the deal?
The closing of the merger is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, and is expected to occur in the next four months.

Vote Result

++--------
Score: 2.5, Votes: 133
Not Happy

I hate how Elance charges freelancers to work, so this announcement fills me with dread at the thought of that "innovation" possibly coming to oDesk.

One of the reasons I use oDesk is because it's NOT Elance, and the combination of the merger and Elance's CEO taking over cannot be considered good news from where I sit.

Dave

Elance is a way better

Elance is a way better marketplace than oDesk - FACT! Better higher paying jobs.

Everything just works on elance compared to heaps of bugs in oDesk.

Contractor search results on elance are relevant, on oDesk they are not.

Elance uses levels to rank contractors, not some half baked algorithm that oDesk uses.

A small $10 fee to pay for premium features is a great idea and I am happy to pay it. In fact it gives me a greater insight into how to win more jobs.

Go across to the Elance forums you will see that a lot of the elance veterans do not like oDesk and are just as unhappy as you are about it.

oDesk has a bad reputation for slave wages and scamming clients. All my experiences on Elance have been great.

My experiences on Elance have been quite the opposite.

You may prefer it. I do not.

Elance is too complicated

I also prefer oDesk although it is a true fact that oDesk has not good reputation regarding freelancer specially.But thumbs Up for oDesk they have to improve it rather then Marge with elance!!!

I've worked on both and

I've worked on both and prefer oDesk much more than Elance. I've done almost 100 jobs here and have only had a problem with 1 client. People complain about the low wages, but I would have to disagree. Yes, there are some low paying jobs, which you are free to pass on, but I've gotten a lot of good paying jobs too. I currently work on a pretty regular basis on oDesk, pretty much everyday. Hopefully this merge wont change that.

Hi Scott, thank you for your

Hi Scott, thank you for your thoughtful feedback. I'm happy to hear you've had a good experience on oDesk thus far, and we expect that to continue! Our plan is for odesk.com and elance.com to continue to operate as separate, independent services. Plus, after the merger closes, we expect to deliver even more product and quality innovations to provide you an even better experience.

Working on both

Scott Spaulding wrote:
I've worked on both and prefer oDesk much more than Elance. I've done almost 100 jobs here and have only had a problem with 1 client. People complain about the low wages, but I would have to disagree. Yes, there are some low paying jobs, which you are free to pass on, but I've gotten a lot of good paying jobs too. I currently work on a pretty regular basis on oDesk, pretty much everyday. Hopefully this merge wont change that.

I totally agree with you. I have been working on both companies and am pretty happy about it. As a freelancer, I get to choose whether to apply for and accept jobs based on the pay. And most of what I got were considerably fair prices (some may seem too low but the task is not too complicated so I think it's still fair). There are times that I do compare and take preference over some of the services of the two companies but in general, both are good. I do hope this merger will turn out to be something really great,both for freelancers and clients.

Who is the best : oDesk or Elance ???

Me also, I prefer Odesk, much more than Elance.

oDesk to Merge with Elance

Me also, I prefer Odesk, much more than Elance. I don't like premium fee charged by Elance.

I work at both too. Both are

I work at both too. Both are ok. I even do some works at freelancer.com sometimes, but tend to avoid it if possible. The wages tend to fluctuate for me. A few months ago I was getting the best job offers here at oDesk, recently I'm getting them at Elance.

I guess the merge has a lot to do with freelancer.com becoming a massive site after they bought all the competence. I hope this helps them standing against the beast, because that site treats their freelancers like crap.

Indeed, Elance uses levels.

Indeed, Elance uses levels. But it's algorithm is simply broken. You can easily find many developers with just one small completed job, no tests etc etc which can have higher level than some other developers, with dozens of jobs (with feedback score greater than 4.5 out of 5), top results in tests etc.

I agree with John, Elance has

I agree with John, Elance has high paying jobs and better clients than Odesk.

Odesk is better

I love oDesk. Odesk is better then Elance. And 10$ per month is not affordable for us.

Elance Clients Pays Better

I don't know about any "heaps of bugs" on oDesk. But I know one thing that we all know and can all agree on: Elance Clients Pays far Better than oDesk's.
I hope this changes doesn't infest Elance platform with the low paying clients of oDesk.

On Elance, if you include $15+ per hour in a job application and you do not get that job there's a 95% chance that the job was awarded to someone with better skills or ideas and less than 5% chance that your budget was too high. The reverse is the case on oDesk. oDesk should really do something about that. It's very frustrating and discouraging to see a website design job that the client is not willing to pay more than $50.

Both platforms are awesome and they have done a tremendous job independent of each other over the years. If they believe that merging together will boost their credibility even further, then they should, but only after resolving their "individual issues".

As freelancers and employers, we must remember that changes are just normal aspect of our everyday lives. We should try to look for the best in every situation. The managers of the two platforms says the merging will do more good than harm, let's believe in them until we have a reason not to. I wish the Elance and oDesk freelancers and employers the very best.

I wish the both teams and management a successful merging and better working environment now and in the years ahead.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Advanced.

Odesk is easy to use than Elance

I worked on both but I feel easy working on Odesk.

you talked good about elance

you talked good about elance but tell that why such a nice company (elance according to you!!) is going to merge with bad reputed odesk(according to you)?
there are many things which elance dont have but odesk has and vice versa...so both agreed on to merge ..its not one sided ....odesk is overall best i believe

Not happy either

I too hate how Elance charges freelancers to work, like paying the percentage isn't enough. AND we get to pay to take tests on Elance. Why? Because they can get even more money, that's why. It's not like there's a human grading the exam.

This is bad news. Like when vWorker went away.

Liar liar pants on fire

Either that or you are just terribly ignorant. Elance DOES NOT charge freelancers to work. The basic membership which has exactly the absolute same features as the ones on oDesk (actually, more, as it has escrow as well) is FREE. You don't pay for it anything else other than the percentage which is LOWER than oDesks. Elance however offers you a range of paid options which are are not obligated to purchase.

Again - Elance offers a free basic subscription and an optional range of paid subscriptions and addon services.

As for the paid exams on Elance, they are significantly more difficult and harder to game, the test platform is less buggy and they the questions change fully every year.

On Elance, free membership offers only one category....

Because of recent developments, I reactivated my Elance account which has been dormant for a long time, and indeed, much had changed, which is good for the site.

However, in my niche which is transcription, I found out that the free membership only offers one category you can choose to work in.

Mine is transcription, so naturally I'd go for transcription jobs, but lo and behold, some employers post their transcription jobs on other categories, thus a contractor with a free membership that is of different categories, let's say, Transcription is barred from applying to that job post.

This is where the paid $10 per month subscription kicks in. If you want to increase your categories, you have to pay and have a hassle-free bidding process.

This is the benefit of being a paid member, it bars the free-membership contractor from other opportunities, unlike in oDesk where it's a free for all.

But all in all, comparing the two, I'd go for oDesk at this time....

David, we appreciate you

David, we appreciate you sharing your concerns. To reassure you, there are no changes in fees or membership structures planned.

I work with Elance and

I work with Elance and membership is optional. Isn't it? I pay the per-work fee just like here.

Re: Not Happy

I can only echo your sentiments, Dave. I too have a sense of dread with this news.

Shawn

Dave, thanks for sharing your

Dave, thanks for sharing your concerns. There will be no changes to fees or membership structures as a result of the merger. And, rest assured that both odesk.com and elance.com will for now continue to operate as separate, independent services. However, with the merger and combining efforts, we do expect to make improvements to the experience on both platforms and we believe this will be a very good thing for both the oDesk and Elance communities.

Changes to fees or membership structures

Hi Mollie C,

Your Q&A page states:

"Q: Will there be any change in fees or membership structures?
A: None are planned."

Why not say then "There will be no changes to fees or membership structures as a result of the merger," as in your answer to Dave?

"None are planned" is another way of saying "None are planned at this moment in time."

I understand David's dread.

No charge...

Dave Robinson wrote:
I hate how Elance charges freelancers to work, so this announcement fills me with dread at the thought of that "innovation" possibly coming to oDesk.

One of the reasons I use oDesk is because it's NOT Elance, and the combination of the merger and Elance's CEO taking over cannot be considered good news from where I sit.

Dave

X2

agree Elance is not as good as Odesk

agree Elance is not as good as Odesk , Elance is far from Odesk as Odesk is way better

I hate this too

I hate this too how Elance system works. This is like another bad news which was happened last year when vWorker acquired by Freelancer.com.

I agree. Long before I used

I agree. Long before I used Odesk, I used Elance. I landed a client who changed the job instructions a couple weeks into the contract. The original terms were $5 for an article on the attractions and location of every town and city in Spain (hundreds of towns and some very hard to research). She wanted content doubled by having the history and gastronomy added, going from 200 to 400 words and expected the same price per article. I balked and Elance backed her, so I took a ratings hit for backing out of the contract and not being amenable to change. I closed my account after that and never went back. I have a great client on Odesk paying 3 cents a word for articles and they provide all the research notes for me, so not all of Odesk is low wages.

Really.

If you think 3 cents a word is a good rate…you probably need to stay on oDesk. Wink

me either

I agree. I have had a profile on Elance for some time but have not bid on anything because of the structure. I, too, came to Odesk because it was NOT Elance.

I do not see this merger as a positive for Odesk contractors.

Susan

My first client on elance was a fraud

My first client on elance was a fraud. It was a lady who wanted a website in 3 days and minimal requirement in the job description and when the project started, she started increasing her demands.

But at the same time experienced bad client here as well who wanted to run away without payment and I have to nearly fight a battle to get the payment for the hard work done for him.

I guess it depends on clients more than platform....

oDesk is better than Elance

I have account in both oDesk and Elance. I think oDesk is more user friendly, wire transfer is faster in oDesk and I also think it is very easy to find a job in oDesk rather than Elance.

Same to me...

Naser Fahad Jinnah wrote:
I have account in both oDesk and Elance. I think oDesk is more user friendly, wire transfer is faster in oDesk and I also think it is very easy to find a job in oDesk rather than Elance.

X2

why it is happening ?

If Elance is better then why Odesk has success story so far ? The reasons for merger is something not new as these reasons were there when Odesk started then what made them realise that they need to merge now and lose their own odentity !
Elance will surely kill hourly working model of Odesk and it will become more like what Elance has currently .
My best bet is that Gary S has realised that Odesk has reached the saturation having current working model of fixed and hourly jobs. I am sure he must be having some other plan for himself so its like he is moving on and Odesk is going to be Elance sooner or later with everything scrapped whether its unique hourly jobs model and other things so guys its going to be Elance only whether you like it or not.
I believe this merger will create vacuum for a new player to come up with something unique like Odes did earlier... Good Luck Mr. Gary S but we have never expected that you will leave it like this !

Hi Rupinder, the plan is for

Hi Rupinder, the plan is for oDesk.com and Elance.com to continue to operate as separate platforms. We are committed to not only keeping your experience at the same level of quality, but improving it. Thank you for sharing your concerns.

Yes you are right a vaccum is going to create...

Rupinder S. wrote:
If Elance is better then why Odesk has success story so far ? The reasons for merger is something not new as these reasons were there when Odesk started then what made them realise that they need to merge now and lose their own odentity !
Elance will surely kill hourly working model of Odesk and it will become more like what Elance has currently .
My best bet is that Gary S has realised that Odesk has reached the saturation having current working model of fixed and hourly jobs. I am sure he must be having some other plan for himself so its like he is moving on and Odesk is going to be Elance sooner or later with everything scrapped whether its unique hourly jobs model and other things so guys its going to be Elance only whether you like it or not.
I believe this merger will create vacuum for a new player to come up with something unique like Odes did earlier... Good Luck Mr. Gary S but we have never expected that you will leave it like this !

I hate elance

The actual reason for me to adhere with oDesk is once upon a time there was a problem in transferring payment through PayOneer debit cards, oDesk helps me and really takes care of my funds easily transferred to India. At the same time, Elance did not care. I hate Elance.

I do not like the idea

Competition is the best way for freelancers/clients in ALL industries. I like to have more alternatives to choose. So I do not like merging 2 companies.

I am in both and I like them separate. Personally I prefer Odesk to Elance, but that is irrelevant because every freelancer/client has different opinion and needs. We have to fight together and let the CEOs know we do not like merging the two companies!

More companies = More competition = More innovation and prices!
One company = High prices = Poor upgrades...

I think you are dead on.One

I think you are dead on.
One of the reasons I built my business on odesk was Elance suspended my account for one month because one of my clients (and the smallest at that) had trouble paying through their system and so, after I encouraged him to talk with Elance, paid my directly anyway. That $4.50 in commissions that Elance didn't get because of their error, would have cost my 1 month worth of business if not for odesk.

That was a huge wakeup call. It almost put me out of business.

Competition is good. Now I get to build up another backup on another freelancer website - of which there are many - it's just a pain.

For those of us that like Gary Swart

Gary S. wrote:

I also have a personal announcement. I’ve decided that after the merger closes I will step aside and hand the reins of the merged company to Fabio Rosati, Elance’s CEO. I will remain involved as a strategic advisor. We have been spirited business rivals over the years, but I have always respected Fabio.

Why would this make us happy? Gary Swart IS oDesk. I wonder why is Gary happy about no longer being oDesk CEO Sad Gary, you can be exited about this, but don't expect everyone else to be..sad news Sad

Who knows what changes Mister Fabio will bring to oDesk, he might want to make us pay to look for jobs, just like he does at Elance.

A small $10 fee per month for

A small $10 fee per month for a chance to earn thousands and detailed statistics about how you rank in the marketplace. Which gives you insight on how you can improve your ranking.

On elance rankings are mainly based on how much you earn. The more you earn the higher your ranking and higher level and thus the higher you appear in the contractor search results. Under bidding on elance penalizes your rankings, so low bidders will be lower in the search results.

That's one bet I already take on Elance and its paying off big time! Professionals will rise to the top, less spam bids and low ballers will always be at the bottom of the rankings and get less jobs and will eventually be phased out of the marketplace

Equivalent of Ransom

John B. wrote:
A small $10 fee per month for a chance to earn thousands and detailed statistics about how you rank in the marketplace. Which gives you insight on how you can improve your ranking.

On elance rankings are mainly based on how much you earn. The more you earn the higher your ranking and higher level and thus the higher you appear in the contractor search results. Under bidding on elance penalizes your rankings, so low bidders will be lower in the search results.

That's one bet I already take on Elance and its paying off big time! Professionals will rise to the top, less spam bids and low ballers will always be at the bottom of the rankings and get less jobs and will eventually be phased out of the marketplace

The "10 fee per month" may be affordable (2 - 3 hours work a year) but the fact of the matter is that NO ONE should have to pay to work. They also charge more than oDesk for PayPal transfers and some of their other policies are way different than oDesk. -- you actually hit on the right phrase "for a chance to earn" Smile HA

Freelancers shouldn't be any different than anyone else in this case: NO ONE should have to pay to look for work.

Elance has a free membership.

Elance has a free membership. No one has to pay. Elance has lower fees. Elance has no bugs.

IF you pay you get premium features which give you insight on how you can improve.

On oDesk we have no idea how the rankings work, everyone knows that the way oDesk ranks contractors is stupid. It's just not relevant.

For example I have done 261 jobs, with over 20 with XSLT, when I search just in Australasia for "XSLT" i come up third. The person in the first position has done 2 jobs. How the fark can someone who has got 1 feedback rank higher than me? Its just not logical.

Why is Doreen insisting on a lie?

I find it hilarious that even after I called Doreen our repeatedly on this crap "Elance makes you pay to work" she still insists on it. I wonder why she is doing that...

Doreen, one more time, maybe if I repeat it in a slightly different way it will sink in this time: image that you enter into a restaurant that offers free soup and a range of menus. Let's say I want and can afford to eat stake. Is the guy next to me eating soup justified in calling the waiter and making a fuss that I am eating stake therefore his soup is no longer free? Even though he was never charged for it? Because in your logic, that is exactly what it means.

Elance merging with oDesk is bad news because I am sure that the nonexistent customer support and poor decision-making that have plagued odesk in the past year will make its way to Elance, a plaform where I can charge more and where I never had any issues with money, abusive clients or spammy freelancers. I am afraid Elance quality will decay because oDesk is, in fact, a rotten apple.

Eating wood

Maria F. wrote:
I find it hilarious that even after I called Doreen our repeatedly on this crap "Elance makes you pay to work" she still insists on it. I wonder why she is doing that...

Doreen, one more time, maybe if I repeat it in a slightly different way it will sink in this time: image that you enter into a restaurant that offers free soup and a range of menus. Let's say I want and can afford to eat stake. Is the guy next to me eating soup justified in calling the waiter and making a fuss that I am eating stake therefore his soup is no longer free? Even though he was never charged for it? Because in your logic, that is exactly what it means.

Elance merging with oDesk is bad news because I am sure that the nonexistent customer support and poor decision-making that have plagued odesk in the past year will make its way to Elance, a plaform where I can charge more and where I never had any issues with money, abusive clients or spammy freelancers. I am afraid Elance quality will decay because oDesk is, in fact, a rotten apple.

Maria as usual you have nothing useful to add to a conversation. You consistently want people to think the way you think and everyone else is an idiot. It's steak not stake (stake is a piece of wood)

Give me a break: In the brick and mortar world if you were offered a position where you paid your employer 120 dollars a year for "searching for opportunities" or a position where you could search opportunities for free don't tell me you wouldn't take the free one.

I've done tons of research on all the freelancing sites out there: oDesk is FAR from perfect but for MOST freelancers it's the best of them. I don't really care if you disagree with my opinion but don't you DARE call me a liar -- If you want more than a basic subscription where you can access any real opportunities, Elance charges you -- oDesk doesn't.

I have devoted a LOT of time to researching both and Elance BITES for MANY (not all) freelancers. I have far more hours than you do here and I command a much better rate than you do clearly so please don't talk down to me like some two year old: Read the Elance and oDesk TOS and it's like comparing apples to oranges.

Read
How much does Elance cost and then tell me it's free.

Your "40" connects get you crap as explained here:

Quote:
Connects

Job Type

0 Invited Jobs

1 All Hourly Jobs OR Fixed Price Jobs less than or equal to $500

2 Fixed Price Jobs greater than $500, including unspecified job values

3 Featured Jobs

+4 Sponsored Proposals

This means at the MAXIMUM for UNPAID membership I can pay for 40 applications a month assuming they are hourly or pay less than an overall $500......that's of course in comparison to what is more like 125 for me here

Plus on top of that you get to invoice the clients Invoicing

Unlike oDesk who guarantees hourly assignments because that's how you were hired, your client has to agree to the "payment guarantee on Elance"

Quote:
Both freelancers and clients must agree to use Work View™.
Freelancers and clients must agree and set the number of Authorized Hours per week in the job's terms.
The client must have a valid payment method established.
The freelancer must use Tracker with Work View™ turned on while performing the work.
Hours billed must be documented by Work View™ screenshots and comments.
The freelancer must have an Elance account in good standing
In order to process the claim, Elance may re-verify the member's identity, account and bank information.

Unlike many people I DO MY HOMEWORK

Your problem is someplace else then

You apply again the same technique I saw in other places: leave the main argument and make some other with little to no relation with the present one (such as the stake-steak).

To make a statement starting with "more than a basic subscription" (aka, implicitly accepting that they are giving a free basic service) and still claim Elance charges you to work it's just...incomprehensible.

Then you proceed to say:

Quote:
"This means at the MAXIMUM for UNPAID membership I can pay for 40 applications a month"

er....you pay for the unpaid membership? or do you pay for 40 applications that are freely included in the basic membership? But yes, how dare I call you a liar?

Again, answer this (you never did that, just changed the discussion): if some company offers Product 1 for free and Product 2 with better features than product 1 (be it stake or steak) for pay, does that mean that Product 1 ceases to exist? Does it mean that Product 1 is no longer free simply because product 2 exists?

Can you in fact manage a successful business on Elance without having paid ever? The answer is YES. I did exactly that. So saying that Elance makes you pay to work when until recently I didn't pay anything else in addition to the 8.75% commission is a lie. I believe that is what makes you a liar.

The first quote you gave is not what you get for 40 connects. It is how much you use for each of the job types. For instance, you don't get 0 invited jobs as you claim, you use 0 connects to apply to a job where you are invited to. You don't get 1 hourly job, you use 1 connect to apply to an hourly job. This means if you apply only to hourly you get 40 of them. Not 1, but 40. So how exactly does that equal 125 on oDesk? Are you applying some calculus rules I am not aware of where 1+1 does not equal 2? Are you getting 125 applications from oDesk? But yes, how dare I call you a liar?

The second quote you give is practically the same policy as oDesk. The jobs which are not guaranteed are specially marked (btw, I am yet to meet one hourly where the client did not agree to use WorkView). You conveniently forget to mention the Escrow service. Oh, yes, and conveniently forget to mention how WorkView is an opt-out service, not an opt-in (actually, you lied implying it's opt-in).

I still maintain you are just full of it. Elance offers FREE basic services (of similar or even better level than oDEsk) and paid Premium and expansion services on the off-chance that my business strategy is not the same as the business strategy of a data-entry freelancer or of a marketing expert or of an Android development company. oDesk gives the same options to all freelancers and no way to enhance your presence. That is like living in a country where high school is free but going to university is forbidden by law.

Lastly, Doreen, just because you could not get jobs on Elance does not make Elance a bad service. It just means you failed.

Where is that "Like" button?

I wish there were a "like" button on this forum.

"....... you use 1 connect to apply to an hourly job. This means if you apply only to hourly you get 40 of them. ......."

I like the idea that you can use the connects to push your application to the top; this comes in very handy when you feel you are a good match for the job profile.

Also, limited connects = limited spamming of applicants. It also forces you to be selective when applying for jobs.

I often wonder how on earth clients cope when they have to sift through pages of applicants.

Not so much

Maria F. wrote:
You apply again the same technique I saw in other places: leave the main argument and make some other with little to no relation with the present one (such as the stake-steak).

To make a statement starting with "more than a basic subscription" (aka, implicitly accepting that they are giving a free basic service) and still claim Elance charges you to work it's just...incomprehensible.

Then you proceed to say:

Quote:
"This means at the MAXIMUM for UNPAID membership I can pay for 40 applications a month"

er....you pay for the unpaid membership? or do you pay for 40 applications that are freely included in the basic membership? But yes, how dare I call you a liar?

Again, answer this (you never did that, just changed the discussion): if some company offers Product 1 for free and Product 2 with better features than product 1 (be it stake or steak) for pay, does that mean that Product 1 ceases to exist? Does it mean that Product 1 is no longer free simply because product 2 exists?

Can you in fact manage a successful business on Elance without having paid ever? The answer is YES. I did exactly that. So saying that Elance makes you pay to work when until recently I didn't pay anything else in addition to the 8.75% commission is a lie. I believe that is what makes you a liar.

The first quote you gave is not what you get for 40 connects. It is how much you use for each of the job types. For instance, you don't get 0 invited jobs as you claim, you use 0 connects to apply to a job where you are invited to. You don't get 1 hourly job, you use 1 connect to apply to an hourly job. This means if you apply only to hourly you get 40 of them. Not 1, but 40. So how exactly does that equal 125 on oDesk? Are you applying some calculus rules I am not aware of where 1+1 does not equal 2? Are you getting 125 applications from oDesk? But yes, how dare I call you a liar?

The second quote you give is practically the same policy as oDesk. The jobs which are not guaranteed are specially marked (btw, I am yet to meet one hourly where the client did not agree to use WorkView). You conveniently forget to mention the Escrow service. Oh, yes, and conveniently forget to mention how WorkView is an opt-out service, not an opt-in (actually, you lied implying it's opt-in).

I still maintain you are just full of it. Elance offers FREE basic services (of similar or even better level than oDEsk) and paid Premium and expansion services on the off-chance that my business strategy is not the same as the business strategy of a data-entry freelancer or of a marketing expert or of an Android development company. oDesk gives the same options to all freelancers and no way to enhance your presence. That is like living in a country where high school is free but going to university is forbidden by law.

Lastly, Doreen, just because you could not get jobs on Elance does not make Elance a bad service. It just means you failed.

Maria, the fact that I couldn't get jobs on Elance is solely because I didn't bother to pursue them. I didn't fail, I simply failed to follow up.

Yes, my "pay for 40 assignments" is a typo - sue me. I'm done arguing with you because you refuse to see what's right there in the terms of service. As a freelance writer, I should take more care with my words -- clearly.

The fact is that (a) Elance limits the number of assignments you can bid on with an unpaid membership to a maximum of 40 per month (oDesk it's at least twice that) (b) Elance has a lot of weird clauses in their documents that make their guarantee slightly different than oDesks: I don't trust some of the wording.

Elances "free basic service" is NOT equivalent -- and no where NEAR -- better than oDesk because of these limitations. If you want to "promote your submission you use your "connects" meaning for each time you use a connect, that's one less application you can submit. Not to mention the fact that their "categories" are all stretched out meaning you can only elect ONE category with the free membership *unlike oDesk where you get free access to *all* assignments.

Like everything else, to each his own. I prefer oDesk and nothing will make me convert to Elance, even this "merger". I am pleased you've been successful at Elance, not everyone has been and that's not always the freelancers fault.

1+1 equals...

Quote:
...Elance...maximum of 40 for month (oDesk it's at least twice that)

On oDesk you have a maximum job application quota of 25. On Elance you have 40 "connects". No matter how I turn it or look at it, 25 is not the double of 40.

Quote:
Elance limits the number of assignments you can bid on with an unpaid membership to a maximum of 40 per month

It does no such thing. You get 40 connects included in the basic free membership. You can purchase extra connects if you want. Here you get 25 and that's it. If you're out, you're out.

Quote:
Elances "free basic service" is NOT equivalent -- and no where NEAR...

HELLO!!! Don't you feel a slight cognitive dissonance between this and the "Elance makes you pay to work"? Because there is a huge difference between "Services X does not exist" to "Service X is lower in value than Service Y".

Quote:
If you want to "promote your submission you use your "connects" meaning for each time you use a connect, that's one less application you can submit.

I see that as a big advantage. On oDesk I always have about half the quote unused and with no way to use it. On Elance I can define a strategy that allows me to bid on a select no. of jobs and promote my profile every time. My chances of getting hired actually increase with smart use of connects instead of being left with them. The big advantage of the Elance bidding system is exactly that it accommodates a larger no. of use-cases.

Quote:
nothing will make me convert to Elance

Nobody will make you. The more I read here and on Elance, as well as discussing with the Elance country mentors, the more convinced I am there will be no combination of the 2 services. That, at least is a huge stone off my shoulders.

I think they did this to diminish development, operational, customer support and fraud prevention costs. Pulling information for fraud for instance will be a great advantage for both services as people will not be able to jump from one to the next and back again.

Looking at the strategy of the 2 companies, looking at the services offered, it makes no sense to combine them. oDesk's core users are temporary / part-time freelancers. This group needs a fast and simple way to bid, work and invoice.
Elance core users are small companies and full-time freelancers, aka people who need a way to promote profiles, to target different type of jobs, etc.
This does not mean you will not find the other group there, but the services are not tailored for their needs.

If you call my 5 year history

If you call my 5 year history on oDesk temporary you are dreaming.

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