Back to oDesk.com » Love the way you work.

Welcome to the oDesk Community! Connect here with fellow clients, contractors, and oDesk staff. Please review our Usage Policy.

Is there a way to send a message from one oDesk provider to another?

I have received a couple of messages in my message center from providers.  I don't know how they got a hold of me.

I would like to send a message to someone to ask them a question, but don't know how I can.  If I go to the provider profile, all I see is "hire" and "interview" and if I hit the "interview" button, I have to first post a job before I can contact them.

Is there a way to be able to send a message from one provider to another privately on oDesk?

Vote Result

----------
Score: 0.0, Votes: 0
tbentzur wrote: I have

tamara bentzur wrote:

I have received a couple of messages in my message center from providers.  I don't know how they got a hold of me.

Those providers must be working in a team room where you are also a part of. It'd be a pain to go through each team room to find out who he/she is, especially when one has plenty of team rooms (assignments with different buyers).

tamara bentzur wrote:

I would like to send a message to someone to ask them a question, but don't know how I can.  If I go to the provider profile, all I see is "hire" and "interview" and if I hit the "interview" button, I have to first post a job before I can contact them.

Is there a way to be able to send a message from one provider to another privately on oDesk?

If the provider has posted a reply/thread in this forum, anyone can contact that provider using his/her username@odesk.com, it will reach the e-mail associated with the oDesk. However, it won't reach "the message center".

If the message has to be reached to that provider's message center, then one has to go to the team room where s/he is working and then click 'send message' link available above the workdiary link for the particular provider.

HTH.

Pothi

Email them

Since it's not a question of hiring someone, I go ahead and contact other providers outside of oDesk. For example, I've sometimes recommended another oDesk provider to a buyer I'm working with when they need some service I don't provide or don't have time for. I Google the provider's name, find them, and email them to make sure they've got time before I give the buyer the link to their oDesk profile.

BTW, if I'm not supposed to do that, someone should tell me. It seems like the most efficient way.

contacting other users

Great question -- we hear this a lot. There seem to be two main types of "networking" that people want to do. (a) inquire about hiring someone (but not quite ready to post a job and interview them for it), and (b) inquire about working together as a provider company.

We are working on making it easier to propose terms and work together, without a big formal invite/interview process. So I think it's time we make it easier to reach others in the network.

The major question is: Who should be able to send messages to whom?
- Should you be able to set whether you want to receive messages or not?
- Should you have to earn the right to send messages to people you don't know?
- Should there be a limit on how many "cold" messages you can send?

On Facebook, you can send anyone any message you want. They can block you, but there is no infrastructure for permissions and message limits. If you appear in search, you can be contacted. On LinkedIn, people pay for the privilege of sending "cold" messages.

What do you think? Should we just put a "send message" button on everyone's profile? Are you worried about spam?

Michael

Director of Products

IMHO

Hi Michael

This is interesting topic to me because is related to software planning/design.

My point of view is that the best approach is the people to be free to select preferred way of working. Because there are different cases and different ways of working in different companies. For example some companies are open to discussions. In other companies is not acceptable, etc.

For me spam is huge problem

In other words I think the best choice is to add options in profile and users to be free to select what messages prefer. Default options can be implemented too.

Probably the best choice is to select good balance beween flexibility and usable/maintanable code

Kamen

No Default 'Send Message' Button

Michael L. wrote:
The major question is: Who should be able to send messages to whom?
- Should you be able to set whether you want to receive messages or not?
- Should you have to earn the right to send messages to people you don't know?
- Should there be a limit on how many "cold" messages you can send?

I think oDesk should not place a 'Send Message' button to *all* the providers' profiles even if a provider's profile is set as 'public'. It may result in lots of spam messages (such as 'to work outside oDesk to newbies who may not know the oDesk TOS yet', links to spam sites, etc).

Michael L. wrote:
- Should you be able to set whether you want to receive messages or not?

I think this is a good idea (to receive message or not).

Pothi.

Pothi

contacting other users

Michael L. wrote:
...- Should you be able to set whether you want to receive messages or not?
Let them pass through to special "trash" folder for non-confirmed contacts.
Quote:
- Should you have to earn the right to send messages to people you don't know?
This kind of functionality would be "loosing the focus" in my opinion.

This is a big question

Personally, I believe that adding functionality is always a good
thing. There have been times that I've needed to contact another
provider, and an "email provider" link on their profile would be
perfect. In short, excellent idea! -- However...

I agree 100% that it needs to be an opt-in function, with "accept emails" turned off at the start. An additional
concern is that our profiles are very searchable via google
and other search engines. The potential for spam and other invasions of privacy looms fairly large. If
providers can be emailed at the click of a button, our profiles should ideally be hidden from view from the general public, and it
might even make sense to require that providers who want to use that
email earn that privilege by reaching some kind of oDesk milestone (10
hours, $X earnings, number of jobs worked or completed, etc).

 Will
buyers be restricted from using this email option, since providers
aren't supposed to have any contact with buyers until they've been
invited to interview? How will that work, if the button is there on the
profile? What about providers who are also buyers?

Again, I think it's an excellent idea, if implemented properly and with the necessary privacy and oDesk TOS issues addressed. But I'd like to see lots of discussion and what steps oDesk will take to help protect my privacy and the sanctity of my inbox before I'd opt-in.

I'm glad this question was

I'm glad this question was brought up since I was thinking the same thing just a couple of days ago. 

I think it would be great if providers can contact other providers, but of course there should be an option to opt out of receiving messages, or just blocking ones from unknown providers.

Facebook has a chat/IM application, could this be something that could be created on oDesk? This way, if you want to be contacted by others, you could leave your chat/IM open.