What's New

Introducing oDesk Team 3: a virtual office on your desktop (beta)

We are pleased to announce the release of oDesk Team 3 beta – an all-new version of our desktop time-tracking application. oDesk Team is the core technology powering the oDesk model of online hourly work, and our unique payment guarantee.

Historically, only providers used oDesk Team. However, we have completely redesigned the application to be more useful for both providers and buyers. oDesk Team 3 beta is your virtual office, giving you useful new tools to make your online work and management more successful.

For buyers

  • Always-on visibility into your entire team. See who’s online now, and what they’re working on.

  • Integrated chat with your team members. Instantly reach everyone in your team on one integrated platform. No need to jump between different IM clients – if they’re billing time, you can reach them.*
  • One launch point to oDesk tools. oDesk Team 3 gives you links to the oDesk Work Diary, Reports, Tasks, and other oDesk tools directly from your desktop.
  • Screensnap and ShortURL. Screensnap allows you to capture, annotate and instantly share screenshots right from the desktop; ShortURL lets you convert long URLs to short ones for easy sharing over chat or email, with no trip to the browser required.

For providers

  • The same automatic time tracking you currently enjoy. oDesk Team 3 retains its core time tracking functionality, enabling providers to bill time to your oDesk buyers and enjoy the oDesk payment guarantee with our “zero-click invoicing”.
  • Integrated chat with your team. Instantly reach everyone in your team on one integrated platform. No need to jump between different IM clients – if they’re working on oDesk, they’re reachable.*
  • Better visibility and access to your colleagues. With the team room on your desktop, you get an always-on view into who is at work and what they’re working on, so it feels more like you’re all working in the same office.
  • Screensnap and ShortURL. Screensnap allows you to capture, annotate and instantly share screenshots right from the desktop; ShortURL lets you convert long URLs to short ones for easy sharing over chat or email, with no trip to the browser required.

* A team member must be running oDesk Team 3 to participate in chat.

Download oDesk Team 3 beta for free now, and let us know what you think in our feedback forum.


Group Profile Enhancements

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.

group changes

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, Salesforce.com, Intuit, Zend, and many more.

oDesk SVN to be Discontinued

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.

Making hiring easier, part one: “Confirm Hire”

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.

Confirm Hire

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.

oDesk wants your feedback

Outsource to Freelancers, IT Companies, Programmers, Web Designers from India, Russia, USA, and more - oDeskOur 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.

Relaunching the Candidate List

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.

Time Reports API

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.

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

Job Search ResultsThe 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.

Minimum Rates on Job Posts and Candidate List

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 http://feedback.odesk.com.

Time reporting like never before… TimeAnalyze

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.