All Things Upwork
August 19, 2009 by Erica Benton

We were excited to see that the SXSW Panel Picker was open for voting, and even more excited to see that there were a number of panels suggested that freelancers would find valuable. Here are our 15 top picks for your SXSW Interactive panel votes – log in and vote to make sure freelancers and the companies that support them get the tools they need to succeed at SXSW!

Freelancers (and the Companies that Love Them!)
Kill Your Cubicle: Productive Collaboration and Remote Work – oDesk CEO Gary Swart teams forces with leaders of companies who have successfully leveraged remote workers in order to help businesses and freelancers find new ways to overcome the obstacles to working together.
Good Client/Bad ClientDarryl Cili discusses how to separate the best clients from the truly evil ones.
Visual Problem Solving: 5 Diagrams in 15 Minutes – Dean Meyers spells out how to solve problems visually – a useful tool for freelancers trying to communicate with buyers (and vice versa!)
Picking Your Path – A panel of designers and developers will talk about working full-time, part-time and all the time for big agencies, small agencies, and solo.
Successful Networking for Introverts, Rebels and MisfitsJan Triplett, Ph.D. walks participants through creating a realistic networking strategy for those accustomed to alternative work environments.
Funemployed – Success Stories from the Laid Off Community Chris Hutchins, from oDesk favorite LaidOffCamp, showcases some unique ways that people have spent their time while unemployed, featuring not only successful startups, but also touch on the various unique and exciting ways one can spend their newly found “free time”


Freelance Developers
Seven Ways To Stand Out In A Sea of Software DevelopersMicrosoft‘s Jeff Blankenburg presents focuses on 7 things you can DO TODAY to make you stand out in the “sea of the same.”
Coding for the Man: Government Development From HomeMatthew Burton will explain how to get started on the Intelligence Community’s open source platform and other civic coding initiatives.
Selling your Milk When the Cow is FreeJeff Eaton and others discuss making your idea succeed if you work with open source business models.
Coding for Pleasure: Developing Killer Spare-Time Apps – Adam Pash of Lifehacker fame talks about improving your life–and impact others’ lives–by coding for pleasure in your spare time.

Freelance Designers
Once Upon a Web Design – Brand StorytellingDavid Stagg encourages you to step away from mere Web design and live happily ever after in the realms of the digital Brand narrative.
Are You There? Hello? Tips for Better Remote Collaboration Sara Nelson, of Tapir Studios, offers a design-specific look at remote collaboration.
Design, Collaboration, Pokemon: How Not to Offend People Globally – Chris Moeller, of Yahoo!, discusses designing for global markets, collaborating with colleagues overseas, and not offending your international customers.
A Pragmatic Approach to Wild Creativity – Finding your creative strengths and applying them to life and business issues.


I may not admit to being caught up in the Mad Men frenzy, but I will admit to wanting to go to SXSW Interactive really really ridiculously badly! What panels are you dying to see at SXSW? What other conferences are you itching to go to? Let me know in the comments!

– Erica

Erica Benton

Social Media Guru

Erica Benton joined oDesk in 2009, bringing with her nearly a decade of small business and freelance experience, and a love of all things social. Her passion for startups, technology and marketing was born during her tenure with Kulesa Faul Public Relations, while she learned the art of entrepreneurship firsthand through Equine Alternatives, a business she founded while earning her Bachelor of Science degree from… read more