All Things Upwork

Break it Down: 8 Steps to Better Management

March 18, 2009 by

A new feature coming in the next few weeks inspires us to discuss a key technique for project management. It’s relevant to any kind of remote work, but at oDesk the ideas grew out of managing software development workteams. Our co-founder and CTO Odysseas Tsatalos is a firm believer in breaking the development process down to the smallest tasks, and our new task code feature will let buyers and project managers who adopt the technique to more accurately track the time and costs dedicated to each task. So for those inspired by the new feature, we offer eight tips that can make you a better manager: Think small: Break a larger assignment down to manageable tasks. Each takes a few hours—sometimes, a few days, but the larger the task, the harder it is to manage and track, so break things down as far as logic allows. Examples from an engineering environment: “Add landing page to production trunk,” “update the What’s New section on homepage,” or “add fields to database.”  Go high level: Keep your task description (or codes) to a high-level concept. This way, your reports will be more meaningful. Example: “Write a newsletter article,” “Edit the newsletter” and “Format and email the newsletter” may be tasks for three different providers, but they form a “Newsletter” component owned by your marketing manager. When reviewing the communication efforts at the end of the month, your reports will immediately show how much effort was spent on the newsletter.  Automate: Tasks should be automatically queued to their correct owners. There are many project management tools available to do that; these days we’re using Bugzilla, which is available in every team room. What system you use isn’t as important as finding one that works for you.  One thing at … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Take Smaller Bites: 4 Reasons to Break Down Big Jobs

March 18, 2009 by

We’ve got this new feature coming in the next few weeks: Task codes. Buyers break jobs down by small tasks, and a provider logging in selects a code indicating the kind of task she’s working on. That way, the buyer can plan and budget better. We haven’t come up with a version just for the provider’s personal recordkeeping (yet!), but it occurs to us that this is a great way for a provider to approach a job even if the buyer hasn’t embraced the feature. A buyer might hire you to “build an online store,” but approaching the job in that giant-sized chunk is a recipe for failure. You know you have to approach it one step at a time, and making this process visible to the buyer is a way to ensure solid communication and a smooth workflow. Go back to your buyer with a list of the specific tasks — “build database,” “populate database with product info,” “implement Yahoo shopping cart” — and time estimates for each. If your buyer creates applicable task codes, use them when you sign in. If not, just specify the task at hand on your work memo. Why go through all this nitty-gritty detail work? Here are four reasons: Manage expectations. Showing each step can make sure the buyer understands why the job will take the time and money you estimate it will take. It prevents misunderstandings or disappointment down the line.  Involve other team members. If your breakdown includes functions other team members will perform, this helps the buyer organize the team, and raises your stature as a key member. For example, your time may be best spent on building the database but not keying-in the information. Have a data-entry specialist do that while you are focusing on your … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Demand for .NET Developers Remains Strong

March 16, 2009 by

Last week we looked at PHP in our ongoing coverage of hot skills in demand on oDesk.  This week, we’re highlighting Microsoft’s .NET software framework. In spite of some strong growth by Apple’s Mac OS X operating system in the last few years, Microsoft Windows still rules the roost with nearly 90% market share.  This doesn’t seem likely to change in the near future.  The ability to write code for computers running Windows continues to be a valuable skill and the .NET software framework is a key component of many applications. A major reason the .NET software framework is valuable is that it was designed with Windows in mind.  This means, among other things, that installing an application built on .NET is simplified, since issues such as potential conflicts with other software and security are largely handled for you.  .NET programs also run under the Common Language Runtime, which means you don’t need to jump through a lot of hoops to optimize your code for all sorts of different memory configurations.  Programmers also have access to a large library of .NET classes that manage common functions like manipulating files or handling graphics.  And, since .NET is the backbone of many popular programming languages, like C#, VB.NET, and Cobra, .NET coding skills can improve your ability to code in these languages. Now, let’s take a look at .NET jobs on oDesk. As you’d expect from a bedrock skill like .NET, demand has remained steady, despite the difficult economy.  Over 225 .NET jobs are posted each month on oDesk, for the over 4,300 .NET Developers on oDesk to apply for.  In good times and bad, we all rely on our computers to get our work done.  So long as Windows maintains its dominance in the businessplace, .NET should … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk attends PubCon South

March 14, 2009 by

oDesk attended PubCon South in Austin, TX for the first time this week. The keynotes were delivered by digital entrepreneur and author Guy Kawasaki and Google lead quality engineer Matt Cutts. Matt launched Google’s new Friend Connect API on Thursday. Attendees included leading search and internet marketing gurus from around the South. oDesk CEO Gary Swart spoke on a panel titled “Career Gut Check” and delivered this presentation on the SEO/SEM Career Landscape, using oDesk’s wealth of job data to draw conclusions on the state of the internet marketing industry. Career Gut Check: SEO/SEM Employment Landscape View more presentations from Amit Bakshi. At our exhibitor booth, the reception of oDesk’s product continues to be strong. It was great to interact with current and prospective customers, understand their needs, and show them how they can use oDesk to both find work and do more with less by managing a team of remote professionals. Read Full Article

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WordPress: The Number One Blogging Platform

March 12, 2009 by

Today we continue our coverage of hot skills in demand at oDesk by shining a spotlight on WordPress.  WordPress is the most popular blogging platform on the net, especially for corporate blogs.  A combination of flexibility, ease of use, and reliability has led many, including us at oDesk, to choose WordPress to power their blogs.  Yep, the blog you’re reading right now is run on WordPress. WordPress is open-source and free.  One of WordPress’s major strengths is the variety of widgets available for the platform. Widgets are small programs that add extra features to your blog.  Many of these are behind-the-scenes sorts of things to make life easier for the blogger, but others, like the animated tag cloud towards the bottom-right of this blog are fun toys for readers to play with.  And since WordPress was designed with a such a flexible plugin architecture, bloggers and developers will continue to improve upon what is already available as blogging continues to evolve. Now, let’s take a look at WordPress’s growth on oDesk. In early 2008, there were just over a hundred WordPress jobs posted per month on oDesk.  A year later, it’s grown to over 500, and the growth seems to be accelerating.  This growth seems recession proof, likely because as budgets get tighter, and companies are looking for ways to stretch every dollar, they are realizing that blogging is a cheap but effective way of furthering a company’s marketing goals.  But, to make the most of a blog, companies need someone who can infuse it with their style, branding, and look-and-feel.  That’s where WordPress developers, like the 3,351 on oDesk, can provide value. The best way to learn more about WordPress is to start your own WordPress blog.  The official WordPress site has almost everything … Read Full Article

Common Mistakes Made by Freelancers

March 11, 2009 by

Whether you are new to the world of freelancing or are a seasoned veteran, there are a number of things to be considered when bidding on an assignment. I have conducted many interviews through oDesk, and have seen some rather appalling behavior from potential providers that have cost them their chance to ever work on an assignment for me, while others don’t even make it to the interview process. I will briefly review the proper etiquette for providers to adhere to when applying for positions through oDesk. Cover Letters. This is the first impression you will have on a prospective employer.  Bidding on an assignment through oDesk is no different than applying for a job.  Your cover letter should highlight requirements or duties mentioned in the job posting.  One of the quickest ways to get your application rejected is to send a generic cover letter that does not focus on any of the posted job requirements.  I will not consider a provider for an assignment if they do not take the time to mention what qualifications they possess that pertain to the project I am hiring for, or why the position interests them. If you have questions regarding the assignment, it is OK to ask as long as it is done respectfully and tastefully.  I have seen questions in cover letters that read more like  insults or police interrogations rather than a simple inquiry. Qualifications.  If there are tests available for your skills, take them, and apply only for positions that you are qualified for.  If a project requires that you are proficient with Linux, but all you know is Windows, do not apply.  You will be wasting the Buyer’s time and they will remember you for doing just that.  This could cause you to be immediately rejected for future … Read Full Article

oDesk Visits Laid Off Camp

March 10, 2009 by

As the economy dwindles and layoffs continue, job fairs are becoming increasingly popular. But what happens when there just aren’t enough companies hiring at these job fairs and the results turn out to be more depressing than the recession itself? People turn to each other for support and that’s what Laid Off Camp is all about! Technology enthusiast and freelance consultant Chris Hutchins decided to hold an “unconference” to lift spirits and discuss alternative means of income. Instead of paying large sums of money to attend a conference only to have someone talk at you, the idea behind the ad-hoc “unconference” is to let everyone have a chance to speak. The inaugural Laid Off Camp was held in San Francisco on March 3rd, with the Dallas Laid Off Camp following closely behind on March 6th. oDesk had the opportunity to both sponsor and participate in Laid Off Camp at both the San Francisco and Dallas gatherings, which brought in over 500 participants combined. Freelancing and Social Networking While countless people shared tales of woe, there were also some very inspirational success stories were told that gave many of the recently laid off participants a glimmer of hope: self-employment. In light of the recession, many people have been able to earn income outside the traditional workplace. Some have gone on to form consulting agencies, while others have turned to freelancing (including me). From software developers to writers to marketing professionals, many have been able to leverage the setbacks from layoffs by working for themselves. Whether they used online job boards or word of mouth to obtain work, one thing was obvious: social media plays a big part in it all. In fact, the camp itself relied … Read Full Article

Expanding Employment Opportunities for Women in Low-Income Countries

March 9, 2009 by

Samasource, a nonprofit that markets the skills of socially disadvantaged workers in low-income regions, recently partnered with oDesk to launch a group. One of our first members is a Pakistani woman named Maria, who hails from a Pushtun family in Peshawar, in the North-West Frontier Province currently occupied by the Taliban. Maria holds a Master’s degree and was earning $120 a month as a high school teacher before she got pregnant with her second child. Her school’s policy for maternity leave was four weeks off without pay—that, coupled with her conservative family’s wish that she not work outside the home, led her to consider remote work. See complete interview of Maria: Maria, a Samasource oDesk Group Member in Islamabad, Pakistan She landed a content writing job on a local freelancer site, but pay was low. (While in her eighth month of pregnancy, Maria wrote 196 articles for $200.) Then, she stumbled upon oDesk and managed to make $400 in her first month of work. Her main challenge was building up her reputation, which required doing low-priced work to start.  Maria believes that the partnership with Samasource might make it easier for Pakistani women on oDesk to find work, since Samasource helps attract clients and train women to use the site: “I know many women from lower-middle class families that cannot spend time looking for opportunities that might not pay off. If they knew that finding clients would be a bit easier, they’d really like to earn some extra income while at home.” Maria’s story illustrates how a partnership between Samasource and remote work sites like oDesk can create jobs for people in areas with very high unemployment and few opportunities. Leila Chirayath Janah is the founder and CEO of SamaSource, … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

PHP Job Search Success with Certification

March 5, 2009 by

We’re going to start blogging about the skill sets that are really hot in our marketplace. The demand for tech skills evolves rapidly, and a smart freelance professional is always looking for the next step in his or her growth. We think the best way to kick this series off is with PHP. PHP, a scripting language that delivers customizable content on web pages, is all in sorts of popular sites — Yahoo, Digg, Facebook … If you’re on the web these days, that’s probably PHP in the background. It’s flexible, stable and free — and extremely popular with Web 2.0 developers. The language was developed in 1994 and has relentlessly expanded ever since. These days, PHP 5, powered by Zend Engine II, is no longer the up-and-coming iteration – it’s now fully mainstream. In early 2008, there were just over a thousand PHP jobs posted per month on oDesk. A year later, it’s 2,000 and climbing, a 75% percent year-over-year increase. There’s not a lot in today’s business world growing at that rate, is there? But the global economic meltdown doesn’t seem to be turning this growth curve around. We’ve been talking about PHP for a while now — back in December, we listed PHP as the web developer skill in most demand, and highlighted its meteoric rise: from 800 jobs posted in November 2007 to 1,800 last July. Clearly, PHP is a skill with legs. If you’re a PHP developer there is every indication you skills will remain marketable for the next decade. As with any technical skill, maintaining and increasing your skill set should be part of day to day living. PHP training is available online and in formal classes if you are not one to learn as you go. The … Read Full Article

Proofread your freelance writing!

March 3, 2009 by

As a long-time English teacher, I’ve read more than a few poorly written essays, most before the advent of the spell checker.  Some people may advise the poor spellers out there to hire a freelance writer to either do their writing for them or to do a bit of judicious editing.  Freelance writers can certainly help if you’ve got a big job, like a brochure or a book, but can also help with smaller tasks like resumes. One of the most common grammatical problems I’ve seen in freelance writing is forgetting which of a set of homonyms to use.  Take all those words that sound like “too.”  If you wrote that one, try using “also” in its place.  For example, if you wrote, “I went too the store,” try: “I went also the store.”  That’s horrible!  Obviously, you need a different version.  There’s also “two,” but that one is a number.  You only use it when there are a couple of items.  The one that’s left is “to,” so that’s the one we need in the phrase, “I went to the store.”  You knew that! If you hire a freelance writer, there are a few other minor things you can check.  For example, take the compound subject.  Most people don’t know when to say “He and I” versus “him and me.”  They assume the second one is always wrong because their English teachers always seemed to correct them.  Some people simply substitute “myself” for the second pronoun all the time, hoping to avoid the situation entirely.  Don’t do that.  The easy way to figure out which pronoun to use is to take the other guy out, temporarily. For example, let’s take “Joe and I prepared the reports together.”  Is that correct?  Take Joe out and see :  “I prepared the … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

oDesk: Time Study & More

March 2, 2009 by

If you are ineffective during any part of your workday and cannot determine why, then you need oDesk to help you track the use of your time and increase your throughput. oDesk is an extremely useful site due to the increasing use of contingency workforces, rise in telecommuting and growth of independent contractors. This suite of time management tools, job boards, and contractor payment services is surely to become indispensable to project managers in today’s global economy. During the past month, I have used the oDesk utilities, especially the Team Room, with several contractors and internal employees with incredible success. Time management, tracking of billable hours, team collaboration & communication  all are among the many capabilities of the Team Room. These features have increased the turnaround of team projects and improved the communication among staff members. Additionally, I have been able to use the Team Room’s work diary to track my time spent on various tasks and produce a weekly time-study. The work diary allows a user to identity time spent on various projects during the day, track productivity levels with an activity meter, and store screenshots of work being completed. The combined information can be used to evaluate use of work hours, evaluate employee performance, and review the use of resources across a team. The work diary can also be very useful to anyone working for several departments because the capture time and task tracking can be used to calculate chargeback time. Regardless of the chosen use of the work diary and other team room features, all of the mentioned features are extremely easy to use and can be seamlessly worked into the normal routine of almost any position working from a computer workstation, especially administrative, technical, and data entry positions. The clean and well organized interfaces of … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

5 Agile tips for completing a successful project

February 26, 2009 by

Here are 5 agile tips for completing a successful project, in general and on oDesk. 1) Work from a prioritized list – There are always going to be features that are more important than others. I know clients like to say that it’s all important and that they needed it yesterday. But, assure them of the importance of prioritizing. Work with your client to prioritize their list of items. Tell them that it is important because you want to make sure you’re working on the most important items first. And, working on the most important things will assure that you are always delivering value to your client. 2) Get feedback early and often – If a project is going to last a month, break it up into deliverable chunks. Establish a delivery schedule e.g. “I will deliver small pieces of the application every Friday evening for you to try out”. This does several things: First, it creates trust with your client. Second, it gives you valuable feedback that you need throughout the project instead of finding out you were doing something wrong after it’s too late. In the end, you final delivery will be more in line with what they want than if they hadn’t seen it until the end. 3) Time-box your work – Do you ever notice that a task that should’ve taken you an hour to do expands to several hours and sometimes a day? Tasks tend to shrink or expand with the amount of time allotted. Set a realistic, but aggressive goal for each task, then re-evaluate when you hit your deadline. You’ll be surprised as to how much more you can get done. 4) Make your work visible – Always make your work transparent to your client by pushing your status instead of … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

We are pleased to announce oDesk Groups!

February 25, 2009 by

We’ve launched new Groups on oDesk – each one is a special marketplace within the oDesk network. Many providers advance their careers and reputation by counting on industry and professional certifications, alumni groups, or developer networks. Groups allow providers to join communities of professionals who share a common interests, skills, certifications or passions. For providers, joining Groups offers the benefit of enhanced reputation with a Group logo in their individual profile and access to exclusive jobs that are posted to the Group. For buyers, posting a job to a Group allows them to reach a highly qualified group of providers that specialize in a skill set. For partners, Groups allow companies with certification programs or developer networks to strengthen and expand their brand’s reach by promoting their Group on oDesk. You can take a look at our new Groups Directory. A special thanks to all of our initial launch partners: Check out the Directory, apply to Join a Group if you’re interested, and stay tuned for more Groups in the near future. Keep in mind, membership in a Group is solely at our Partner’s discretion, so please check the criteria for joining a Group before applying. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Groups

February 24, 2009 by

We are pleased to announce oDesk Groups! We’ve launched new Groups on oDesk – each one is a special marketplace within the oDesk network.   Many providers advance their careers and reputation by counting on industry and professional certifications, alumni groups, or developer networks.  Groups allow providers to join communities of professionals who share a common interests, skills, certifications or passions. For providers, joining Groups offers the benefit of enhanced reputation with a Group logo in their individual profile and access to exclusive jobs that are posted to the Group. For buyers, posting a job to a Group allows them to reach a highly qualified group of providers that specialize in a skill set. For partners, Groups allow companies with certification programs or developer networks to strengthen and expand their brand’s reach by promoting their Group on oDesk. You can take a look at our new Groups Directory. A special thanks to all of our initial launch partners: Check out the Directory, apply to Join a Group if you’re interested, and stay tuned for more Groups in the near future. Keep in mind, membership in a Group is solely at our Partner’s discretion, so please check the criteria for joining a Group before applying. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Demand for iPhone App Development Passes Facebook

February 24, 2009 by

In December, we demonstrated that iPhone application development was beating the pants off Android – jobs to develop the Apple apps were leading by 10 to one.  This week, we comb our trend data to look at Facebook app development vs. iPhone app development.  Facebook became open to third party development when it launched the Facebook platform on May 24, 2007.  Apple announced the iPhone SDK on March 6, 2008 at a Town Hall meeting. Facebook and iPhone are, of course, very different platforms.  One is the leading social network, whereas the other is the world’s fastest growing device.  Not only are these different technologies, they also follow different business models.  Facebook apps are free and depend on traffic and advertising for revenue.  iPhone apps, on the other hand, are either free or charge installation or upgrade fees, usually $0.99 to $2.99.  Distribution of facebook apps is primarily viral (via invites, newsfeed, etc) whereas iPhone applications are downloaded via Apple’s app store. However, both technologies, and application development for each, have captured mainstream imagination.  So let’s look at the numbers!  There are currently 1,246 Facebook Developers on oDesk.  Demand for Facebook app development rose fast at the beginning of 2008, plateaued, then started a dramatic upswing late in the year, peaking at 159 job posts last month.  Meanwhile, over on the iPhone aisle, we see a much steeper, more prolonged rise in demand starting last May.  217 iPhone jobs were posted last month.  There are 561 iPhone programmers on oDesk. (Caveat: oDesk is a growing service, so upward trends can partly be attributed to our growth). Looking at both the January 2009 totals and the angle of these rising curves, it’s clear that iPhone has caught, and is now beating Facebook … Read Full Article

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10 Ways to Tell the World About You

February 23, 2009 by

  A lot of businesses think of public relations as the province of enormous corporations, but it’s more—and less—than a fully staffed in-house department. PR is the function of presenting your business and its message in the clearest and most positive light, and motivating the prospective client to see you as a go-to authority. In an increasingly competitive economic environment, every business needs to work harder to get its name out there. And you’d be surprised how far you can get on only a little effort in this digital age. Example? Sure: We issued a press release about iPhone developer stats, submitted it to a press-release aggregator or two, inspiring post on an Apple blog that got about 800 hits on Digg. That’s not even all the reads, that’s just people who read it, had a Digg account, and were motivated to vote it up. Underlying every PR campaign is the idea of “owning” your category. When people think of what you do, you want them to think of you. Your public relations campaign is simply the process of getting other people to agree that, yeah, you do own that category. You can reach that goal, and there are talented oDesk providers to help you with specific PR tasks quickly and efficiently. We have experienced publicists and marketing writers, journalists and sharp-eyed editors, plus experts in search-engine optimization (SEO), social networking, business research and more. Here are 10 focused PR goals and tips on what to look for in a provider:   Do it yourself: You will need certain expertise, but remember that you’re the face of your company. This list of DIY PR tips will help you get a handle on being your own chief marketer. You … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

The Art of Self-Promotion – 5 PR Tips

February 23, 2009 by

  Public relations—that’s when giant corporations pay someone to explain away their massive oil spill, right? Or when movie stars hire a fancy agency to get them on magazine covers? Well, sure, but when you boil it down, PR is the art of getting your message—and yourself—favorable attention in pursuit of your goals. Your goal is to advance your career, and there are ways to promote yourself without using Angelina Jolie’s “people.” Here are five ways:   1. Maintain a professional blog and offer valuable content to your target clients. Do some research and come up with unconventional conclusions. Check out free, easy-to-use blog platforms such as typepad.com and blogger.com. And we can’t emphasize this enough—spellcheck before you post, and post with some regularity! Need help setting up a professional-looking blog? Trade services with a talented friend—or use oDesk to hire a WordPress expert or graphic designer for a quick project. 2. Website. Website. Website! It’s easy, inexpensive and pretty much the minimum of professionalism in most fields. Take advantage of the tons of free tools and tutorials to build and maintain a web presence. Link back to your oDesk profile using one of the customized links so people can easily review your profile and hire you (do the same on your blog!). Need help? Trade services with a friend who knows web design or is a skilled writer who can edit your resume and other copy. Failing that, find that help on oDesk. 3. Be social. Promote your online presence through social media. Create a free Facebook page that’s suitable for professional consumption (add that oDesk referral link!). Let your network know that you’re available to do work. Use a free Twitter account to send good information to … Read Full Article

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Success Story: Paul Sedacove / Oggetto

February 23, 2009 by

Oggetto is a growing web-development company in Taganrog, Russia. Its staff of 15 has years of expertise in consulting, web design, web-programming, server administration and more, but only spun off as an independent company in early 2008. Oggetto’s staff met on oDesk and teamed up to capture even more work in the oDesk marketplace. We talked to Paul Sedacove, the company’s CTO and project manager, about his approach to remote work. Q:  It can be difficult to create a reputation from scratch over the Internet. How did Oggetto establish itself in the oDesk community? A: I agree it’s kind of a problem, but we were lucky. We had a couple of customers we knew before and we brought them to oDesk. That allowed us to start with normal rates, and when some first jobs were successfully finished in time, we got very positive feedback. Beside this, our guys successfully passed tests on oDesk and it helped us to represent ourselves as a professional development company. Q:  The larger a provider company is, the more skills its staffers might have. Did Oggetto set out to be an all-purpose solution for any buyer’s needs? A: Well, what I have to say on this point is that we do only what we can do the best way. For example, any kind of web-programming work is not a problem for us, but we will never take the copywriting job because English is not our native language and we are programmers, not writers—we can’t do that job better than others. Or we would never take an iPhone-application job, even if it is related to the buyer’s website somehow—we don’t know the technology. This is something like a credo for us, and it’s a … Read Full Article

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Buzzworthy (February 2009)

February 23, 2009 by

So who’s talking about us this month? Our favorite post came from Angela H., who used her Freelancing Mom’s Blog to write a fantastic guide for oDesk newcomers. Angela joined right after the “Good Morning America” hoopla in November and, like many, found the sudden influx of new talent a bit daunting. She applied herself to getting established (as an executive assistant and business writer) and standing out in the crowd. This month’s runners up: Tim C. shares his enthusiasm for “making money online” and discusses the extra money he pulled in via oDesk and online ad revenue to supplement his regular income. Jen Nipps gives oDesk a mention in a list of resources for freelance writers and coders. Blogging about your oDesk experience? Send us a link at buzz@odesk.com for a shot at a free T-shirt and some free publicity. Interested in writing a post for the oDesk blog? Get the details and send us a note at stories@odesk.com Follow us on: … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Provider Spotlight (February 2009)

February 23, 2009 by

Each month we like to highlight 4 providers who’ve received exemplary feedback. Great job Viktoryia, Daniel, Tina, and Jed — you’ve earned this! Viktoryia Z (ZORQA Co) Graphic Arts & Design, Web Design Total oDesk Hours: 225 Overall Feedback: 4.98 (Based on 9 feedbacks) Comments: “Viktoryia is a very talented designer, all the work she has done for us has been brilliant” Daniel R Senior Developer – MCP,MCSD (C#, VB.NET, XML, XSLT, AJAX, J2ME/J2EE) Total oDesk Hours: 1,236 Overall Feedback: 4.55 (Based on 3 feedbacks) Comments: “Daniel is an excellent and smart programmer. He is pleasant and easy to work with.” Tina H Excellent Data Entry, Research, Email, Accounting, VA Total oDesk Hours: 570 Overall Feedback:5.00 (Based on 7 feedbacks) Comments: “She is punctual, has an extremely high attention to detail, and is an all around great individual.” Jed T Senior Web PHP Developer CakePHP Total oDesk Hours: 883 Overall Feedback: 5.00 (Based on 13 feedback) Comments: “I can count on Jed as a member of my team. Reliable, honest, highly skilled Coder.” Spotlight Providers must have earned a 4.5+ feedback score with a glowing comment on an assignment in the past month, have a 4.0+ overall feedback score, an impressive profile, and a high quality individual portrait (not too blurry, no avatars). Only oDesk Ready public profiles are eligible. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Partners: Kampyle & Central Desktop

February 23, 2009 by

Our goal is simple: Eventually everyone will be an oDesk partner. We got two companies closer to that goal this month, welcoming Central Desktop and Kampyle to the extended family.  We shook hands with Kampyle because its on-demand solution for managing and analyzing website visitor feedback is top-notch — something our web developer community needs to check out.  And Central Desktop is a great social technology platform for progressive business teams to manage their daily work activities. oDesk is the center of the internet universe for building and managing online teams, and with Central Desktop’s technology on our side, the sky is the limit. Together, oDesk’s platform and Central Desktop’s tools represent the new way to build a workteam in the 21st century. Read Full Article

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Round of Applause (February 2009)

February 23, 2009 by

948 providers from 61 countries, including Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, and Austria got their first jobs in the last month. These 948 providers have already racked up 34,100 oDesk hours and over $331,334 in just one month. Congrats to the providers who landed their first jobs in the January! Want to get in on the earning action? Get oDesk Ready, fill out your profile, and apply to job openings! … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Social Media: Word of Mouth 2.0 for Small Businesses

February 20, 2009 by

In the age of cyberspace and technology, social media is helping small businesses in a way never imagined as few as 10 years ago. If you’re not familiar with social media, think of it as word of mouth…upgraded! With colloquial applications like Twitter and Facebook on the rise, and bulletin sites like Digg and Reddit taking news stories to extraordinary heights, comes the potential to change the way small businesses do…well, business. Gary Vaynerchuk, social media enthusiast and host of Wine Library TV, talks about the power of word of mouth in social media in his video titled Word of mouth has changed: Word of mouth is on steroids, my friends. It’s Roger Clemens, it’s Barry Bonds, it’s – let’s throw Brett Boon in there – it is absolutely on steroids. More and more tools are being created every day to allow your word to travel in so many more places. Anyone running a small business knows the power of word of mouth. But when it comes to social media, what’s in it for your organization? Exposure and Marketing Having a web presence opens up a wide range of opportunities for small businesses. Simply having a website makes your business accessible to the entire world. Suddenly, your business card can be distributed across the globe with minimal effort. But is it enough? In some cases, it is – for example, a lawn care service may not need worldwide exposure. For companies embracing Internet technologies and globalization, however, social media is the wave of the future. In the example to the right, the first page of a search for the term “oDesk” on Yahoo! returns five links to social networking … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

The Freelance Economy according to oDesk: Improve Your Job Search

February 18, 2009 by

Still sick of hearing dreadful news every day about the U.S. economy?  Earlier this month, we provided some rare good news when we reported on the acceleration of U.S. freelance job growth.  Today, we’re going dig deeper into our data to try to provide a fair & balanced assessment on the state of the Freelance Economy.  We are going to answer three questions: 1)    Is outsourcing growing or shrinking as companies are tightening their belts in the recession? 2)    Is competition for freelance jobs heating up? 3)    If so, are wages being depressed? As a marketplace for online workteams, we keep close tabs on outsourcing trends, including growth, wage statistics, and country-by-country comparisons.  We share as much of this data as possible with our community of businesses & freelancers in our oConomy. This analysis is based off of oConomy data. 1. The growth of outsourcing Jobs aren’t just being slashed these days — they’re being clearcut like an old-growth forest. Yet work still has to get done, which is why freelancing and outsourcing continue to grow at a furious rate. With unemployment rates at their highest in 15 years, more skilled professionals are looking for freelance work, and leaner companies are looking to outsource functions rather than hire more full-time staff. The bottom line: Last year, outsourcing on oDesk nearly tripled. This broad-based trend, stretching across continents, had an interesting twist — a resurgence of homeshoring, in which U.S. buyers outsource to U.S. providers.  We reported on this trend earlier this month.  Notice that growth in the amount of work done in the U.S. was faster relative to other countries known for outsourcing, like India and Russia: We concluded that higher satisfaction rates … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk crosses milestone & unveils new oConomy

February 16, 2009 by

We’re a little obsessed with analytics here at oDesk. We start each day with a vigorous round of “Daily Predictions.” The rules of the game: Guess how many hours of work will be logged worldwide on oDesk that day (ending 4 pm Pacific time). Players must log their guesses in a Google doc by noon, and no one can pick a total within 20 hours of anyone else’s guess. Don’t even ask about the disciplinary procedures for sneaking in after lunch and changing your guess — they involve severe public shaming.  The winner gets bragging rights, his or her name in the official “winners column,” and the (grudging) admiration of colleagues. This is not a game for the faint of heart. Each of us has developed a personal algorithm, taking into account such variables as the number of hours already logged a the deadline approaches, the percent increase over the same day and time from the week before, and which guesses have already been claimed by rivals. It’s amazing that any work gets done before noon. Last week was an especially exciting for this pulse-pounding mental sport.  We crossed 10,000 online hours in a single day for the first time on Tuesday.  What does 10,000 hours mean?  That’s five man-years of work logged on oDesk in a single day. We couldn’t have crossed this important milestone without you – the more than 200,000 buyers and providers in 150 countries, so thanks for building our success, and for giving us a thrilling afternoon.  Imagine if we had money riding on this game. When we’re not swimming through our data for fun and sport, we’re crunching numbers to better serve our community.  We always like to be transparent, and like to share data … Read Full Article