Wednesday, December 18, 2013

oDesk And Elance Merge: Happy Or Not?

oDesk announced their merge with Elance. Is this a good news for freelancers? Well, this could be exciting for most of the oDesk contractors I believe. But as for the Elance freelancers? I think they are quite disappointed or maybe anxious. The issue really boils down to price.

I understand if Elancers are little edgy on this venture. I read an interesting article on Why Freelancers Are Dismayed at Elance's Merger With Odesk. One freelancer even says to reconsider this self-distracting decision. Furthermore, oDesk is being viewed as a site that offers rock-bottom pricing without providing high quality freelancers with adequate opportunities to get paid more by distinguishing themselves for superior efforts.

As an oDesk freelancer for almost three years, I see how freelancers especially from third world or developing countries value their services. Pricing makes the market challenging to compete. Economic factors are among the major determinants for the freelance price. Say, $3/hr is reasonable for a certain job/project here in the Philiippines; that could be absurd to those freelancers in the others continents. My asking price of $5-6/hour allows me to pay my bills and enjoy a decent living, but that would be too low for those in North America.

Nevertheless, good employers/clients are (a) willing to pay the price or even more or (b) they actually don't care that much--as long as freelancers can execute the project well or deliver quality service, it's fine with them. What I am trying to point here really is some clients are after the quality of the work and not on the price.

oDesk has been keeping me busy all the time for almost three years. As for Elance, though I have a profile there, I really didn't have time or, should I say, I am not that fortunate enough to get my first project. But maybe with the merging coming in, I guess, it would be an advantage for me and the others.

The merger has not yet closed, according to the announcement as emailed by oDesk CEO Gary Swart, but here are things we should expect from this venture:

  • Significant technology investments. This includes tools for more successful job applications, 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 recommendations over time.

  • Participation in how we evolve. There's never been a better time to have your voice heard, and we are committed to integrating the changes most important to you. Please email me personally at with your likes, dislikes, suggestions, and comments about oDesk—and about Elance if you've tried it, too. We’ll reflect your feedback in future innovations and share back what you’ve taught us in an upcoming blog post.

Grabbed from oDesk Facebook page

I'm pretty happy with the oDesk platform. And I hear similar feedback from one of my clients. Compared with other freelance job sites, oDesk is user-friendly even for beginners. I just hope there is no major change as far as the usability is concern. As for opportunities and pricing issues, well, let's just wait and see.

If you want to learn more about this merger, read: oDesk + Elance Merger FAQ

1 comment:

  1. Its really interesting information and briefly explained about the latest news of freelancers.Every freelancers should know this kind of information without fail.
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