While the open letter is a great and appreciated gesture, too many things mentioned are left vague. What exactly will oDesk turn into? If they're closing Elance to focus everything on oDesk, does that mean they want to turn oDesk more into Elance, or does it mean that they want to grow oDesk using its strenghts now? If the latter, what does that mean for established freelancers on oDesk? The system works 4,5/5 stars right now, will we have totally unpredicted changes that will uproot our business model? So many questions, so few answers.
By communicating our vision with the community at this early stage you're going to see some vagueness as some decisions and process have yet to be completely finalized. At the same time, we want our communities to be aware of this long-term process so they can stay informed and partner with us in this journey. We don't want to uproot your business by any means.
Yes, we want to grow oDesk, building on its strengths and where possible on the strengths of Elance. Established, good-performing freelancers across both marketplaces are top of mind for us and we'll do our best to help continue your success.
I would rather see first the speed being fixed and the stability of the site (though i'm like 99% sure that the stability related to the slow site ). The user experience is pretty much horrible on the site.
Also fix current bugs, maybe add minor improvments (like a new report - which is being requested by some contractors; or i never understood why we have to report as spam/pishing/fraud job posts which have a http link in it. Just make a filter which filters job posts for URLs and keep make them require a human aproval ).
The sit back for 3-6 month, and see if anything breaks.
Then you can think about a vision.
I guess improvments at the support is a good thing, though didn't talk much with them.
Is the ending results that oDesk and Elance are going to be merged? As it is we have big messes with every ha! "Improvement" oDesk keeps making.
I would think that the problems would be fixed before implementing more "Improvements".
You know change is going to happen but most places don't implement it all at once without testing the changes before they implement. It seems the opposite with oDesk. We have been turned into big guinea pigs and no one really is listening although you keep saying they are.
If they were listening some of these changes wouldn't even be taking place. It would make more sense if this were a give and take situation, but it seems it is a take situation for oDesk and we are the ones giving. Sigh...
Well, here's to keeping promises!
(I knew that 'we'll keep the separate platforms' thing wouldn't hold for long anyway, still - hilarious corporate communication there)
I can launch into a lengthy analysis of what I think all that flowery marketing talk in the letter is actually saying... but I won't.
Instead I'm just going to focus on the practical side - please, please hire competent people for the development of that new platform. Because judging by the way most of the recent "improvements" here were designed and implemented, I fear what will happen if the same people have the task of merging two humongous databases together. Lots of people (me included) have profiles on both sites - I'd hate to see any of my work history get messed up or lost because someone tried to save a buck from development.
The rest... I guess we'll wait and see.
I shudder and cringe to think of what's going to happen. The're rushing through changes when it's patently obvious that there isn't the quality of technical people in place to implement such massive changes. Talk of improved automatic matching of clients with freelancers is especially worrying - because let's face it, anything that's been done in this regard so far has been a farce, and often little better than random. The blind faith in "intelligent" algorithms that can almost think like humans is sadly misguided. What's the chances that loads more oDeskers are going to dumped in the hidden bin from now on because the robot is blowing a fuse over the new merged profiles.
Don't get me wrong - I would truly, dearly love to sound postiive about this; but everything that has happened in the last few months, and even in the last few days, regarding supposed improvements has been botched and inefficient at best, and disdainful and insulting to freelancers at worst - so why should anything be different going forward?
Rant over for now...
I appreciate the emotion, but please be considerate of our Community Guidelines when posting here. We have a dedicated, hard-working and very capable team working on our technology. We will improve in our implementation of features, etc. but we ask that you be respectful of our team members when posting here.
I am considerate of the Guidelines.
Apologies if the comment reads as a bit harsh, but it's not insulting or hostile, nor was it meant to be either of those things. It's a generalised statement of the fact that long-term oDesk users have been through quite a lot of platform updates that haven't been properly executed / thought out / tested before implementation. That's a fact, not a subjective opinion. As a day-to-day user of this platform whose work has been influenced negatively by glitching platform updates/features, I was simply summing up that fact, not insulting or blaming the current team for all the glitches this platform has suffered. I just wish we (users on both platforms) had some reassurance that steps will be taken to ensure that the transition of profiles is executed properly by the team who's going to be working on it.
Again, apologies if you've read something more into it, but if we can't critique the process of changing or share some of the less positive experiences we've had with change here, how are we to provide any kind of relevant feedback?
Point taken Bojana and I appreciate you clarifying. We do look for your constructive feedback and criticism is certainly allowed here in the Community as you'll see here and on other threads.
Thanks again for being considerate of our Guidelines. We appreciate it.