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Pitch for an open source platform for Odesk Freelancers

Community Guru
Aseem B Member Since: Dec 20, 2014
1 of 6

Hi everyone

Please note that I do not want to market anything here but just want to see if it is a good idea. We all must have heard of some piece of work delivered which the client did not paid for and took it for free. Contractually freelancers own this work as client did not paid for this but generally can't do anything with it unless they have another client who want exact same work. Mostly these are hours going into recycle bin. I want to create a website where such freelancers can upload their codes, articles, research data and stuff as open source to whoever wants to download it. (Please note that I may not end up actually creating it as I am kind of lazy when working without a project)

Pros: 

1)Your work might help someone instead of going to waste.

2)If client is still using your work illegally, he will find this troubling and might come to senses and decide to pay you to take it down.

3)Someone downloading and using your work may find it helpful and can become your next client. And he will think twice before scamming you.

 

Cons:

1)Some people may try to abuse it so there needs to be some mediation where clients can appeal to take down the work and present their copyrights to the work.

 

 So basically just tell me if you will join this platform or not??

 

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
2 of 6

Personally, I have blogs and websites to which I can submit my work if the client decides not to pay it (mostly writing though). I use those pieces as part of my portfolio or even make money out of them by posting or sharing them to sites where a small amount is paid to you if they publish your content. I also have my own website for some of that and my own blogs so clearly, the client cannot get away with not paying me.

 

This is what I do to bad clients: Once there was a client who said he won't use my medical write-ups... he claims they are of low quality and he would never even think of using them. We agreed that he doesn't have to pay me and of couse he won't have any right to use my work. Lo and behold, he did use them and they even became a bit viral amongst his followers (low quality huh!) I opened a ticket in oDesk about it but they never did anything so I contacted goDaddy and google and presented evidences it's my content and that I published it first. Their rankings fell down (from first page to idk what page haha) and they were taken off the net for a few days. They lost a few thousand dollars in profit just because they didn't want to pay $200 for 3 short articles (they are a big pharmaceutical and health supplements company).

 

Suggestion for writers and word nerds like translators: I suggest that if someone is into writing or translations to go this route. If the client messed up with your business and used your work without paying for it, use the law to go after them. Also, upload your work like in your blog or website (but set it to private so search engines won't index it) so in case the client runs with your work, you have proof it's yours and you published it first by simply editing the privacy settings to public. Google is your friend and don't forget, there are ways to make money out of your unpaid work if you know where to look so think twice before donating it to a free platform. At the very least, use it for your portfolio!

 

Anyway, to address the OP, it would be nice to join your platform if I don't have my own websites and blogs Smiley Happy



❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Community Guru
Aseem B Member Since: Dec 20, 2014
3 of 6

Awesome suggestion Dianne. I suggest all freelancers to go DMCA way if they can. 

 

However I will like to mention that open source is not the same as donating the work for free as you still own the work if you are providing it as open source. You are free to add it to your portfolio and in most open source licences people need to credit the author for the work. Authors can also mention to purchase a commercial licence if someone wants to use it for purpose other than personal use. Please note that I am telling this from the perspective of software developers. I do not know how things work for writers etc. 

 

Reason I mentioned a common platform is because every single freelancer may not be able to promote his work on his own using personal blogs,GIT Hubs or odesk profile. Not all websites go to top page of google and more content means more potential users.

 

Thanks for your interest btw Smiley Happy

 

Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
4 of 6

Hi AB! I cannot think of how your ideas would represent a site that was an "open source platform" itself; essentially, it sounds like a site that would host a collection of open source applications or other types of solutions available for download. That is, another GitHub type site. The GitHub website would be among the top competitors for Internet traffic and conversions.

Product sourcing, management, and quality control could be major hurdle. The suppliers would not likely be among the top freelancers in the marketplace; rather, those offering failed projects whether failed due to technical, quality, delivery, or cost issues.

Please do not take my opinions as discouraging. With decades of experience, and a very diverse background, I come up with new ideas regularly. Well, not so much "new"; early research usually results in finding that the ideas have already been implemented successfully by someone else.

Finding a new niche for use as a successful Web based business is like trying to find the next, good ".com" domain name. As the number of new sites launched every year still grows rapidly, how many sites really offer new, innovative products and/or services? Most are a take-off from previously established businesses whether Web based or not. In addition, for every new hot product or service, those with vast financial resources soon flood the marketplace.

Take oDesk for instance. Is oDesk really doing as well as in the past? A common misconception is that since the Elance-oDesk merger there is plenty of opportunity to break into that market. Truth is, many have already tried and already failed miserably.

What about cost? How much money does it really take to become the next, large scale, successful Web based business. From start-up to a reasonable ROI, my guess is around $200,000 USD the majority of which would be for marketing. The bulk of those marketing costs would likely be for top of the line PR, conventional television advertising, or even infomercials leveraging the power of MLM.

Still, I believe there is room for smaller start-ups to succeed with a Web based business. Unfortunately, it seems to be a lot harder these days to get found on the Internet with only a reasonable budget.

SEO and other Internet marketing methods used to be a good path to getting found; however, the entire field of SEO has been flooded with so-called SEO experts whose work has caused more harm than good. As a result, I am migrating away from offering such services in favor of providing services that are more technical in nature; thus, making my own freelance endeavors more sustainable -- no more "low hanging fruit."

Edited 01/09/2015 RT/lwm

Community Guru
Aseem B Member Since: Dec 20, 2014
5 of 6

Thanks a lot Ron for your input. I do not want to claim that the idea is new. It had been tried and tested. 

 

I started developing and purchasing a string of websites last year and I know how tough it is to stand out in current scenario and when an Internet Marketing and SEO veteran like you confirms this situation it only makes one more frustated. With google going anti-offsite seo, are the Golden and even Silver years of web past us? 

 

Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
6 of 6

AB -- "Past us" only in the sense that it is growingly difficult to keep up with those that have access to sustainable financial resources. Nonetheless, for a few start-ups (very few among untold numbers), I still believe that small businesses can be successful on the Web; however, early research and planning are an absolute necessity -- Steps that most newbies forget or intentionally skip to conserve initial costs.

 

Success equals Budget, budget, budget...marketing budget!

Most start-ups on the Web arrive in the form of websites whereby site owners had not performed any type of market research (aka "niche" analysis; preliminary investigation, etc.). The next crucial step that is often done incorrectly is the selection of a domain name with no keyword research and other preemptive efforts.

In a lot of cases it is only after site launch that site owners begin to think about keywords, SEO, and other marketing methods. Then, these days, they usually hire the lowest bidder -- an SEO "expert" via sites like this, and it's down the tubes from that point on. OK, I agree to some extent that whether or not the "lowest bidder" can provide effective services or not is a whole different, much debated matter.

 

BTW -- I have three domain names of my own to develop over the next 18 months or so. They are interrelated only to the extent that monetization will be essentially the same on each site. A low budget, low return approach; just a few bucks to supplement upcoming retirement income (aka a small, sustainable revenue stream).

 

Edited 01/09/2015 RT/lwm

 

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