While I am sure Upwork is bringing some great stuff to the Elance-UpWork table I wonder if you (Elance/UpWork) have tested the names.
I'll give you my impressions as a single data point (as a person hiring freelance work):
Elance = very cool name. Explains itself in a single word. Easy to remember. Makes me want to be a part of this community and hire the talent. Very cool.
UpWork = It is a good name but makes me think it is for people in the unemployment line - giving them job help and skill training - if that is the impression you are going for then great. But as a person wanting to hire someone, I want to look for dynamic, active, skilled, on-the-ball people. The unemployment line may have these kind of people but it is not where I will look for them. I will look for them on their current job *through your website) and be happy to wait in line for someone who is in demand. Also, I cant remember "UpWork" as easily because it doesn't seem to incorporate what the service provides.
My 2 cents.
UpWork-Elance people, what do you think?
Let me add that I am not approaching this from a loyalty-to-Elance or loyalty-to-UpWork perspective (because I am not loyal to either) but rather from a purely analytical perspective. I want this company to succeed and I think the name is important. I think the name Elance is orders of magnitude better than the name UpWork. I am a single data point and am interested in getting more data points via opinion from the rest of the community.
There was nothing wrong with oDesk. Whether the name is good or not, Elance is soon just to be a memory. Upwork is here to stay (it costs a lot to change a name) and it is one of the most unfortunate brand names anyone could have thought up. The company is going to have to work very hard to offset the ' 'five-year plan' and the job-centre/ plumbing overtones that the name conveys.
It is a pity oDesk didn't think of offering this out (as a competition) to its talented pool of writers (in all categories).
I suppose they wanted to rebrand. It's their site. They can do what they want. I did like the name Elance, but I'm sure they have their reasons.
I wish I could get my invite though to Upwork. I've noticed that Elance cranked down their Adwords listing, so the slow in marketing has begun. Upwork is now where Elance used to show in Adwords, so I'd like to join the fray with my killer history sooooon.
I didn't really pay any attention to the names until they changed it. I found out I loved oDesk. There's something about the way it's designed (small cap o then large D; like an iPhone) which makes it sound sophisticated and at the same time explain in brief what the website is about (online desk work).
UpWork sounds like a humorous term for vomit
I don't want to be a smart *** but it's Upwork, not UpWork, everyone.
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce