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Batten down the hatches! Rough seas ahead.

38 REPLIES 38
jsutherland
Member

They yanked that within minutes. What was the schedule?

 

Sorry, Jean, my bad. The original link was malformed. Should work now.

 

New jobs on Elance are being shut off as of September, and bridging invitations to "all active members in good standing" should be issued by September 1st. The rising tide of refugees should follow the course of invitation issuance.

 

Best,

Michael

lysis10
Member

Early 2016 the lights go out.

 

It's been real, Elance. It's been fun. Can't say real fun.

 

Can any of the mods here discuss the private talent cloud? I'm working with one of Elance's PMs. Should I just ask her?

 

 

oooh it also says they'll be redirecting in August.

 

I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and start bidding without a history. Meh.

 

When they redirect, it's gonna start to get reeeally slow on Elance.

Douglas, thanks for sharing the link.

 

Yeah, the writing has been on the wall for a while.

 

I feel really bad for the Elancers who loved their platform. But this is out of their control.

Thank you, Preston.

I have not been on Elance so long, but I had a somewhat good start - and got quite used to the whole thing. Since April I try to restart here, but till now I am not that much happy. Maybe I am too picky about clients and jobs? Let's see how things will look like when they try to bring the clients over. Some of mine won't be thrilled.


@Jennifer M wrote:

 

I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and start bidding without a history. Meh.

 


Oh man, Jennifer, you're one of those whose history didn't import? No wonder you've been eager anxious to get startedโ€”my sympathies!

 

Best,

Michael

I still haven't gotten an invite. ๐Ÿ˜ž  And I'm one of the few who want to just rip the bandaid off and do it. I don't want to be the last one there. It's gonna get weird there. I'd rather just accept it and move on.

 

I did like Elance a lot. Customers hated the interface lol but I had good times there. Even met some old schoolers IRL and partied in Miami. Good times.

Jennifer, I think they might be a llttle SCARED of you!  Keep it up! ๐Ÿ™‚


@Nichola L wrote:

Jennifer, I think they might be a llttle SCARED of you!  Keep it up! ๐Ÿ™‚


 

 

It's the Google Glasses, isn't it. Maybe it's my karma for cutting my corgi out of my profile pic. 

 

This is how I envision the guy in charge of invites when he comes across my name.

 

nope.jpg

 

 

My profile migrated but all my portfolio images are lost (even though the chat desk fool said the migration was "successful"). Now I'm trying to upload them manually and I've been waiting over an hour for one upload (200K) to finish. What's going on?

Roberta,

 

It should not take that long to upload a portfolio item, the upload process is fairly quick. I would recommend you closing out of the browser, deleting cache and trying again. Unfortunately, some types of portfolio images are not brought over during migration.  I apologize for the inconvenience of adding them manually, let us know if you encounter issues uploading and If it continues to take a long time. 

 

Thanks,

Lena

 

 

Untitled

I managed to get one uploaded by going to a different browser, but the second one won't display the image even though when I look at the item in edit mode it appears to have been uploaded -- twice. Even after quitting and relaunching all the browsers. I've been on upwork less than a day and I already hate it!

Roberta,

 

Im sorry for the frustration. I do see a few portfolio images displayed when looking at your profile. 

 

-Lena

Untitled

Yeah, I can't figure it out. If I look at the others in edit mode, the image is there, but it's not visible in my profile. If I delete the image and re-upload it, the same problem persists. In some of them, I can now see 3 images -- all the same -- in edit mode. Should it even be possible to upload more than one image for one portfolio item? Apparently they are not deleting and/or uploading correctly.

 

I also thought the thumbnail was where I could show a closeup of a headline or company logo, which would be good for me because I've had a lot of high profile clients like American Airlines, Godiva Chocolatier, Movado, PetsMart and Madison Square Garden. But it's not working like that -- the thumbnail looks exactly the same as the main image even though I cropped and saved a thumbnail especially for that spot.

Oh! I already had a portfolio here. I didn't know the portfolio images were supposed to move. Mine didn't, but I'm very glad about it cause it would have been a mess to sort the chaos mixing both portfolios would create.

 

I see a lot of familiar faces here Smiley Very Happy

 

Although they may not recognize me, this may help: avatar_small.jpg

Germรกn,

 

Your Elance portfolio items may arrive over the next few days. One advantage of Upwork is that portfolio management, although it doesn't allow categories, is much less cumbersome for providers to manage and for clients to browse.

 

Welcome and good luck,

Michael

altheasagayno
Member

Well, I have always been more of the then-oDesk-platform type of freelancer, that's where I started, all of my projects are from Upwork and though I tried Elance, I was never awarded a project.

 

I felt the same when they changed oDesk to Upwork, but I guess it is kind of different now because I never had to move my profile. We can only do what we have been doing for the longest time, adapt to the changes and weather the tide (if you are not at all spending a lot of time on Upwork, by tide, I mean the bugs and system maintenance.)

 

One of the first things I thought of is the number of people, a lot of people will comment badly on the changes, sure, we did so when oDesk changed. It's part of the process. But once the dust settles the majority would have moved to Upwork, so more people to bid on projects.  I hope they are ensuring that clients moved in as well because if not, we will be left with a pool of too many hungry freelancers and not much fish food.

tj1972
Member

Hi,

I just got an email from Elance/Upwork with more or less precise timing what will happen.

This is from that email.

  • In early August, new customers will no longer be able to register for Elance.
  • Starting in September, weโ€™ll begin to limit the ability to post new jobs on Elance.
  • Through early 2016, you can continue your current projects on Elance. However, we encourage you to begin all new contracts on Upwork and move existing contracts to Upwork when possible.
  • Through mid-2016, you will still be able to access your messages, contacts, and files on Elance.


Again, they are asking to mimic my Elance profile here.

Honestly, I'm trying to postpone this profile merging as much as possible since there are lot's of problems here on the platform and not sure that everything will go smoothly after merging profiles...

johntatlock
Member

The merging thing has worked really well for me. Doesn't change anything on Elance, and just adds things from there to the Upwork profile. So 12 month earnings, star rating, and job success score all up, and lots more feedback showing on my profile page. No downsides at all for me.

It doesn't recognize long term clients from Elance. Besides that, all good for me too.

lanwanman
Member

A sincere Welcome to all Elancers! [both clients and especially freelancers].

 

Elancers and original Upwork members already have something in common; that is, more competition! Too bad there are not many if any good jobs and quality clients here anyway. If there are, have fun finding them....

 

As I have written many times before, the clients' search for freelancers features are ineffective. Likewise, the freelancers' My Jobs feature and freelancers search for jobs features are too time consuming and ineffective -- a way to ensure more use of "Connects" perhaps?

 

Upwork's endless changes, guidelines, rules, terms, etc., are a "Catch 22"; a maze of ridiculous, often conflicting metrics, goals, and methods. Where freelancers should have a 'reasonable expectation of success,' inadvertently freelancers are bound by a system 'designed to fail.'

 

Even the new freelancer programs mentioned on Freelancers Union appear to be a failure. For leads and general info see the article "Upwork introduces programs to help top freelancers earn more" at https://www.freelancersunion.org/blog/2015/05/18/upwork-formerly-odesk-introduces-programs-help-top-... ... top freelancers....

 

Upwork Pro Web Designers Group (By Invitation Only) - As a "top freelancer" aka "Top Rated" freelancer ( https://www.upwork.com/users/%7E019547eaab2fb9b652 ), I received an invite to the new Upwork Pro Web Designers Group.

 

Upwork partnered with Webflow in an apparent attempt at revenue sharing; revenue resulting from new Webflow sign-ups via Upwork's new program. "Webflow" is the reason I abandoned my efforts to join the program. Webflow is one of the worst development platforms I have seen in ages.

 

Check out the Upwork Pro Web Designers Group page at https://www.upwork.com/groups/prowebdesigners As of this date, only 74 members and 124 jobs? Search the jobs yourself https://www.upwork.com/jobs/?g=prowebdesigners

 

Not exactly what I call the best jobs and quality clients. So much for "Upwork Enterprise" aka Upwork "Enterprise Talent Solutions" ( http://ptc.elance.com/ ). The real new Upwork perhaps?

 

QUESTION: Over 9 million freelancers on Upwork with less than 100 Pro Web Designers? Is this due to a lack of interest from freelancers, or is Upwork unable to complete the vetting process within a reasonable time period?

 

Upwork Pro for Pro Mobile Developers (apparently no longer by invitation only) - The link to the now defunct "Upwork Verified Mobile Developers" group is https://www.upwork.com/groups/odeskverifiedmobile  The link to the now defunct "Upwork Verified Web Developers" group is https://www.upwork.com/groups/odeskverifiedwebdev As expected, both defunct groups show 0 members and 0 jobs.

 

I have since lost the link to the page for the new Upwork Pro for Pro Mobile Developers group. Nonetheless, I recall the number of members and jobs were much like those for the Upwork Pro Web Designers Group.

 

I abandoned my efforts to join the program after I read the "Freelancers Addendum - Section 2" that stated in part: "Freelancer agrees to pay to Upwork a 20% service fee for all work performed for any Client that Freelancer meets through the Upwork Pro Services."

 

See the actual addendum in the event that any changes are made after this post ( https://pages.upwork.com/pro-freelancer-addendum-agreement.html ). Hmmm, is that what all the recent surveys about fees were all about?

 

Upwork Pro Customer Services Group (apparently no longer by invitation only) - Check out the Upwork Pro Customer Services Group page at https://www.upwork.com/groups/cspros As of this date, only 84 members and 181 jobs? Search the jobs yourself https://www.upwork.com/jobs/?g=cspros

 

I applied for the program and received an email from "L" Pro Customer Service Team. As requested in the email, I updated my profile, set my availability, submitted a proposal for a customer service position, and replied to the email July 7, 2015. Someone from the Pro Customer Service Team is supposed to email me with a list of the next steps to take in order to join the program. Still no reply....

 

QUESTION: Is Upwork unable to complete the vetting process within a reasonable time period? How long will it take before I hear back from the Pro Customer Service Team?

Ron aka LanWanMan

This explains why nothing here is being fixed. No resources are being put into making Upwork. (the normal site we all use)

 

We are not their focus and most likely cost them more money than we are worth to them. We are gradually being phased out or moved to the new 20% fee programs that does allow Upwork to make money.

 

It makes sense now that so many are being suspended or kicked out of Upwork, no problems are being addressed and no fixes are being made at all. 

 

I think once ELance is moved over and completed the best of the best will be invited to the new system at 20% and once that is complete there will be no more Regular Upwork, only Upwork Enterprise.

I've been on the hiring side of Elance's talent cloud (I suppose the equivalent to Upwork Enterprise) and the provider side. It's really only for bigger companies with bigger budgets that have several freelancers and need some assistance. For instance, Udemy had about 40-50 writers. 10 of them were mine. All the editors would take our writer payments, send them to the lead, and then she could upload a spreadsheet that paid everyone all at once instead of the hassle of single escrow and payments. Actually, we didn't escrow at all. Just one month payments at the end of the month. It was good for everyone. It was these little perks that helped bigger companies. 

 

Anyway, it's not for some guy who wants smaller gigs. It's for that bigger company that contracts their work and needs a way to manage several freelancers.


@Jennifer M wrote:

I've been on the hiring side of Elance's talent cloud (I suppose the equivalent to Upwork Enterprise) and the provider side. It's really only for bigger companies with bigger budgets that have several freelancers and need some assistance. For instance, Udemy had about 40-50 writers. 10 of them were mine. All the editors would take our writer payments, send them to the lead, and then she could upload a spreadsheet that paid everyone all at once instead of the hassle of single escrow and payments. Actually, we didn't escrow at all. Just one month payments at the end of the month. It was good for everyone. It was these little perks that helped bigger companies. 

 

Anyway, it's not for some guy who wants smaller gigs. It's for that bigger company that contracts their work and needs a way to manage several freelancers.


Thanks for the insight, Jennifer. I'm sure this is valuable info for a lot of us here, especially those of us who do content writing and haven't had a peek behind the curtain.


@Jean S wrote:

 

I think once ELance is moved over and completed the best of the best will be invited to the new system at 20% and once that is complete there will be no more Regular Upwork, only Upwork Enterprise.


I think Upwork's staying open, but its goal will be to cultivate Enterprise talent. I'm guessing the Enterprise rates will be significantly lower (around the usual 10%), while the Regular Upwork rates will get hiked. I don't think Upwork stands a chance of retaining the talent Enterprise demands if they hike the rates there as well. But they do stand a chance of attracting talented people to Regular Upwork if those people are under the impression that hacking through worse jobs and worse rates will lead them to the Promised Land of 10% fees, a steady stream of work, and clients who know what they want.

 

Edit: Wrote this before seeing Ron's post. That they would charge a higher rate for a service that is supposed to attract their best workers is... perplexing.


@Patrick P wrote:

Edit: Wrote this before seeing Ron's post. That they would charge a higher rate for a service that is supposed to attract their best workers is... perplexing.


My take on the various Pro programs is I think similar to Ron's. They look like sparkly cross-marketing gimmicks. I don't think Upwork expects much benefit from them aside from diverting the masses and/or market penetration.

 

Best,

Michael


@Ronald T wrote:

A sincere Welcome to all Elancers! [both clients and especially freelancers].

 

Elancers and original Upwork members already have something in common; that is, more competition! Too bad there are not many if any good jobs and quality clients here anyway. If there are, have fun finding them....

 

As I have written many times before, the clients' search for freelancers features are ineffective. Likewise, the freelancers' My Jobs feature and freelancers search for jobs features are too time consuming and ineffective -- a way to ensure more use of "Connects" perhaps?

 

Upwork's endless changes, guidelines, rules, terms, etc., are a "Catch 22"; a maze of ridiculous, often conflicting metrics, goals, and methods. Where freelancers should have a 'reasonable expectation of success,' inadvertently freelancers are bound by a system 'designed to fail.'

 

Even the new freelancer programs mentioned on Freelancers Union appear to be a failure. For leads and general info see the article "Upwork introduces programs to help top freelancers earn more" at https://www.freelancersunion.org/blog/2015/05/18/upwork-formerly-odesk-introduces-programs-help-top-... ... top freelancers....

 

Upwork Pro Web Designers Group (By Invitation Only) - As a "top freelancer" aka "Top Rated" freelancer ( https://www.upwork.com/users/%7E019547eaab2fb9b652 ), I received an invite to the new Upwork Pro Web Designers Group.

 

Upwork partnered with Webflow in an apparent attempt at revenue sharing; revenue resulting from new Webflow sign-ups via Upwork's new program. "Webflow" is the reason I abandoned my efforts to join the program. Webflow is one of the worst development platforms I have seen in ages.

 

Check out the Upwork Pro Web Designers Group page at https://www.upwork.com/groups/prowebdesigners As of this date, only 74 members and 124 jobs? Search the jobs yourself https://www.upwork.com/jobs/?g=prowebdesigners

 

Not exactly what I call the best jobs and quality clients. So much for "Upwork Enterprise" aka Upwork "Enterprise Talent Solutions" ( http://ptc.elance.com/ ). The real new Upwork perhaps?

 

QUESTION: Over 9 million freelancers on Upwork with less than 100 Pro Web Designers? Is this due to a lack of interest from freelancers, or is Upwork unable to complete the vetting process within a reasonable time period?

 

Upwork Pro for Pro Mobile Developers (apparently no longer by invitation only) - The link to the now defunct "Upwork Verified Mobile Developers" group is https://www.upwork.com/groups/odeskverifiedmobile  The link to the now defunct "Upwork Verified Web Developers" group is https://www.upwork.com/groups/odeskverifiedwebdev As expected, both defunct groups show 0 members and 0 jobs.

 

I have since lost the link to the page for the new Upwork Pro for Pro Mobile Developers group. Nonetheless, I recall the number of members and jobs were much like those for the Upwork Pro Web Designers Group.

 

I abandoned my efforts to join the program after I read the "Freelancers Addendum - Section 2" that stated in part: "Freelancer agrees to pay to Upwork a 20% service fee for all work performed for any Client that Freelancer meets through the Upwork Pro Services."

 

See the actual addendum in the event that any changes are made after this post ( https://pages.upwork.com/pro-freelancer-addendum-agreement.html ). Hmmm, is that what all the recent surveys about fees were all about?

 

Upwork Pro Customer Services Group (apparently no longer by invitation only) - Check out the Upwork Pro Customer Services Group page at https://www.upwork.com/groups/cspros As of this date, only 84 members and 181 jobs? Search the jobs yourself https://www.upwork.com/jobs/?g=cspros

 

I applied for the program and received an email from "L" Pro Customer Service Team. As requested in the email, I updated my profile, set my availability, submitted a proposal for a customer service position, and replied to the email July 7, 2015. Someone from the Pro Customer Service Team is supposed to email me with a list of the next steps to take in order to join the program. Still no reply....

 

QUESTION: Is Upwork unable to complete the vetting process within a reasonable time period? How long will it take before I hear back from the Pro Customer Service Team?


LOL, thanks for posting this Ron! I find the 20% fee amusing, especially after looking at the first 5 job listings in the Pro Customer Service group. None of the clients had an hourly pay average over $7 USD, over half of them averaged $3, and all 5 listings were posted as "Entry Level" jobs, which makes me wonder why they were then posted to the Pro CS Group.  But I guess these measures were good enough to keep the investors peaceful for at least this quarter, possibly even next. I'll look forward to Q4 and Q1 2016.

Upwork Pro Customer Services Group (apparently no longer by invitation only) - so i wasn't misreading then? it did say i could apply when i hovered over the question mark....... 

stencilmedia
Member

Elance is dead... long live the Upwork! I for one welcome my new Upwork masters and look forward to doing their bidding. We must appease the overlords with our 10% offerings.  

 

Now I just need to figure out how you do that profile transfer thing and maybe consider applying for some projects. Maybe tomorrow.  

My 2 cents on a few things Ron mentioned in his detailed post:

 

>> Upwork Pro Web Designers Group (By Invitation Only) - As a "top freelancer" aka "Top Rated" freelancer ( https://www.upwork.com/users/%7E019547eaab2fb9b652 ), I received an invite to the new Upwork Pro Web Designers Group.

 

Not sure I received an invite, but I wouldn't qualify because it's for designers, not developers.

 

>> Upwork Pro for Pro Mobile Developers (apparently no longer by invitation only) - The link to the now defunct "Upwork Verified Mobile Developers" group ishttps://www.upwork.com/groups/odeskverifiedmobile  The link to the now defunct "Upwork Verified Web Developers" group ishttps://www.upwork.com/groups/odeskverifiedwebdev As expected, both defunct groups show 0 members and 0 jobs.

 

I suppose I could try for this one, but I'm guessing it's geared to app developers, which I am not. I *was* a member of the defunct "Upwork Verified Web Developers" group. Why for Mobile there's a developers group now as before, but for Web there's now a designers group rather than a developers group is mysterious. Maybe a moderator can explain this to us hoi polloi?

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

John, I don't think you'd have any problems qualifying. The entry process was basically to show 4 websites that you've done so Webflow experts can asssess them - and if you don't have any, hey, you can just build 4 on Webflow and show those. If they're passable, you're in. 

 

I got the invite but decided it's not something I'm comfortable with; I do web design (design only) now and then, but I don't do code. I'm pretty sure I could've gotten in - beacuse the entry gate's minimum was to basically learn a web building tool and I'm pretty comfortable with those... but then the Pro Group was to be presented to clients as 'Pro designers that can build your responsive website from scratch'... Really? When at least part of the people are there because they can put together a decent structure in a web-building, web-based app? What if the client doesn't want their site on Webflow, what do you do when the code export fails and you need actual developer's knowledge to make it work? 

 

Not to mention the bit about the 20%. Nice one, Upwork. 


@Scott E wrote:

Elance is dead... long live the Upwork! I for one welcome my new Upwork masters and look forward to doing their bidding. We must appease the overlords with our 10% offerings.  

 

Now I just need to figure out how you do that profile transfer thing and maybe consider applying for some projects. Maybe tomorrow.  


 

I decided to pound the Upwork pavement for a couple of days and landed my first gig after 5-6 proposals. Customer is new to Upwork. I'm new to Upwork. Could be a fun little experiment on what happens when noobs come together. We are the immovable object meets the unstoppable force. A big ball of divide by zero.

 

Our Skype convo was something like

 

Him: Do you know how to do this?

Me: No, I'm new

Him: I'm new too

Me: Maybe if you click there

Him: OK, I clicked there now what

Me: Fund escrow

Him: How

Me: I dunno lol

Him: OK LOL

 

We had many lulz. It was good for a Friday. 

Lol.... how time flies. So tell us have you had any newbie client lately asking you what to click ? or has any one had newbie clients unsure of how to use the functionalities available on the platform ?

Bojana, you wrote, 

 

"the Pro Group was to be presented to clients as 'Pro designers that can build your responsive website from scratch'... Really? When at least part of the people are there because they can put together a decent structure in a web-building, web-based app? What if the client doesn't want their site on Webflow, what do you do when the code export fails and you need actual developer's knowledge to make it work?"

 

I take it you're mainly a designer, whereas I'm strictly a designer, not to mention knowing nothing about Webflow. This is a bit off-topic, but Upwork ought to provide freelancers with an official method to collaborate on a project without having to belong to an agency. For example, you find a job that requires design & development, and you're comfortable with the design aspect, and the client prefers WordPress, so you invite me to create the WordPress theme. Right now, the client has to take a chance on an agency or freelancer who does both, or go to the trouble of hiring 2 freelancers. This way, the client will get 2 specialists, and be able to evaluate them at the same time. Much better than hiring a freelancer and finding out later that he didn't do all the work, but secretly hired another freelancer to do half the work.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


@John K wrote:

....Upwork ought to provide freelancers with an official method to collaborate on a project without having to belong to an agency. For example, you find a job that requires design & development, and you're comfortable with the design aspect, and the client prefers WordPress, so you invite me to create the WordPress theme. Right now, the client has to take a chance on an agency or freelancer who does both, or go to the trouble of hiring 2 freelancers. This way, the client will get 2 specialists, and be able to evaluate them at the same time. Much better than hiring a freelancer and finding out later that he didn't do all the work, but secretly hired another freelancer to do half the work.


John,

 

I like your idea of being able to arrange one-off collaborations in a transparent and semi-automated way. I've approached similar situations on Elance by expressing interest and offering  options to prospective clients:

  • referral to a colleague who does the part of the job I don't do, as a separate contract
  • permission to subcontract the part I don't do, to a colleague of my choice or the prospects'
  • when applicable, referral to a colleague who does the entire job.

This allows me to put my own strengths and interests forward while acknowledging I would need a collaborator or that the prospects' needs might be best served by hiring someone with a broader skill set. No need for secrecy, and I leave it up to prospects whether and how they wants to work with a team.

 

This approach has never resulted in a contract. It meets my needs for making proposals on jobs compelling enough to bid on despite a skill deficit.

 

Best,

Michael

Michael, while we're dreaming up features for Upwork 2.0, one way of implementing this would be to leverage the milestone feature. So, in addition to assigning a dollar amount, or as a further enhancement, a maximum number of hours, per milestone, a milestone would have a freelacer assigned to each milestone, so each freelancer gets paid separately, and could even receive separate feedback scores I suppose. While there's some added complexity, compared to the agency model, it has the virtues of transparency and elminating the middleman.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


@Jennifer M wrote:

 

Our Skype convo was something like

 


The better contracts I've landed are all from clients who've been off oDesk/Upwork for a while, and came back because of a new project/need. I've had that exact same conversation with each and every one of them.

 

"Okay, so I'm clicking here... Wait, nevermind... Huh... Oh, I think I found it... Wait, no..."