🐈 Community
prestonhunter
Member

Upwork turning my profile page into a grocery store

This is real, and this is live.

 

My first thought: Ugh, no. Please make the nightmare go away.

 

[Message receive from Upwork:]

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 10.30.47 PM.png

 

[screenshot from my actual profile page:]

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 10.29.53 PM.png

76 REPLIES 76
prestonhunter
Member

Each item can apparently be edited.

 

Here is one of the pre-populated "Projects", which is not something I would ever offer:

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 10.36.37 PM.png

 

I guess if I can delete these or customize this, it might be something I can live with...

mtngigi
Member

omg ... there are no words.  Upwork, WTH?!

 

Well, fingers crossed ... can you delete?

 

ETA: I'll be taking this nightmare to bed with me. I'm sure Monday morning will be interesting in the forums.  I'll just leave with this: Upwork, why oh why don't you have the decency to give freelancers a heads up before doing something like this? The lack of respect is breathtaking.

I was able to delete the pre-populated, pre-set "Custom Projects", leaving me with NO "Popular Projects" on my client-viewable public profile page, and this on my private freelancer-editable profile page:

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 10.40.41 PM.png

 

So... This wasn't so bad, because I caught this before any clients could see it and ask me to do something based on one of those pre-sets.

 

I was surprised by this.

 

I can see the potential usefulness of such a feature. I can see how a client could find it helpful to have a simple product listing with price tags.

 

I'm not sure how any people are going to appreciate having pre-set projects appear on their profile pages.

 

But I CAN think of some services I could offer in this manner, if I use the tool to create them myself...

A grocery store...or **Edited for Community Guidelines**.

I have to chuckle at Upwork's pre-set project offerings.

 

I'm amused by the idea of an offering to "build a website" or "create a desktop application" for a certain price.

 

It's like going to a hospital and seeing a sign: "perform a surgical procedure: $2000"

 

I am pretty sure you would never see that.

 

The price kind of depends on WHAT procedure, doesn't it?

 

I'll give this some thought. I may actually post a custom project or two of my own.

 

But it won't be to create a Wordpress site... which is not something that I actually do for clients.

re: "I'll be taking this nightmare to bed with me. I'm sure Monday morning will be interesting in the forums."

 

I don't know how widespread this is. The message said they're "testing" this new functionality.

 

Testing with how many people?

 

This is the first I had heard about this.

 

To Upwork's credit, they DID send a notice that this was on my profile page, and I WAS able to go there and remove it.

Really, Upwork?

 

This "development" definitely has the look and feel of the gig packages on offer on the five dollar site- including the words "I will..." 

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with displaying custom projects on your profile, Preston. This is part of the test you've been notified about via email. Could you please share your feedback regarding the projects which were pre-populated, that you've removed, and consider showcasing others?

Untitled

Hmmm, my profile hasn't changed. Is this only happening for certain categories? Because I would actually welcome this development, since I have a couple of services that I could post as fixed-price offers. One of Upwork's competitors offers this, and it's nice when clients can just read all of the details and hire me directly.

 

But I do sympathise with those who are upset with Upwork for changing their profiles without even asking, or even any prior discussions or warnings. This is yet another badly-implemented change.

 


Christine A wrote:

Hmmm, my profile hasn't changed. Is this only happening for certain categories? Because I would actually welcome this development, since I have a couple of services that I could post as fixed-price offers. One of Upwork's competitors offers this, and it's nice when clients can just read all of the details and hire me directly.

 

But I do sympathise with those who are upset with Upwork for changing their profiles without even asking, or even any prior discussions or warnings. This is yet another badly-implemented change.

 


Thanks for sharing your feedback and support for the feature Christine!

 

As Preston noted in one of the posts on this thread, he did receive an email notification about being included in the test and, as far as I can see, doesn't appear to be upset about it but rather surprised. 

Untitled


Vladimir G wrote:

As Preston noted in one of the posts on this thread, he did receive an email notification about being included in the test and, as far as I can see, doesn't appear to be upset about it but rather surprised. 


Sure, because people often refer to something as "a nightmare" when they're pleasantly surprised. 😄

I could use this feature.

But of course, like in high school, I'm never invited to cool parties.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless


Vladimir G wrote:

Christine A wrote:

Hmmm, my profile hasn't changed. Is this only happening for certain categories? Because I would actually welcome this development, since I have a couple of services that I could post as fixed-price offers. One of Upwork's competitors offers this, and it's nice when clients can just read all of the details and hire me directly.

 

But I do sympathise with those who are upset with Upwork for changing their profiles without even asking, or even any prior discussions or warnings. This is yet another badly-implemented change.

 


Thanks for sharing your feedback and support for the feature Christine!

 

As Preston noted in one of the posts on this thread, he did receive an email notification about being included in the test and, as far as I can see, doesn't appear to be upset about it but rather surprised. 


One of Preston's first comments was "ugh" ... a word most people use to express displeasure. From Christine's comment: "But if they want to test a new feature, why not ask for volunteers, instead of meddling with people's profiles without their consent?"

 

Upwork has been doing a lot of meddling lately. It would seem that Upwork considers itself my employer, rather than view me as an independent contractor. How else to explain why U thinks it's okay to do whatever they want with my profile. If you are not the boss of me, Upwork ... then explain your meddling. A meddling, by the way, that has done nothing to improve job leads. Nothing.

 

Spin it all you want, but the way in which Upwork decides to implement changes is disrespectful and never well-thought-out, not to mention intrusive. I believe most of us wish you would put your efforts and focus elsewhere, and I don't think I have to elaborate any further on what that means.

 

 

 


Virginia F wrote:

From Christine's comment: "But if they want to test a new feature, why not ask for volunteers, instead of meddling with people's profiles without their consent?"

 

Upwork has been doing a lot of meddling lately. It would seem that Upwork considers itself my employer, rather than view me as an independent contractor. How else to explain why U thinks it's okay to do whatever they want with my profile.


Not employer... Ultimately, Upwork is the shop and our skills are the products. I am not aware of any shop that asks the products for permission prior to redesigning their shelves or listings on their site.

 

People seem to think their profiles are somehow "theirs" - ugly truth is: They are not.

 


Petra R wrote:

Virginia F wrote:

From Christine's comment: "But if they want to test a new feature, why not ask for volunteers, instead of meddling with people's profiles without their consent?"

 

Upwork has been doing a lot of meddling lately. It would seem that Upwork considers itself my employer, rather than view me as an independent contractor. How else to explain why U thinks it's okay to do whatever they want with my profile.


Not employer... Ultimately, Upwork is the shop and our skills are the products. I am not aware of any shop that asks the products for permission prior to redesigning their shelves or listings on their site.

 

People seem to think their profiles are somehow "theirs" - ugly truth is: They are not.

 


Large brands do have some say in how they are presented in stores and the like....End cap displays, etc.... 


Miriam H wrote:

Petra R wrote:

Virginia F wrote:

From Christine's comment: "But if they want to test a new feature, why not ask for volunteers, instead of meddling with people's profiles without their consent?"

 

Upwork has been doing a lot of meddling lately. It would seem that Upwork considers itself my employer, rather than view me as an independent contractor. How else to explain why U thinks it's okay to do whatever they want with my profile.


Not employer... Ultimately, Upwork is the shop and our skills are the products. I am not aware of any shop that asks the products for permission prior to redesigning their shelves or listings on their site.

 

People seem to think their profiles are somehow "theirs" - ugly truth is: They are not.

 


Large brands do have some say in how they are presented in stores and the like....End cap displays, etc.... 


Sure, but how many of us are "large brands?" - I don't think I am and I'm a lot "larger" than most.


Petra R wrote:

Virginia F wrote:

From Christine's comment: "But if they want to test a new feature, why not ask for volunteers, instead of meddling with people's profiles without their consent?"

 

Upwork has been doing a lot of meddling lately. It would seem that Upwork considers itself my employer, rather than view me as an independent contractor. How else to explain why U thinks it's okay to do whatever they want with my profile.


Not employer... Ultimately, Upwork is the shop and our skills are the products. I am not aware of any shop that asks the products for permission prior to redesigning their shelves or listings on their site.

 

People seem to think their profiles are somehow "theirs" - ugly truth is: They are not.


Though I have often spoken of contractors as Upwork's inventory or products, that's not quite accurate if we pursue the retail analogy. Another poster has suggested we are more like manufacturer/wholesalers. We actually provide the "product," which is our work. In the retail world, who gets what shelf space and how products are promoted is often a matter of negotiation between the retailer and the wholesaler. In certain contexts, the wholesaler dictates how its products are to be displayed and promoted.

However, we are not so much wholesalers as boutique producers of niche products, whose negotiating power is much weaker relative to the retailer—who connects us to buyers and carries the overhead of our marketing expense. 



Though I have often spoken of contractors as Upwork's inventory or products, that's not quite accurate if we pursue the retail analogy. Another poster has suggested we are more like manufacturer/wholesalers. We actually provide the "product," which is our work. In the retail world, who gets what shelf space and how products are promoted is often a matter of negotiation between the retailer and the wholesaler. In certain contexts, the wholesaler dictates how its products are to be displayed and promoted.

However, we are not so much wholesalers as boutique producers of niche products, whose negotiating power is much weaker relative to the retailer—who connects us to buyers and carries the overhead of our marketing expense. 


This is interesting...and maybe Upwork wants to get closer to a white label of our products and services. I view Upwork as more of a lead generation site, however their approach goes a step beyond lead generation since they faciliate the ongoing relationship.

 

Honestly to me this is a brand new category of how buyers and sellers work together and I would be curious to see what others view as the ideal relationships b/t the two parties. How much "automony" should freelancers have for representing their products and services? How involved should Upwork be in that relationship?  It's an interesting thought. We are all discussing how this works in the context of the existing arrangement and TOS. If you were to start from scratch, what makes sense in this evolving economy. 


Douglas Michael M wrote:

People seem to think their profiles are somehow "theirs" - ugly truth is: They are not.


Though I have often spoken of contractors as Upwork's inventory or products, that's not quite accurate if we pursue the retail analogy. Another poster has suggested we are more like manufacturer/wholesalers. We actually provide the "product," which is our work. In the retail world, who gets what shelf space and how products are promoted is often a matter of negotiation between the retailer and the wholesaler. In certain contexts, the wholesaler dictates how its products are to be displayed and promoted.

However, we are not so much wholesalers as boutique producers of niche products, whose negotiating power is much weaker relative to the retailer—who connects us to buyers and carries the overhead of our marketing expense. 


We're not wholesalers (farmers and agencies may be) as we (hopefully) create our own products.


Anyone who has ever sold on eBay and Amazon or Etsy etc knows how they do not ask their sellers when making changes to how the listings look. I remember when eBay brought in the DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) which are ultimately private feedback and their version of the JSS, sellers were up in arms. DSRs are still there. 

 

Do you think Amazon sellers like how Amazon shows lots of competing products on their listings? (oDesk tried that once, by adding "Other freelancers like this one" on our profiles...)

 


Petra R wrote:

Douglas Michael M wrote:

People seem to think their profiles are somehow "theirs" - ugly truth is: They are not.


Though I have often spoken of contractors as Upwork's inventory or products, that's not quite accurate if we pursue the retail analogy. Another poster has suggested we are more like manufacturer/wholesalers. We actually provide the "product," which is our work. In the retail world, who gets what shelf space and how products are promoted is often a matter of negotiation between the retailer and the wholesaler. In certain contexts, the wholesaler dictates how its products are to be displayed and promoted.

However, we are not so much wholesalers as boutique producers of niche products, whose negotiating power is much weaker relative to the retailer—who connects us to buyers and carries the overhead of our marketing expense. 


We're not wholesalers (farmers and agencies may be) as we (hopefully) create our own products.

 

 


That's the million dollar question, or "unicorn" since we are in Silicon Valley - are we products or services??? You market a "service," particuarly a professional service, differently than a product, don't you? My MBA is a bit rusty.  A product is a "fixed object," a service is not? 

 

Not sure if i'm talking in circles.


Petra R wrote:


Ultimately, Upwork is the shop and our skills are the products. I am not aware of any shop that asks the products for permission prior to redesigning their shelves or listings on their site.


Fine, but don't you think that the companies who supply the products should have a say in how they're marketed? Continuing with your analogy, say that you're a grocery store that stocks Coca Cola. Of course you can redesign your shelves or your store layout, but that doesn't mean that you can take the Coke out of its packaging, put it into different packaging, and move it into the pharmacy section with a false claim that it cures sleeplessness. (Even if you then say to the angry Coke executives, "Oh, sorry about that - you can put your product back to the way it was, if you want to.")


Christine A wrote:

Petra R wrote:


Ultimately, Upwork is the shop and our skills are the products. I am not aware of any shop that asks the products for permission prior to redesigning their shelves or listings on their site.


Fine, but don't you think that the companies who supply the products should have a say in how they're marketed? Continuing with your analogy, say that you're a grocery store that stocks Coca Cola.


That's where the whole retail analogy falls on its face a bit. None of us are Coca Cola.

What I was trying to say, without straying too far away from Preston's grocery analogy, is that whether we like it or not, Upwork can and will do whatever the h*ll they like with *THEIR* profiles (the ones they let us complete to advertise our services) and there isn't a d*mn thing we can do about unless we bring arguments why it is in Upwork's and Upwork clients' best interest not to do so.


Complaining why it isn't in OUR interest is utterly pointless, because we and what we think is, realistically, irrelevant. Upwork is not a freelancer welfare operation, they are a business.

 

edited repeatedly because of typos and grammar and stuff 😄

 


Petra R wrote:


That's where the whole retail analogy falls on its face a bit. None of us are Coca Cola.

What I was trying to say, without straying too far away from Preston's grocery analogy, is that whether we like it or not, Upwork can and will do whatever the h*ll they like with *THEIR* profiles (the ones they let us complete to advertise our services) and there isn't a d*mn thing we can do about unless we bring arguments why it is in Upwork's and Upwork clients' best interest not to do so.


Complaining why it isn't in OUR interest is utterly pointless, because we and what we think is, realistically, irrelevant. Upwork is not a freelancer welfare operation, they are a business.

 

edited repeatedly because of typos and grammar and stuff 😄

 


Okay, so I'm RC Cola or a no-name cola; I don't see how that changes things. But my original point (in one of my posts, at any rate) was that, going back to Preston's experience (because nobody else has weighed in yet), Upwork went ahead and populated his "popular projects" with false information instead of consulting him first. So if he had been too busy to change his profile immediately, clients would now be checking out his profile and getting the false impression that he does Wordpress websites, when in fact he does not. How does that benefit him, Upwork, or the client? Just because they have the "right" to do something, that doesn't make it right.

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager


Virginia F wrote:

omg ... there are no words.  Upwork, WTH?!

 

Well, fingers crossed ... can you delete?

 

ETA: I'll be taking this nightmare to bed with me. I'm sure Monday morning will be interesting in the forums.  I'll just leave with this: Upwork, why oh why don't you have the decency to give freelancers a heads up before doing something like this? The lack of respect is breathtaking.


Hi Virginia,

 

To clarify, freelancers included in this test were notified in advance and have received more information about the test and options they have regarding customizing the projects they'd like to showcase.

Untitled


Vladimir G wrote:

Virginia F wrote:

omg ... there are no words.  Upwork, WTH?!

 

Well, fingers crossed ... can you delete?

 

ETA: I'll be taking this nightmare to bed with me. I'm sure Monday morning will be interesting in the forums.  I'll just leave with this: Upwork, why oh why don't you have the decency to give freelancers a heads up before doing something like this? The lack of respect is breathtaking.


Hi Virginia,

 

To clarify, freelancers included in this test were notified in advance and have received more information about the test and options they have regarding customizing the projects they'd like to showcase.


Really? And in that notification, were they given the option to say "no thanks"? I'm guessing not. Upwork's idea of a heads up is never really a heads up ... with all due respect, Vlad.


Vladimir G wrote:

To clarify, freelancers included in this test were notified in advance and have received more information about the test and options they have regarding customizing the projects they'd like to showcase.


But wouldn't it have been better to let the freelancers decide what to offer, instead of Upwork pre-populating their profiles with services that they may not even do, as in Preston's case? And what if Preston hadn't caught this right away? Clients would be submitting requests for his Wordpress services, and he'd have to get back to them and say, "Actually, I don't do Wordpress." Not a good look.

Hi Virginia and Christine,

 

I'd like to address a few points you made in your recent posts.

 

"Really? And in that notification, were they given the option to say "no thanks"? I'm guessing not. Upwork's idea of a heads up is never really a heads up ... with all due respect, Vlad."

 

No, freelancers included in the test weren't asked for consent to have their profile included in the test but do have an option to remove the projects, which will remove this functionality from their profile when viewed by others. They will still see the option to add projects on their end and we highly encourage freelancers to use the feature, which is designed to attract clients to their profile.

 

"But wouldn't it have been better to let the freelancers decide what to offer, instead of Upwork pre-populating their profiles with services that they may not even do, as in Preston's case? And what if Preston hadn't caught this right away? Clients would be submitting requests for his Wordpress services, and he'd have to get back to them and say, "Actually, I don't do Wordpress." Not a good look."

 

Wordpress wasn't displayed as one of the services Preston offers. I believe, and Preston can correct me, that he was referring to the general character of one of the services which was pre-populated and is related to his area of expertise. Freelancers included in the test are informed these are custom projects which they can and are welcome to edit, in order to display the ones they'd prefer.

Untitled


Vladimir G wrote:

 

Wordpress wasn't displayed as one of the services Preston offers. I believe, and Preston can correct me, that he was referring to the general character of one of the services which was pre-populated and is related to his area of expertise. 


I don't see how that's relevant to my post - since I was also only using this as an example - but Preston did include a screengrab that said he offered websites done using Wordpress, in his post at 10:38:16 PM. I didn't make it up.

Hi Christine,

 

Thanks for clarifying. That Wordpress part in the screenshot Preston shared is an example of a description freelancer should add in order to describe the project they opt to highlight as part of the feature, so it's only freelancer-facing and not displayed publicly. To avoid any confusion, our team will add “Example:” before the note in this field.

Untitled

re: "Could you please share your feedback regarding the projects which were pre-populated, that you've removed, and consider showcasing others?"

 

I think Upwork's intentions here were to make things easier for clients, and facilitate the goals of freelancers to be hired and earn money.

 

As a practical matter, I am not a creator of WordPress websites, although I have been hired to work on a number of existing WordPress websites. I'm assuming that there was some sort of automated keyword matching going on in order to select the 3 pre-populated "popular project types."

 

I'm not sure if it is possible for an algorithm to accurately predict what "popular project" offerings a freelancer would find palatable. So the suggestion of this thread's moderator that the word "Example" be added to these listings strikes me as a very good idea.


Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Virginia,

 

To clarify, freelancers included in this test were notified in advance and have received more information about the test and options they have regarding customizing the projects they'd like to showcase.


Well, that's an improvement... In June, when I had this terrible "Popular projects" on my profile I didn't get a warning  email (https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/quot-Show-popular-projects-on-my-profile-quot/td-p/60839...)

I agree, Olga - this looks like a more thought out version of that previous test.


Wes C wrote:

I agree, Olga - this looks like a more thought out version of that previous test.


But if they want to test a new feature, why not ask for volunteers, instead of meddling with people's profiles without their consent?

What sounds contradictory to me is that this is supposed to be for custom projects.

 

As long as I know a "custom made" thing is something you do according to specific needs from the client so it should never be put in a can with a price sticker attached on its side.

 

Or maybe I am missing something?


Sergio S wrote:

What sounds contradictory to me is that this is supposed to be for custom projects.

 

As long as I know a "custom made" thing is something you do according to specific needs from the client so it should never be put in a can with a price sticker attached on its side.

 

Or maybe I am missing something?


In my opinion, you are correct. In my research practice, my standard response to "How much does a survey cost?" is that it's the same as asking, "How much does a house cost?" or "How much does a car cost?" There are certain ad hoc services I am happy to provide but even those require careful specification before inking a contract.

 

This whole thing, for me, falls into the category of "can't possibly help me and hoping against hope that it doesn't hurt me by distorting search results".

Given its insistence on running all "tests" on the live production system, without consent and with or without adequate notice or the ability to opt out, perhaps the company needs to re-brand itself as Upwork Beta.


Douglas Michael M wrote:

Given its insistence on running all "tests" on the live production system, without consent and with or without adequate notice or the ability to opt out, perhaps the company needs to re-brand itself as Upwork Beta.


Ok, I realize this isn't a priority, but it would be fun if the forum had "reactions" instead of kudos, since this made me LOL.

10,000 TU  @ Michael's "Upwork Beta" christening ....

That is inaccurate. I got the email that you had implemented this on my profile AFTER you had implemented it. Not before. So that is not advance notice. That's, hey we changed your profile and added services that you don't actually provide. So now you can scramble to go fix your profile. 

 

Yeah, the pre-population was not at all useful or accurate, so I deleted them all quickly. I'm not interested in pre-packaging my services and each grant I write takes a different amount of time based on the grant requirements. This seemed like a huge waste of time on the UpWork's part, to me. Maybe others will find it useful, but it would have been nice to have actual ADVANCE notice that you were changing my profile versus after you had changed it and I had to go and remove this crap. 

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