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eLance and oDesk


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#1
Esther Mandeno

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Hello Everyone,

I have a question. Do any of you participate in either of the above 'contractor-for-hire' websites? Or another similar website? I am interested in joining one (or two) and hopefully find work on these sites but I wasn't sure if it was worth it.

Any advice?

FYI - I'm a GIS consultant with my own very small business.

Thanks,
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Esther Mandeno
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I think James (Hasdrubal) is our resident eLance expert. I briefly tried it out but there's not a whole lot of GIS or cartography related stuff on there and usually you're trying to compete with people who charge rock bottom prices.
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#3
ELeFevre

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I don't think elance is worth your time. I would focus on honing your craft, finding a niche, learning about marketing, building a website, et cetera. You have a much better chance of finding quality projects and building long-term working relationships through cartotalk than you ever will through elance. My 2 cents.



#4
James Hines

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Try if you please, but it doesn't matter what you do, what you are, & how good you are, the vast majority of bidders win based on the price not the quality. When it comes to GIS elance in particular is not fair to people in our field, because projects relating to GIS are in several different categories. If you chose the free account you get three bids per month, & access to one category. However as a Cartographer I have found that there are projects in GIS that are in several different categories, but to have access you have to spend $4.98 per category per month. It's not worth it, & the one project I won on elance, I had to give an additional 10% fee from my winnings to elance.

Odesk I haven't had too much experience with but I can tell you they are more fair then elance, where unlike the provider who has to pay 10% processing fee it falls to the buyer, & unlike elance you don't have to pay extra cash just to bid in different categories, you can bid outright, but beware if your found bidding on a project your not qualified you are banned from Odesk.

But I will say this those sites take away from quality & promote the price of the product, so in the past month I have chosen to go with the free account because it's simply not worth your disappointment.

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#5
ErinGreb

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I have looked at many of the sites out there - getafreelancer.com, oDesk, Guru, DesignQuote. Maybe once a month you might find something somewhat related to Cartography. For me, since I am focused on straight cartography (not GIS) I am looking in the Graphic Design category. But I find that sometimes if someone wants a map made for a website, they will post the project in Web Design. I find that mostly it's just a bunch of logo design, website design jobs and rarely cartography/GIS. Plus the pay is low since you're bidding against folks all around the world with varying economies.

Also, oDesk has some jobs that are paid hourly, but you have to log in for every minute you work while the system takes screenshots of your work and of YOU every 10 minutes or so. Plus it doesn't count time spent with paper and pen because it senses keyboard action. Kind of weird, but it works for some people. I did just one job on there that was a Flat Fee job so I didn't have to log into the system while working.

I agree that the best way to find work isn't on those sites, but on here or through marketing campaigns (brochure, website...). Good luck!

#6
ELeFevre

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When it comes to GIS elance in particular is not fair to people in our field, because projects relating to GIS are in several different categories. If you chose the free account you get three bids per month, & access to one category. However as a Cartographer I have found that there are projects in GIS that are in several different categories, but to have access you have to spend $4.98 per category per month. It's not worth it, & the one project I won on elance, I had to give an additional 10% fee from my winnings to elance.


I'm sure Elance would pay more attention to geospatial if the demand was there. I doubt it's personal :)



#7
frax

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I can imagine that it is also mostly short contracts/small jobs too...
Hugo Ahlenius
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#8
Esther Mandeno

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Wow - you all just saved me some money! It appeared that was going on (jobs given based on price alone), but I didn't want to assume, so I figured I would ask here first.

Thanks!
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Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

#9
Kalai Selvan

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Hi!!!

Both the sites are money making sites, and the services buyers are damn cheap bugs, sorry about that. but each one of them who post the jobs in these sites have to admit, they are least bothered about the professionalism, instead look out for the least amount quoted by the bidder...which creates pain to an experience skill..i have bagged quite a bit of projects in both of them and will have to bid at rock bottom price to bag an award, which is very frustating...

So i got fed up with these sites and would recommend not to join anyone of them and rather as adviced by many in the forum, create a web site, brochure and market your self...

Thats the piece of advice from my end lately.

Cheers!!!
GISGURU



Hello Everyone,

I have a question. Do any of you participate in either of the above 'contractor-for-hire' websites? Or another similar website? I am interested in joining one (or two) and hopefully find work on these sites but I wasn't sure if it was worth it.

Any advice?

FYI - I'm a GIS consultant with my own very small business.

Thanks,


Thanks and Regards
Kalai Selvan


#10
Gretchen Peterson

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I haven't used those sites myself but I have looked at several like them. I, like the others posting here, have gotten the sense that low-bids are the only ones that get attention. I also agree that marketing, building a website, etc. are good tactics. One other that I would add is to introduce yourself to other GIS consultants (try just one or two at first) as someone who can do low-price subconsulting. Many of us who have been established for a while look for people who can do low-skill GIS work such as downloading and mosaicing a bunch of data tiles or manually entering data cheaply than we could ourselves (this saves our clients money by us not having to do it ourselves). Your benefit is that you can start to gain trust with these consultants and take on successively more involved and therefore higher-priced work. A couple of tips if you do go this route is #1 you don't take the consultant's clients from them and #2 when you first approach the consultant show that you've done a little research on his/her firm in your cover letter. (I sometimes get people who want this kind of work who address me as "Dear Sir"!) Good luck!




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