Upwork, fka Elance and Odesk


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Jan 12, 2016
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Odesk and Elance's corporations merged in 2014 but continued operating as mostly-separate entities at first, and announced on May 5, 2015 that they were now renaming/combining as 'Upwork'.
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They've been around a long time - Elance since 1999, Odesk since 2003.

Unofficial subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Upwork/

Personally I'm not a fan of Upwork/Elance/Odesk.

I posted some info about Elance/oDesk (merged and renamed to 'Upwork' in 2015) when it came up in the 11/6/14 MTG daily thread:
electrolyte said:
I signed up for it awhile back to check it out. But the tasks I would have wanted $6-10 an hour for, people were willing to do for $1-$2/hour. So I had no chance of getting the jobs since the employers seemed to always choose the cheapest bid. I never got any work there and gave up quickly.
Both sites have a lot of international users who are definitely prone to offer/accept rates that are very low to us. Apparently Elance has had a $3/hr minimum for hourly listings and $20 flat-price minimum since 2011, when they reduced it from their previous $5/hr and $50 flat-price minimums. Elance and oDesk decided to merge in Dec 2013, but they said they plan to continue operating both sites. (PS: That article mentions "in 2013, the average freelancer on Elance and oDesk made less than $100.") The overarching company is now known as Elance-oDesk, Inc. Starting Nov 15, 2014, ODesk is going to have a $3/hr minimum too. Other similar sites include Freelancer.com ($30 flat-price minimum) and Guru.com ($25 flat-price minimum). To work on hourly listings, oDesk requires the worker to use nosy tracking software, and Elance often does too. All of these sites charge fees to the workers on accepted jobs, and some require monthly membership fees on top of that to be able to do more on the site.​

(Under their new post-merger name, as of summer 2015, "Upwork has a minimum rate of $3 for hourly contracts but no minimum payment for fixed-price contracts." It does still use activity-monitoring screenshot-taking software.)

It can be difficult to get started getting jobs on these sites - this /r/WorkOnline thread explains some reasons.

MTurk audio transcription requester CrowdSurf had originally planned to move to Upwork after MTurk's fee increase in summer 2015, but they had to change those plans after stalling because Upwork won't allow CrowdSurf to 'hire' more than 300 workers at once for their 'team' there, and they quickly reached that limit (thousands of turkers work on Crowdsurf HITs - as of fall 2015, over 37,000 turkers had their transcription qual, over 2,600 had their level-2 'review' qual, and over 700 had their level-3 'review and edit' qual).
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May 30, 2018
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Podunk, Alaska
I started to sign up. However, the skills require mostly professional experience in certain fields. My strongest area would be writing. Not really sure if this site is worth it if you don't have a professional degree. I do almost have my bachelors though. Just my two cents.