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This is Ian Ozsvald's blog (@IanOzsvald), I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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9 July 2008 - 17:21Experimenting with eLance

I’ve posted a job into eLance for the first time – I figure it is time to experiment with remote web design and CSS implementation.  Now this might seem odd given that I live in web-designer-rich Brighton…

I’m a believer in building on-line marketplaces where we can remotely trade our skills rather than only doing business in person. I’m also well-aware that I’ve never really used the marketplaces that exist.

Since I’m rather likely to build more businesses like ShowMeDo which revolve around the idea of remote marketplaces, I need to get more involved with the dynamics of these sites.

Of course the easy thing to do now would be to turn to friends in Brighton and ask for a pointer to ‘the right person’ to solve my design needs…instead I’ll take the slightly scarier route to dealing with someone I’ll never meet in person.

What’s the site?  A few days back I finished a draft for my new professional-screencasting site.  I’ll use the site when I make contact with companies that I think could benefit from using screencasts to explain their software.  Given that I’ve produced over 100 screencasts in the last 3 years (and received some incredibly positive responses from viewers) I intend to scale up the activity.

I’m heartened by Patrick McKenzie’s experiences with eLance (and from there have opened a dialog with Gursimran) and the final design of bingocardcreator, whilst a bit too busy to my eye, is a serious improvement on his older site.  I shall report as I progress…

Addition – when I listed the project I provided a 4 paragraph text summary (which is shown in eLance) and a 3 page pdf proposal.  So far I’ve received 14 bids, many are cut/paste proposals, only a few have resulted in useful conversations.

I realise in retrospect that I’d probably receive more targetted bids back if I’d included pictures in my proposal pdf.  As it is I link to external sites but that puts more work onto the bidder which results in the cut/paste less-useful bids.  Since many proposals are (I believe) ignored, the bidder wants to do the minimum work to win a percentage of their bids.

So far I’m happy with the amount of effort required (about 5 hours including writing the proposal document) given the better bids that I’ve had back, I’m narrowing my search down to two providers now.

Addition – I’ve decided to go with Gursimran outside of eLance.  We’ve spokenly extensively over email via Patrick’s blog entry (above).  If it wasn’t for Gursimran then I’d have gone with Danet.Solutions through eLance.  User danetsol understood my requirements and quoted very competitively, I’d be happy to suggest that others invite his company to bid, his examples really were very good.

2 Comments | Tags: Entrepreneur, Life, ShowMeDo