Community

Elance, Upwork and Algorithms

With the recent acquisition of Elance by Upwork, the freelancer community has exploded in discord. I, too, have decided to avoid Upwork. It’s just not good for business.

Before my Elance “invitation” arrived to transfer my work history to UpChuck, I created a demo account on my own to check it out. After 15 minutes, I realized this new platform was a disaster in the making. It was a sinking ship before it ever set sail.

To give you an idea of the degree of debacle that Upwork is, imagine Starbucks sold themselves to Folgers (Instant). Saying it leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth is a gross understatement.

One of the current threads with incessant ranting is regarding “hidden applications”. It refers to a flawed algorithm on the client side of the feed where our proposals and profiles are listed, and how it is programmed to toss applications into a folder titled “Hidden” on the client’s dashboard. Some clients never found the folder and missed proposals to consider. Upwork announced that this was removed and all is well. Yet, some people do not listen. So, I explained to the group on Elance that every social media site and every search engine and so much more, uses algorithms to sift and sort the content which determines what is prominent in any feed (like how you ended up here to read this article). The most relevant content will be at the top. I was promptly corrected by one rather stupefied Elancer that “we aren’t talking about social media”. (She also did not understand the phrase “beating a dead horse”.)

Let me try again. If your proposal is poorly written, if your profile isn’t properly completed, you will rank lower. Want to rank higher? Want to be “Top Rated”? Do better. The algorithm rules the internet.

Yes, it is legal. Yes, you did sign up for it. No, you don’t have to like it or agree with it, but it’s their business and their algorithm. They can program it as they wish. You signed the agreement of terms when you entered your info on the website. Don’t like? Leave, and you break the agreement. You are free to go! Continue to whine and you lose valuable time you should be spending on doing everything you can to boost your presence. That is, if you do want to work and earn money.

Most of the true professionals and top earners have already left the building, or are gaining the edge while you sit there and spin.

I was slammed for my comments. Of course I was, because all logic is thrown out the window when someone decides they should be Number 1, above everyone else. I was even trolled by some creepy old fart in Cali that followed me to unrelated posts elsewhere on Elance and kept screaming “algorithm – deal with it!”.

I understand he may be new to this internet web thingy-ma-bob, but he hooked into the negativity and…well you know how those types operate.

How did I respond to all of these verbal darts on this sinking ship that is Elance?

I deleted every one of my posts in that particular thread, which deleted all their stupidity and garbage. You see, when I hit that delete button, it triggered a response somewhere in the vast mystical depths of Elance which thereby sent an impulse to the algorithm which eliminated all the keywords I used to make my posts relevant to the topic in the forum so my posts arose to the top, in the first place. That’s how the thread was kept alive.

When I deleted my posts, it sank the thread down to six days prior, which resulted in it being listed then on the second page of the forum, where it was no longer visible in the most recent feed.

Magically delicious.

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