I got the news late yesterday evening that Freelancer.com acquired vWorker, and I must say that I am not pleased with this news. I’ve been using vWorker (RentACoder.com) for a number of years now. While, I don’t outsource much, when I did, they were my first choice.
They had a large community of freelancers and a great system with a number of checks and balances that favored the employer. I know this is a little selfish, but I liked it. They one feature that I really liked and which was that you could setup a deadline and freelancer had to complete the project by the deadline or they don’t get anything. While, I almost always would extend the deadline as long as I saw progress, there were cases where freelancer would start on a project and I’d never hear back from them or they would find all kinds of excuses to keep pushing the deadline without doing any work. So many times, I canceled the project simply by stating that they didn’t meet the deadline. The system was great for this.
Of course, they had checks in place and someone would manually go through the complaint before canceling the project, but the process for simple and easy.
Now, I haven’t really used Freelancer.com much and I hope they have a similar approach. I didn’t like that on day one, they basically closed down vWorker and forced everyone to move to Freelancer.com. And yes, they are going to move the profile/project info over to their site, but still this is a huge move, especially, for employers who are used to using vWorker system.
On the positive site, they now combined the two giant communities and hopefully created the largest freelance system around. But I can also see that this might make many users, both freelancers and employers unhappy that they are now forced to use a different system which may not have all the features that they are used to; hence, creating an opportunity for another competitor to come in to the marketplace.
I actually had a similar idea at one point; I even got the domain that I keep to this day EliteFreelancers.com, I registered it in 2006. It was going to be a marketplace for the elite freelancers, freelancers who had the highest standing and always delivered quality solutions. I also wanted to keep it local, so freelancers from USA only. Even to this day, I think this is a great idea. Who knows, I might make it my next project
On the side note, I just wanted to remind everyone that there is still time to submit for Deadline Competition contest. If you are working on any kind of startup/website, tell us about it.
I’ve been getting a lot of emails about this from angry customers and I feel you. As I said in one of the comments, if there are enough of us, we might make something happen. I am thinking about building a RAC/vWorker like system, but it would take a huge amounts of resources/money. If you think you can help in any way, feel free to drop me a line.