Ok, so earlier this month I decided to break down and buy a pack of Elance connects (used to be called bids, used to be readily available with a paid account). The thing that got to me was that you couldn't jut buy a pack, you had to change your account so that you now get than number every month. I have news about this on two fronts:
1. I got an email saying that my account was about to renew, and that I can change the account at this time if I want to. I don't remember them doing this before the changes, and I'm sure I'd remember because it's highly annoying. Don't get me wrong- it is a good thing to be able to change the account so that you don't have to buy the extra connects every month. But, setting up the accounts this way is still ridiculous. I don't think that draining still more of our time is the best way to go with everyone still mad from the changes.
2. The connects available in a pack are too expensive and don't get you very far. One pack of connects includes 10 for $5. If you're one of the Elance writers, you know how many it takes to get decent gigs. Most of the projects I do there are fairly small, but it does usually take me about 10 bids to get a project. I know that in some of the other Elance categories this isn't true, but from what I've read from other Elance writers, this is actually on the low end of normal. I don't think that bids should be unlimited. That would probably lead to a large number of providers bidding for every single project in the hopes of getting a few of them. Being one of 15 bidders is one thing. Being one of 200 is quite another. But, being given very few bids- sorry, connects- isn't the answer either. Having to buy our connects is outrageous when you consider that we already pay monthly for the privilege of membership.
What's the answer? Throw out the changes. They're stupid. Seriously.