The latest changes to the revised changes are here, apparently. The newest word from Elance is that they are extending the free time for the Premier designation. They aren't saying yet how long the extension will be, but my guess is for eternity. No one was willing to pay $20 a month for something that was supposed to be merit based. An extra $240 a year was ludicrous, and I'm glad that Elance finally agrees.
They are also "enforcing" the requirement of two verified credentials to be a Premier member. I found "enforce" an odd way to phrase it, since they extended the invitations to the ones they chose, and not the other way around. I only have one verified credential, my degree, and they sent me an invitation to be a Premier member. The cut off day is March 4. Should everyone run out and get more credentials verified? Doubtful.
First, it's difficult to do. The third party that they use for the verification process are, in my opinion, extremely inept. They basically had me verify it myself through photos of my diploma and getting them logged into my university's system to check my graduation records. I had to call the university, send pictures, email the service over and over to answer questions...it was a serious pain.
Second, to add insult to injury you have to pay for the privilege of doing someone else's job. All of the work I did to get verified was not paid- I had to pay someone for it.
Third, there is the distinct possibility that Elance may not take my advice and could start charging for Premier membership. For the legions who have decided never to pay for this, getting verifications will be a waste of time and money if Elance changes their changes to the change of the changes and starts charging the $20 a month.