I haven't had to use Elance that much over the past year, but lately work has been drying up all over. I went back to Elance last month to start bidding on freelance jobs. I thought it would be an easy way to drum up some new work. WRONG. They are again trying to creating the most complicated site every known to man.
If you've never used Elance, you can probably imagine how it should work. You should be able to bid on jobs and then you should have an account area where you can see what you've bid on and what jobs you've landed. WRONG.
Bidding on jobs is easy. Finding them again afterward in your account, however, has been made difficult to the point of ridiculousness. There are so many statistics, workspaces, pages of portfolio options and other crap that it's impossible to actually find anything. I was actually in tears once trying to find a project that I was supposed to be working on but couldn't find.
Elance has also started some type of Sunday report crap that they never really explained. I keep getting emails about sending Sunday reports for projects that have been over for weeks. In addition, they put up a bunch of tests that they encourage you to take to show off your skills. I thought that did sounds like a better idea than just self evaluation. WRONG.
I started the grammar test, getting partway through before I realized that it never said whether this was for MLA, AP, APA or any other style. The questions were ones that you would expect in a high school English class, not from anyone working in any professional capacity. The questions were extremely style specific, so I thought I could just get the answer from the site. WRONG. I emailed, asking which style the test was for. No response. Follow up email. No response. Screw it.
As much as Elance bothers me and is increasingly treating its users like kids, I simply was not prepared for the email that came today. Here's just one quote from this masterpiece: "Elance is introducing a new way to display your activity in a section called "My Stats" (short for My Statistics)." I do have to thank them for clarifying that, though. I would have been up all night running Google searches trying to figure out what "stats" meant.
Now, because the site just isn't crushingly complicated enough, with rankings and ratings and placement based on about 10 factors, they are now starting a points system that will affect your placement in their search as well as your credit rating, your medical history and whether or not you get laid. I am assuming. The points are based on feedback, getting repeat work, earnings and other stuff that already affected your placement.
So, why all of this? Because they have too damn much money and no real reason to spend any of it. I have an idea. I need patio furniture. Bad. If Elance will pay for my patio furniture, I will plaster it with the Elance logo and give myself a point every time I sit on it. Then, I can test myself as to how long I sit and report back with pages of statistics about it. I will rank where I get to sit on it based on my points. Then I will create pages and pages of information about what it is used for and submit a detailed report every Sunday about its use. I am seriously thinking of submitting this idea to them. I don't expect a response.