Web Applications

oDesk vs. Elance

My friend Alan LeStourgeon at Affiliate Confession has had some success with using Elance to hire writers. In fact, Elance liked his comments so much, they interviewed him.

Since Alan has already covered a great deal about Elance, particularly from the perspective of a buyer, I thought I’d do the exact opposite and cover oDesk from the perspective of a provider, and in this case, a provider who has yet to actually get his first assignment.

As such, this review is hardly objective or unbiased. It’s really just some points of difference that I’ve noticed and has caused me, for the moment, to tip the pendulum in oDesk’s favor. I thought I’d share them with you.

Canceling Accounts is Hard Sometimes

Back when I suggested there be a day each year where we all delete our unused web app accounts, I never imagined that some companies would be so difficult about it.

In fact, those in the web app industry should start monitoring this type of thing. There has been much made of how some web apps are making registration so easy these days (and even eliminating it in some cases), but we ought to also rate websites on how easily they let us delete our accounts.

Yahoo’s Fire Eagle

I just got my invite to Yahoo’s new Fire Eagle web application. (Incidentally, they sent along four others that I can give away to whomever would like one - just contact me). I have to say… I’m impressed!

Fire Eagle is, as far as I know, Yahoo’s first full web app built with Ruby on Rails (they normally use PHP/Python for most of their stuff). The idea behind Fire Eagle is that you can update your physical location via a number of methods, including third-party websites and cell phones, and then display it using a number of methods, such as your blog, your Facebook profile, etc. I’m no fan of Rails, having recently abandoned the platform, but if anyone is going to make Rails work and leave the arrogance of its founders in the dust, it’s Yahoo.