The online freelance movement continues to build momentum, as our October 2013 U.S. Employment Report shows that a whopping 55,000 new U.S. freelance jobs were created last month. That’s a 30% growth from the same period last year, and a clear sign that workplaces are increasingly turning to online talent for the skills they need.
The report also highlights that 24,000 new U.S. based freelancers entered the Elance marketplace in October, which means even more top candidates are realizing the career advantages of online work. And no wonder, as U.S. freelancers earned $7.3 million on Elance in October (up 63% from last October).
Our monthly report provides an important (and too-often overlooked) component of the true picture of the overall health of the U.S. job market. As a recent NPR article addresses, the U.S. Labor Department’s
Bureau of Labor Statistics report fails to take into account the multitude of freelancers now working from coast to coast. In the words of the NPR article, the most-recent government employment report has some “head scratching” results.
To give you a clearer picture of how employment is really stacking up in American, we’ll continue to provide our reports each and every month on the status of freelancers. We hope you find the information useful and enlightening, as you browse the data gleamed from Elance’s U.S. employment report. For more details – from breakdowns by state and more – see our Press Release. Also check out a summery below:
If you watch the brainy quiz show Jeopardy!, you probably know the incredible processing power of IBM Watson. If not, IBM Watson is the “cognitive computing platform” that outsmarted the TV show’s two top human challengers (and earned a cool $1 million, which IBM donated to charity).
Today IBM and Elance are announcing a strategic partnership to fuel creation of a new generation of apps for the enterprise, powered by IBM Watson. IBM has tapped Elance as their inaugural talent partner to build a Watson Talent Platform.
The move comes as a part of IBM’s larger announcement today that it is opening up IBM Watson as a development platform for entrepreneurial software application providers (ranging from start-ups to established technology leaders). The goal is to create apps in the cloud leveraging Watson's cognitive computing intelligence.
Based on technology that helps break down the barriers between people and machines, Watson now bring the Elance community an incredible opportunity to find talent that’s perfectly matched to jobs.
“Elance is proud to partner with IBM help fuel an ecosystem that leverages the ingenuity of smart people all over the world, to bring to life myriad Watson-powered applications," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. “We are also excited to build our own Watson-powered applications to better serve all our clients."
Watch a quick video of Fabio Rosati and the IBM Watson team, discussing the future of cloud computing and the dynamic online workplace we’re helping them build. See why the future of work is happening now, and why we’re excited to be partnering with IBM to bring unmatched intelligence to online work.
As Super Typhoon Haiyan leaves a wide path of destruction across the central Philippines, our thoughts are with everyone in the area now struggling during this difficult time.
With winds gusts of 235 mph (380 kph), it’s no surprise that the media is reporting how this may well be the strongest storm in recorded history. Naturally there are several members of the Elance community who are now unable to communicate with the rest of the world. With no power, no internet access and limited cellular service, these freelancers and clients are also unable to work.
We’re keeping up-to-date on developing news via Ron Cirujano, our Elance Country Manager in the Philippines. We’ll be sure to update you with any important developments that we gather from Ron.
Note to all freelancers in the Philippines: As soon as you’re able, please contact your clients directly to keep them updated on your current situation. If there is anything we can do to help accelerate your recovery, please let us know.
Note to all Elance clients with freelancers in the Philippines: Due to the widespread damage, expect disruption in communications with your freelancers. On behalf of those who are affected we request your patience during this difficult time. If you are experiencing significant delays in your job, please contact us and we’ll help in any way possible.
Congratulations to the team at Twitter for 1.) creating a wonderfully-powerful product that helps people around the globe, and 2.) for a successful launch into the private sector.
It’s no small feat to create a true game-changer that’s impacting the lives of so many people, in so many ways. That’s our goal at Elance as well, and we understand the challenges Twitter faces (as well as the rewards of a job well done).
Here at Elance it’s amazing to see how Twitter usage has changed and surged among our community in the few short years we’ve shared space on the same planet. We’re closing in on 50,000 followers and growing at a 30% clip annually (to join the conversation look no further than @Elance or the hashtag #workdifferently).
Bravo Twitter, we’re proud of your success and wish you continued luck in the future.
We’re excited to launch an all-new collection of free online courses and skill testing.
For the first time Elance is truly connecting all the dots between online education and jobs. The result is the ability, from a single location, for Elancers to see what skills are in demand, build skills, verify and promote those skills, and ultimately get hired.
To help make this possible Elance has partnered with two of the industry’s fastest rising stars: SkilledUp and Smarterer. See Press Release.
SkilledUp makes learning and honing skills simple.
By partnering with SkilledUp, Elancers now have access to 22,000+ online video courses delivering the skills businesses are looking for. Over 6,000 of these online training courses are available for free on Elance. If you’re not yet familiar with SkilledUp, they’re at the forefront in the world of online curriculum, making the learning experience better, more practical and a lot of fun.
This includes access to curriculum covering some 500 different skill areas. Courses are available for high-demand areas from PHP, iOS and Ruby on Rails to Photoshop, CSS, WordPress, Final Cut Pro and more. And not merely quick one-off classes (although you’ll find those too), many courses are college-level curriculum taught by renowned university professors.
Check out online courses available now at Elance University. We’ll also be adding more courses in the weeks to come (both free and paid), so check back often.
Smarterer redefines testing and promoting skills.
By partnering with Smarterer, Elancers now gain newfound ability to verify talents. The free skills tests on Smarterer are quick and fun. Smarterer’s assessments leverage adaptive scoring and crowdsourced test design, adding greater efficiency and accuracy in testing.
Test your skills now, as we’re currently offering over 100 free skills tests (with more coming in the immediate future). FYI, tests labeled “New” are Smarterer tests. Smarterer skill testing is an ideal vehicle for confirming your know-how and promoting your expertise to potential clients on Elance. Similarly, businesses looking for top talent can continue to see test results in freelancer’s profiles, giving businesses confidence in an Elancer’s abilities.
For all Elancers who have taken skills test previously on Elance, rest assured that your existing test results will still be available to clients. As you take similar tests on Smarterer, these tests will replace your previous scores to show your new, more-relevant scores. Learn more about how previous test results will be converted to Smarterer.
It all adds up to a complete picture for great talent.
Elance is proud to be the one online workplace connecting all the dots for freelancers and businesses alike, and we’re glad to make this investment. Also check out a recent TechCrunch article on our new launch with SkilledUp and Smarterer. And thank you for continuing to create great work on Elance.
A huge thanks to one and all who participated in Thursday’s Ignition Pitch Night in San Francisco.
The event was a tremendous success and tons of fun for everyone in attendance – from the nine deserving entrepreneurs who presented, to our esteemed panel of judges and a raucous crowd of onlookers.
If you’re not familiar with Elance’s series of Ignition Pitch Nights, they’re wildly entertaining evenings where aspiring startups each get five minutes at the microphone to pitch their business ideas. Elance provides the first beer for everyone who registers to attend, plus awards $3,000 in Elance credits to the businesses with the most-promising ideas. They can use the prizes to take their startups to the next level with everything from web programmers and graphic designers to writers or whatever.
Last night’s Ignition Pitch Night was at WeWork co-working spacing in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco. Here is a quick rundown of the winners:
First Place (winner of $1,500 in Elance credits):
WiifMe: A mobile app that turns car buying on its head, making dealers sharpen their pencils to earn your business.
Second Place (winner of $1,000 in Elance credits):
Strangelings by Flying Monkey: A genetics-themed game, allowing players to create their own “Strangeling” animals using in-game breeding.
Third Place (winner of $500 in Elance credits):
Flickflyer: By bringing simpler video embedding to online shopping, the end is near for horrible pictures of items for sale.
Impressive, eh? And those where just the top three winners, as the judges agreed the competition was close and that any of the top finalists could have walked away with the top prize. The judges were particularly impressed with the quality and variety of thinking of the group, ranging from Roadcase (an app designed to help musicians and bands organize their schedules, travel dates, gigs, etc.), Chariot (a ridesharing app designed with a more social twist in mind while also allowing for further distance driving), and Simply Celebrate (a business designed to bring out the best memories and emotions in book form for special milestone moments) to Skills2Trade (a way to barter and exchange your skills – including anything from baking to legal work) and Carenga (an app designed to improve usability and bring great music to those with medical conditions).
Again, our thanks to everyone who helped make the evening so dynamic and fun. Check back here on the blog for details on upcoming Ignition Pitch Nights in your neck of the woods. You can also stay abreast of Elance happenings on our Facebook page.
The Elance team had an awesome time at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013.
It was wonderful to meet so many of the great entrepreneurs out there who are creating the businesses of the future (there were over 1,000 attendees at Disrupt). It’s also great to run elbows with so many Elancers who stopped by during the show to say hello and share their stories. It was truly inspiring to see the impact of Elance.
Another highlight of the show for Elance was sponsoring/helping out/doling out swag and goodies at the weekend’s world-famous Hackathon competition … zzzzz … (yes some of the team did get a wee-bit sleep deprived as festivities went into the wee hours of the morning). But it was amazing to be part of the excitement as over 250 teams from all over the known world converged on San Francisco to take part in the Hackathon. Check out a quick video we put together, spotlighting the Hackathon.
We’re proud to say that during the Hackathon many-a-team tapped into the talents of Elancers (who similarly were from all over the world). These hackers were looking for a helping hand on anything from web development and web programming to writing and graphic design.
Needless to say, our talented Elancers were well received and had a big impact on bringing team’s ideas to life.
During the competition we were also pleased to award $1,000 Elance credits to five Hackathon teams who caught our eye with their great ideas and exceptional use of Elancers. Here are the prize winners:
YourNewBuddy - A superfast, geo-location-based way to find exercise partners.
Fashion Sugar – An app that allows you to see which fashion trends are rising in popularity with direct links to retailers to purchase.
Street | Stile – The first social fashion app on the Google Glass platform, with search by voice and integrated sharing options from Glass.
Twine – (aka "Twitter Command Line,") Gives your tweets superpowers through third party APIs using command-line style syntax.
SnapShop – A maintenance-free, hassle-free online store in one click, with an integration to find freelancers to help customize your brand new site!
So congratulations to the top hackers, and to everyone else who played a role in pulling off such a fun and inspiring event. We can’t wait to attend our next hackathon. And if you’re a freelancer who wants to be considered for work when hackathons happen, or a budding startup looking for help during a hackathon, look no further than our Elance Hackathon Group. The group is the fast track to success for anyone who’s looking to excel at hackathons near and far. Check it out.
After hundreds of photos were submitted, and thousands of votes were cast, we’re excited to announce the winners of our “Freedom Through Freelance” Photo Contest. The top 3 entries were selected by popular vote, after our esteemed panel of judges narrowed the field to our top 25 Finalists.
Elancers from around the globe entered inspiring photos showing the sense of liberation they feel from online work at Elance. It was an amazing outpouring of emotion, and we want to personally thank everyone who participated by entering a photo, voting, “Like”ing photos or just spreading the word. You’re the reason the Elance community is so vibrant and invigorating.
Now … to the winners.
Our congratulations (and a $1,000 prize) goes to First Place winner Munzur Morshed Romel of Bangladesh. Titled “Ultimate Option,” his photo with a warm and inviting smile struck a chord with many a voter. We couldn’t agree more that Munzur’s confidence and cheerfulness is the epitome of working on Elance. Well done, Munzur.
Our Second Place winner (who earned a $500 prize) is Philippines-based Maricel Taguilaso. Her entry “Freedom is the ultimate luxury” expresses the relaxed and tranquil world of working for yourself, at your own pace. Our Third Place winner (earning $250) is Hiroshi San Lorenzo of the Philippines. His “Freedom is the oxygen of the soul” entry communicates the sense of liberation and endless possibilities from freelancing.
Our remaining 22 Finalists will each receive $25 gift certificates from Amazon.com. See all the winning photographs and get inspired by the freedom through freelancing.
Missed your chance to participate? No worries, tell us your story now.
Even though the photo contest has ended and the prizes have been awarded, you can still share your story with the world. Whether you’re a freelancer or client, the Elance community loves hearing why you love working online. To share your experiences (and possible earn valuable exposure on our site), visit Elance’s Inspiration Center and submit your story.
After a tremendous response (including nearly 1,500 amazing photos submitted by Elancers across the globe), we’ve narrowed the list to our top 25 Finalists in the Freedom Through Work Photo Contest.
Needless to say it was a tough task whittling down the field, given so many inspirational photos.
But we think these 25 Finalists truly reflect the heartfelt sentiments of Elancers everywhere. Now we need your help in picking who wins the $1,000 First Place prize (all other Finalists receive a $25 Amazon gift card).
Cast your vote for the winner now, and help decide who best exemplifies that spirit of freedom you get from working on Elance. Hurry though, as voting ends on September 10. You can vote once per day, so return again tomorrow and vote again.
Also, a HUGE thank you to everyone who entered the contest and shared your stories and photographs. It’s awesome to see so many people who Work Differently™ and embrace a more liberating lifestyle. You’re the absolute best, and you take a great photo too.
Given our love for startups and entrepreneurs, we’re naturally thrilled to be a sponsor of the TechCrunch Disrupt SF Hackathon (September 7-8 in San Francisco).
Stop by Saturday or Sunday in San Francisco and introduce yourself.
Elance will have a booth at the Disrupt, as well as a table at the Hackathon. If you’re heading to the festivities stop by and say “Hey.” We love meeting Elancers and swapping stories, and needless to say there’s sure to be lots of fun stuff happening.
Or participate this weekend remotely, by joining the Elance Hackathon Group.
If you can’t attend, you can still participate and earn some money by joining the Elance Hackathon Group. Fellow hackers will be reaching out to Elancers all weekend long, and this new Elance group is where many teams will look first. The Hackathon will start Saturday at 12:30 pm (PST) and wrap-up the following day at 2:00 pm (PST), so make sure you keep those hours free for hacking.
FYI, this new Elance group is for all future hackathons too, not just TechCrunch Disrupt SF, so be sure to get on the list. Because once you’re on it, you’re “in” with the best hackers in the world.
Also join us Monday for a post-disrupt discussion with Elance CEO Fabio Rosati.
And on Monday join Elance CEO Fabio Rosati Monday for a conversation with NextSpace Co-Founder Jeremy Neuner, speaking on the future of online work (6:00 – 7:30 at NextSpace Union Square). All Elancers in attendance get a free copy of The Rise of the Naked Economy, signed by co-author Jeremy Neuner. Oh, and we’ll bring beer and snacks to share too (not that you’re motivated by that sort of thing).
So join us for the fun and festivities of TechCrunch Disrupt. Whether you’re in San Francisco or San Paulo, Brazil you’re sure to have a great time.