Comprehensive PeoplePerHour Review

PeoplePerHour ReviewThis PeoplePerHour review is from a freelancer who has seen and worked on a lot of freelancing sites online. Is this legit or scam? Is it worth my time? Is it better than the other freelancing sites? I’ll attempt to answer these and many other questions about the site, so you can make an informed decision about whether to join PeoplePerHour or not.

What is PeoplePerHour?

PeoplePerHour is an online freelancing portal. This is very similar in concept to oDesk and Elance, the more popular freelance marketplaces. An online marketplace brings together buyers and sellers. The buyers propose projects and the sellers bid on these projects. The sellers of course are almost always freelancers.

PeoplePerHour isn’t the first online marketplace for freelancers. There have been several in the past, some having a strong hold on the industry. Elance is one of the oldest, still popular marketplace. oDesk is newer but has grown at a really good rate over the years. For freelancers looking for work or for employers (usually start-ups and small businesses), there are plenty of options. When evaluating this site, therefore, you need to look at it from the larger perspective and compare it to existing businesses. This is what I will base my PeoplePerHour review on.

Check out my oDesk review and oDesk vs Elance to get a better idea of online marketplaces.

Quality/Quantity of Jobs Posted

The number of jobs at PeoplePerHour is definitely less than those of its bigger competitors like oDesk and Elance. However, I found the quality of jobs to be surprisingly high. I don’t have the statistics (yet) but the average pay on PeoplePerHour is far higher than either oDesk or Elance. I think I can safely say that the quality of jobs is the highest I have seen.

As a result, it is only natural that the freelancers are high quality too, which is great news for the buyers.

One of the major complaints about online marketplaces is the quality of jobs is really bad. This affects both sides of the equation. The freelancers are unhappy because of a downward pressure on their wages due to increasing competition from low quality providers. This drives the good workers away to other avenues which now affects the buyers because they cannot find enough quality people to do the job they want. As a result, the serious buyers look elsewhere. Thus what is left is a deteriorating marketplace. This is particularly stark in oDesk but present very well in Elance.

Surprisingly, this hasn’t yet happened with PeoplePerHour. The wages are decent and appropriate for the skills required for the jobs. I am not sure how they pulled it off and if this can be sustainable. Only time will tell. As of this moment, however, if you are a quality freelancer, this is certainly a site to check out. In addition, if you are a buyer looking for some good quality freelancers, it is definitely worth taking a look.

The obvious drawback however is that there are not enough jobs posted here. Besides, new freelancers might have a hard time competing against high quality and established workers.

Bottom Line: The quality of jobs posted is very high as compared to other marketplaces. The number of jobs is modest. If you have the right skills for the job, definitely worth checking out and being a part of. At the same time, accomplished freelancers might still find that they are better off on their own. The wages are good, but not extraordinary either. If you are looking for highly qualified workers, this is the place to look.

Subscription and Fees

PeoplePerHour subscription model is a layered one which I personally don’t particularly like. Elance has one too. I like oDesk the best in this sense – no membership upgrades; the fee structure, although high, is very straightforward (You pay a 10% project fee flat, no exceptions, no membership upgrades). However, this isn’t the case with PeoplePerHour.

PeoplePerHour Membership

As a free member, you have several restrictions and you can buy credits. As you can see from the chart above, basic free members pay a high fees of 10% as opposed to just 4.50% paid by Platinum members. The concept of freelancers picking up the tab for all the site’s workings too is a little weird for me (oDesk, on the other hand, is more uniform in this sense because everyone pays the same service fee and thus can be negotiated). I am not a fan of membership upgrades in general, but perhaps my fellow freelancers have a more favorable view of this.

Bottom Line: The service fees depends on your membership type, and so do limits on how many projects you can bid on. I am no fan of this model.

Transparency

PeoplePerHour can be very open as compared to the other online marketplaces. For example, you can find the team and know about them. Some client testimonials are also refreshingly open. In addition, the profiles look more professional, with a photograph, portfolio, feedback, etc. The earnings are open too, unlike oDesk (but like Elance). All this provides added credibility.

At the same time, I don’t like that they are not very transparent with some things especially those related to the fee/membership structure. The chart I displayed above is accessible only to members after joining the site. I would like to access this information before joining the site.

The PeoplePerHour Economy is another great feature to check out. You can get some really interesting statistics here about the freelancers and clients who use the site, the size of projects and other information that would interest both freelancers and buyers.

Bottom Line: Some great steps towards a more transparent experience benefiting both freelancers and businesses. However, the sites need to be more transparent about its fee/subscription structure.

Hourlies

This is a new addition, and I thought I should add to the existing PeoplePerHour review. Hourlies is a great concept that this site started. Instead of the traditional way where employers post projects and freelancers bid on it, hourlies reverse this process, i.e., the freelancers post what they can do and the cost of doing it and the employers can ‘buy’ that hourlie and the freelancer delivers. This is a great concept, although it seems a little crowded. The concept is new but promising. I would like to see more statistics though – it shouldn’t become of those features that becomes incredibly hard to navigate because it is cluttered with low quality posting.

Bottom Line: Some innovation finally from PeoplePerHour in terms of bringing a new feature to the freelancing marketplace that more established sites like oDesk and Elance lack. It’s still too early in the game to define them successful, but hourlies are definitely promising.

Update: As promised, I need to revise my review of hourlies at PeoplePerHour. In a nutshell, they absolute, terribly suck. The whole approval process is ad-hoc and random and frankly too frustrating to deal with. When I made an extremely minor correction to an already published hourlie, it was rejected. Recently, they rejected another of my hourlie that was just about publishing an article about a business on EzineArticles. Obviously it makes no sense (their argument is without the slightest merit. I’ll publish their whole ‘explanation’ for those who are interested).

Conclusion

PeoplePerHour is a relatively new online marketplace and this PeoplePerHour review might not capture all aspects of the site. It is still growing and faces several challenges. The most distinguishing feature of the site so far is its ability to maintain quality. This can degrade very soon if the site aims only for growth without regard to quality. It seems to be at a critical stage in that sense. Both freelancers and workers know the better quality the site offers and it should stick to it. PeoplePerHour is still a great site to join and every freelancer should at least check it out to see if they want to be a part of the site. Definitely worth considering.

Hourlies is a great idea with terrible terrible implementation. Hopefully other sites can take the model and improve it.

Photo Credit: laverrue

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PubSlush Review: Crowdsource Publishing

PubSlush ReviewPubSlush is a new crowdsourced publishing platform for writers. Crowdsourcing is the decentralization of the authority structure which derives its strength from numbers rather than specialization alone (think Wikipedia vs. Brittanica Encyclopedia). Crowds, it is argued, can do things better and more efficiently than individuals. Whichever side of the fence you stand on such a controversial stand is up to you, but there is no denying that there are certain aspects which are indeed best done by crowdsourcing.

PubSlush seems to have found a sweet spot. Collecting money can be very efficient when done in small contributions. Obama knows this. And now, so does PubSlush. I find the concept really interesting, and hence this early PubSlush review, early because it is yet to prove it is a good model for authors.

What is PubSlush

In a nutshell, PubSlush allows writers to become published authors … if enough people support it. This is the crucial crowdsourcing aspect of the site. They will get you published but you need to get 1000 people to support your work. The way it works is simple – if I wish to support the book A Sweeter Stride for example, written by a friend, I can “buy” the book right now, but it will only be published if the author gets 1000 people to support it. At this stage, the book is published and I’ll get my copy. Only then will my credit card ever be charged. If the book isn’t published, I am never charged.

For people who like books and like to support upcoming authors, they can browse through a good collection of books and support books that they like. This is a great way for people to discover some interesting content online written by non-professional writers. After all, everyone has a story to tell.

Who Should use PubSlush

Writers who are looking to get published should keep an eye out for the site. It looks like a promising concept. Even if you don’t have immediate plans to get published, it is always good to know such a site exists. In addition, it greatly helps your credibility if you are a published author. It should help you in all walks of life. If you are a freelance writer, wouldn’t it be good to tell your clients, “Oh and by the way, I am a published author too” so you can really prove your point?

Ask James Altucher, the author of 7 books who wrote about it in a recent post.

Where is PubSlush Headed?

Unfortunately, at this point of time, I will need to base my PubSlush review on the limited information that I have simply because the site is new. As of now, they haven’t published anyone. The maximum support for a book is at 362. However, it looks promising enough.

One important thing to notice is the inherent viral nature of the website. If you are a writer, you would like to get published and this seems like an easier way than to chase down traditional publishers (provided of course you aren’t already famous). However, to get published, they will need at least 1000 supporters, each of whom will come to know about the site. Chances are, a few of them are writers themselves. This creates a great opportunity for PubSlush to promote itself because most of the promotion is through the authors. I like such business strategies.

Agonizing Inception Stage

As great a model as it seems, it is going to take time. The site doesn’t have tens of thousands of active users yet, which means it is up to the authors to really promote their book through their limited means. Also, there is a high probability of failure at this stage – it is hard to get 1000 people to buy your book before it comes out.

As the site progresses, I suspect the number of users will increase and authors will have a higher probability of success from more active users. This is a risk that authors are taking right now. 1000 doesn’t seem like too huge a number, but for a new website, it sure is.

PubSlush Challenge: Supply and Demand

For the future, it would be an interesting dynamic between the number of authors and number of supporters. As the site grows, it will need to maintain a healthy supply-demand dynamic in terms of attracting quality authors and interested buyers. If there are too many authors, they will never all get published because there aren’t enough people to support the project and the site will be left in a ghost-shell. If there are too few authors to choose from, the supporters will not have enough choice and probably will not find books of their interest and will never return.

In any marketplace, this dynamic is really important. It is hard to know beforehand how the site will pan out in the future. It needs quality authors and quality supporters who are interested to buy books from upcoming authors.

Since the site is new, I will update my PubSlush review from time to time. Getting the first book published should be a good milestone for the site. Once it reaches a critical mass, I suspect it would be a really good endeavor to consider.

Edit: An earlier version of the article incorrectly stated “If this target isn’t met, then the site will simply refund me the money.” with regards to a book not being published. In reality, you are only charged if the book is published, so really, there is no “refund” if a book isn’t published – you don’t get charged in the first place. Thanks to Erin for pointing it out. And thanks to PubSlush for keeping an eye out for their reviews, including this blog!

Photo Credit: Jenn Fishman

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