Caveats, Disclaimers, and So Forth
As I mentioned in the overview, I had some trepidations about writing this chapter, but I went ahead with it because of how important the subject is. That said, I still think the issues I mentioned before, such as objectivity, fairness and the potential for conflicts of interest—have validity and need to be addressed. So, I ask that you please keep in mind the following as you read this chapter.
First, of necessity, this analysis cannot be comprehensive. It is not possible for me to write about every freelancing site or have full and complete knowledge of the workings of even the ones I do decide to write about. All I can do is my best. What I have written here is based on my personal experiences working as a freelancer on many of these sites, over the course of two years and spanning over 250 projects. It is also based on countless discussions with and stories from other freelancers and buyers. I think the results are pretty good, but don’t expect that I’ve covered everything.
Second, this section—like the rest of the Guide—is a combination of objective observations and subjective judgments. In some areas I can just report facts, like discussing a site’s membership fees, or the number of projects they post per day. In other places what I have written is mostly opinion; there’s no objective way to talk about customer service, website interfaces or the nature of the community. You must decide for yourself whether or not you trust my judgment.
Third, things change. What you read here is current as of the time that I wrote it, but sites do evolve over time. Companies change their structure and policies, and it is possible that by the time you get to this material, some of it may have become out of date.
In the end, as always, you must decide for yourself what you feel comfortable with. Now that you are informed about the potential issues, I encourage you to read on and make up your own mind.
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