Please Whitelist This Site?

I know everyone hates ads. But please understand that I am providing premium content for free that takes hundreds of hours of time to research and write. I don't want to go to a pay-only model like some sites, but when more and more people block ads, I end up working for free. And I have a family to support, just like you. :)

Please think about the value you get from this free site, and consider adding it to the whitelist for Adblock. To do so, just open the Adblock menu and select "Disable on freelancingguide.net". Or go to the Tools menu and select "Adblock Plus Preferences...". Then click "Add Filter..." at the bottom, and add this string: "@@||freelancingguide.net^$document". Then just click OK.

Thanks for your understanding!

Sincerely, Charles Kozierok
Author and Publisher, The Online Freelancing Guide


NOTE: Using software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. Any such attempts may result in your access to the site being automatically blocked. Please be considerate of other readers -- and my server -- and thank you for your cooperation.

Custom Search






Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  An Analysis and Review of Popular Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites
      >  Criteria for Choosing Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites

Previous Topic/Section
Web Site Design, Features, Interfaces and Ease of Use
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
1
2
Next Page
Customer Service and Support
Next Topic/Section

Feedback System
(Page 2 of 2)

Problems and Policies

While feedback systems help solve a big problem—the trust issue—they can introduce new problems as side-effects. Unless they are properly designed and managed, these issues can undermine them significantly. In the worst case scenario, the integrity of the ratings mechanisms can become so compromised that they actually lead to worse decision-making than would otherwise occur without them.

Here are some of the key concerns with feedback systems that sites have to deal with:

  • Abuse: Because of how much weight is put on feedback systems, especially numeric ones, they present a high potential for abuse. One of the most common methods is “feedback hostage-taking”, where a client uses the threat of poor feedback as a tool to extract extra work or other concessions from a freelancer. (Freelancers do this too, but not as often.) Another issue is “retaliatory” feedback, where a client gives a contractor a bad rating as revenge for receiving one, or vice-versa.

  • Confusion: Sites try to differentiate themselves by the complexity of their ratings systems, arguing that the more sub-ratings they have, and the more sophisticated the math they use to calculate an overall score, they more reliable the feedback system will be. This can backfire, however, if clients and contractors don’t really understand what the numbers mean and how they are computed.

  • Inconsistency: Related to the confusion issue, another problem is inconsistency of ratings among users. This is often caused by poor instructions given during the evalu­ation process, and can result in a client “ruining” a contractor’s overall feedback score even if they were happy with the work.

  • Fraud: Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for unscrupulous clients or contractors to game the feedback system through techniques such as hiring friends to give them good feedback. Freelancers will also offer to “buy” positive feedback by working for free in exchange for reviews. Good sites keep an eye out for this sort of thing.

  • Excessive Reliance on Numeric Systems: As mentioned above, many people use the numbers in feedback systems as a crutch, and they can be deceptive because they don’t really give you anything more than a bird’s eye view of a potential freelancer or outsourcer.

Fortunately, most of these gotchas can be ameliorated by writing thorough policies designed to address them—but that will only happen if the site cares enough to do this, and more importantly, to enforce those policies.


Previous Topic/Section
Web Site Design, Features, Interfaces and Ease of Use
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
1
2
Next Page
Customer Service and Support
Next Topic/Section

If you find The Online Freelancing Guide useful, please consider making a small Paypal donation to help the site, using one of the buttons below. You can also donate a custom amount using the far right button (not less than $1 please, or PayPal gets most/all of your money!) Thanks for your support -- it's hard to make a living writing free material these days.
Donate $5
Donate $10
Donate $20
Donate $30
Donate: $



Home - Table Of Contents - Contact Us

The Online Freelancing Guide (http://www.FreelancingGuide.net)
Last Site Update: October 21, 2011

© Copyright 2001-2011 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.
Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.