Guru - Project Quality
(Page 3 of 3)
Project Screening and Approval
Guru is one of the few large freelance marketplaces that manually reviews and approves all project listings before they are seem by freelancers. This process nips most of the obvious chaff projects in the bud, and is probably the number one factor contributing to Guru’s relatively high marks when it comes to project quality.
That said, the screening mechanism is not 100% foolproof. In the past, I have personally found project listings on Guru that seemed to me to violate the company’s guidelines or project restrictions. Some of them were so blatant that I simply couldn’t understand how they could possibly have gotten through even a rudimentary approval process: projects looking to hire Craigslist spammers, for example.
When I contacted the company to ask about this, they confirmed that they did screen each listing, but sometimes problem projects slipped through the cracks. There have also apparently been cases where employers changed project descriptions to something completely different from what was originally approved. Fortunately, these seem to be fairly rare exceptions to the rule. The approval process also seems to be improving, since I see fewer bogus projects now than I did a couple of years ago.
Guru has one of the most detailed project listing systems I’ve seen in the freelancing world. It walks the user through everything they need to post a new project, splitting the information over several pages. The project listing form includes assistance resource links on each page, as well as question mark buttons to bring up help for each part of the form. Guru also deserves credit for including not just the standard required information (title, description, budget, etc.) but also clearly showing key options, such as whether the project should be public or private. This helps avoid some the problems found on Elance, where important options are missed because they are hidden in drop-down boxes, leading to incorrect project listings that confuse bidders.
Unfortunately, Guru’s listing process suffers from a couple of the same problems that plague its competition. First, it does not provide any detail up front about how to craft a quality project description, relying on the client to write the description up in a free form text box. And second, the new project pages also don’t specifically list the types of projects and requests that are unacceptable on the site.
On the plus side, Guru’s project screening policy helps insulate contractors from the effects of these flaws. Where on other sites these issues tend to increase the number of junk projects that contractors have to sift through, Guru itself catches most of the unacceptable projects that are submitted by confused or unethical clients.
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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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