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Project Quantity and Marketplace Size
ScriptLance doesn’t make available any statistics about its marketplace, so I have to fall back on data from third party reports and my own observations.
WhichLance shows a total of 21,131 projects posted during the third quarter of 2010; this works out to about 230 per day, which matches up well with my subjective impression of about 200 to 250 new projects daily. This is well below the figures of most of the Big Five, though still pretty close to Guru.
WhichLance gives a monthly billings figure of $1.5 million for ScriptLance in 3Q2010, well behind any of the major sites. ScriptLance also reports having about 40,000 clients and 40,000 active service providers, but my suspicion is that the real number of active freelancers is much lower: the site has a ranking system for active contractors that shows only about 3,300 actually active as of this time. ScriptLance’s three-month Alexa ranking of 2,814 is very high given the amount of billing done on the site, so it is pretty active.
Overall project quality on ScriptLance is below average to near average when compared to other freelancing sites. I would have at one point just said “below average” but the overall quality trends are so poor across the industry now that the differences among the sites are shrinking. Still, there is simply not a lot of work listed on this site that would interest serious freelancers looking for work at reasonable rates.
The project quality issues for ScriptLance are based on the same issues found on Freelancer.com: the site is just generally aimed towards the low end of the market. Most projects are from clients who want to get programming and Web-related project done inexpensively, using mainly overseas labor. There are few barriers to entry (such as monthly fees) and a great deal of competition for jobs, so rates are low.
ScriptLance has no real list of prohibited projects, except for the usual ban on illegal topics, and of course a rule against spamming or posting contact information. The company does not pre-screen projects before they are posted, which means a fair bit of junk gets through to the listings before it is reported; to its credit, the company does respond quickly to violation reports. It is not clear what client verification processes are put into place before a project can be posted. There is a fee of $5 charged to the client for each project, but not until it is awarded; it is possible to “prepay” a project before it is listed to demonstrate that a client is serious, but few clients seem to do this.
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