Does the web need another freelancing website? No, but if put correctly it can be unique and highly profitable.

The idea is to provide a freelancing job board for "temporary", "small (under $1,000 or $2,000)" and "location independent" tasks. The point is to price fairly. Unlike other freelancing websites, it's hard to stand out of the crowd. Even if you did, you get paid $10/hour or even less. Rarely you get $25/hour and only if you got clients that likes your work.

But the situation here should be different, less quantity and less tasks <> higher quality and higher pricing. ($60/hour is a good rate for a good programmer).

Freelancers are scored based on a formula based on their score. (The formula needs to focus more on users' responses and answers more than the questions). Buyers select the freelance based on his/her score, pay should be higher than freelancing sites (not less than $50/hour).

In return, Stack OverFlow makes developers to work harder on the site. Freelancers that wants to do quality work and get paid fairly will participate on SOF to get higher scores, they'll try to post better answers and more explained.

This is for the profit of all. Buyers that will get quality work (and not spaghetti code), freelancers that will be paid fairly and SOF that will get better answers and discussions.

What do you think? (If you are not interested in hiring/freelancing, so think about your mates, don't be so selfish and say NO just because you don't need it, try to discuss the advantages and drawbacks instead.)

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+1 for right problem, but I don't think your solution is well enough througt out –  Ian Ringrose Sep 18 '09 at 14:40
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5 Answers

If you're suggesting linking reputation to price, I'd have to say no.

Two main reasons: firstly, SO reputation certainly doesn't represent the relative merits of users. Compare myself with Eric Lippert, for example. I have 20 times his reputation - but I'm in awe of his abilities in various different ways. There are plenty of other users that could be similarly compared :)

Secondly, as soon as there's concrete real-world gain from having higher rep, it increases the probability that people will try to game the system. Yes, some people do so now - but at least we can just say "You're only cheating yourselves." Once that makes a difference in terms of actual pay, it's a much more significant issue.

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this is why i suggested a formula that recalculate score –  Omar Abid Jul 12 '09 at 6:31
    
Please forgive me the time-lapse joke, but currently you certainly don't have "20 times his reputation" :) But this of course just signifies what you have said: it works, asymptotically, but only because it is not exploited/spoiled/tampered-with (well, mostly). –  quetzalcoatl Dec 16 '12 at 15:55
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This might be a good idea for a separate site, like freelancer.stackexchange.com, but I wouldn't want to try and mix it in with the Q&A on Stack Overflow. Any kind of job posting in the regular flow of Q&A on SO would just be seen as noise, unless you're looking for gigs, in which case the Q&A would be noise.

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But the situation here should be different, less quantity and less tasks <> higher quality and higher pricing. ($60/hour is a good rate for a good programmer).

First, $60/hr is a cheap rate for a good programmer. An inexpensive rate for a good programmer is $90/hr, and $120/hr is an average rate for a good programmer.

Any place where you bid on projects you will drive the price down.

Further, even at your cheap $60 rate, a 1-2k project is only 17 to 33 hours of work. That may be ok for very trivial designs or tweaks, but if someone wants to develop even a simple application then requirements collection, mockups, and design documentation alone will eat through all of that time leaving nothing for actual implementation, debug, test, nevermind good user interface work, maintenance, etc.

It's not a terrible idea, but

  • There are already such marketplaces
  • It would be dominated by customers looking for low cost, high quality work
  • Joel is a firm believer in great jobs for great workers - which is not orthogonal to your idea, but there are obvious discontinuities
  • Even if you change the rep score as indicated, it absolutely does NOT speak to the qualities of a great consultant, especially the "gets things done" part of Joel's two requirement mantra for good employees

Jeff and Joel are busy with quite a few other tasks right now. You might consider making such a site yourself, pulling user data from SO, and seeing if it garners interest. If you can show that many SO users are interested in such a system, then you may receive the internal support you need to make it work long-term. You can use the data dump to re-score users according to your own system, and see what happens.

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I'm also totally in favour of a freelance / single gig site based on Stack Overflow. In such a site, reputation would certainly be a contributing factor to the client's decision whose services to use.

I would be opposed to any further connection between SO reputation and that freelance site, though.

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Why don't you want to use freelancer.com?

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