i'm always on the lookout for freelance work -- what designer isn't? since none of the people i regularly do work for have anything in the pipeline, i thought i'd check out guru.com, a site for freelancers in multiple professions to find work. sounds good, right?
what a disappointment it was.
the basic, free subscription for professionals seemed like a decent idea, at first glance. i couldn't see much about any open projects until i filled out my profile, which seemed reasonable enough.
i liked that i could have multiple profiles, as i have three different areas of expertise: design, writing, and illustration -- so i made one for each. the interface for fleshing out profiles, though, was horribly klunky. some items, like my resume, were persistent throughout all three profiles, which i didn't like; someone who wants to hire me to do technical writing could care less about my painting skills. likewise, someone interested in my painting skills would have no clue why i had word docs, with technical writing samples posted. my work samples were also persistent across profiles, but things like my personal photo, which would make sense to be persistent, were not. after an hour of filling out three profiles, i mysteriously was still not done, as some of the items weren't registering correctly. that's really shoddy.
on to the job-perusing: i activated one of the three profiles (illustration), and searched for illustration jobs. 7 pages full of prospective projects… all only available to paid guru members, or paid guru vendors. that was extremely uncool; what's the point of having a basic membership, when the membership is for all intents and purposes, unusable? thinking it was maybe just that particular field, i tried searching with the design profile, for design jobs -- same outcome.
wondering if it was just me, i googled for people's experiences with guru.com, and found quite a few sites with negative reviews and similar experiences to mine. guru.com seems to suffer from the common problem of extremely low bidding -- get entire websites, complete with ecommerce, done for $30! one described the problems with their escrow payment system as, 'difficult, and gives 100% of the power to employers and absolutely none to the freelancers.' that sounds nothing short of horrid.
i'll be giving guru.com a miss.