[Pro] Time for a Pro Services Topic

Recently I’ve seen some confusing posts where members seemed to be asking for professional services. The responses seemed equally confusing…

One member and friend of this list told me they felt this was a communication problem, and I agree. After some thought, I would like to suggest to Softpress that it’s time to add another topic to the FWTalk list: Pro Services.

Perhaps a separate topic where the question of commercial intent is clearly understood and not frowned upon will help spur better connections between those who need more than advice and those who can provide it. What do you think about this?

Let the discussion begin.


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It’s odd the guy who doesn’t use Freeway any longer (me) is the first one to respond to this suggestion but I think it’s a good idea and I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t been suggested before now. Requests for paid help happens often enough to warrant it’s own topic.

I say do it Softpress.

Todd
http://xiiro.com


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I will third that - with the caveat that posters requesting paid help provide a decent brief and appropriate contact information.

Is it possible (Walter) to include a field for a contact email address that retains its linkability without being harvestable.

D


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My goal is to make it easier for people wanting access to Pro Services, so
I’m not in favor of making them do anything they’re not comfortable with.
As a professional, I am happy to bridge the process to an interview that
helps us both find the information we need. Besides, I think it’s already
easy and straightforward for them to set their contact information via the
forum site. Email subscribers can already see a poster’s email address in
the mail headers.

Think of it as a good way to vet their communication skills as a client. :slight_smile:


Ernie Simpson

On Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM, DeltaDave email@hidden wrote:

I will third that - with the caveat that posters requesting paid help
provide a decent brief and appropriate contact information.

Is it possible (Walter) to include a field for a contact email address
that retains its linkability without being harvestable.


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Maybe - but I would like some idea of what their goal is before I enter a discussion needlessly.

My point about the email address is simply that only a small percentage of FWTers have their contact email within their profile and not all of us read posts via email.

If they want to get the maximum exposure for their Pro request then it is surely not too much to ask.

D


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I hear what you’re saying Dave, it’s just how do you expect to enforce it?

It would be impractical I think to make designers and potential clients all
conform to a one-size-fits-all method of communication. Maybe some rules
can be established down the line but for now all I’m asking for is a
channel outside of the regular discussions where these apparently awkward
and sometimes heartbreaking conversations can occur.


Ernie Simpson

On Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM, DeltaDave email@hidden wrote:

Maybe - but I would like some idea of what their goal is before I enter a
discussion needlessly.

My point about the email address is simply that only a small percentage of
FWTers have their contact email within their profile and not all of us read
posts via email.

If they want to get the maximum exposure for their Pro request then it is
surely not too much to ask.

D


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Ernie, great idea.
How about a pro network similar to the Expression Engine network.

http://expressionengine.com/professionals

I’m sure SoftPress can come up with a certain set of requirements/credentials to vet the Pro Network members.

Marcel


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I hear what you’re saying Dave, it’s just how do you expect to enforce it?

I wasn’t suggesting enforcement - just encouragement as good practice.

D


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Hi guys,

I’d be happy to see such a board. If it works we can look into the possibility of moving over to a dedicated network similar to ExpressionEngine’s.

Joe Billings
Managing Director
T: +44 1993 882588
E: email@hidden

Freeway: You create, it codes

On 12 Jul 2012, at 08:21, DeltaDave email@hidden wrote:

I hear what you’re saying Dave, it’s just how do you expect to enforce it?

I wasn’t suggesting enforcement - just encouragement as good practice.

D


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Joe, thanks for the feedback. I think for it to work it should protect both the client and designer. Prospective clients can fill out an online brief form where they can post detailed requirements, time frame, budget etc. In turn when a designer responds back we can provide links to our own website and links to live client sites. We can reply with a bid, payment terms etc. This kind of process can aid in it not becoming a crowd sourcing portal and it will probably keep the casual tire kickers away.

Marcel


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Richard Logan asked me to build something like this back in 2003 or 4, and I mocked up some screens. I never built it because there wasn’t an economic model to support it going forward.

Do I charge the designers who advertise, the clients who solicit bids, do I provide any guarantees to either party?

It’s a thorny problem when you really start to deconstruct it. It’s very simple to create a set of forms and provide for secure communication between designers and clients, but any time you interject a service between parties of a contract, you become legally entwined in that contract.

Services like Basecamp avoid that whole end of things by basically replacing email. Sortfolio, which was 37Signals’ attempt at solving this exact problem, was just sold to new owners (37S mostly ignored it after launch). I’ll be interested to see what happens next in that space.

Walter

On Jul 12, 2012, at 9:41 AM, Helveticus wrote:

Joe, thanks for the feedback. I think for it to work it should protect both the client and designer. Prospective clients can fill out an online brief form where they can post detailed requirements, time frame, budget etc. In turn when a designer responds back we can provide links to our own website and links to live client sites. We can reply with a bid, payment terms etc. This kind of process can aid in it not becoming a crowd sourcing portal and it will probably keep the casual tire kickers away.

Marcel


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While I think these are all great ideas, again my primary goal was to
simply provide a space within the FWT environment where professional
freeway services could be sought and proffered without the awkwardness they
currently undergo. Currently there are many people who could benefit from
the services of a pro Pro user but who are not really open to paying for
such service. So rather than allow the main topics to become awkward
spamfests, why not direct folk to a space where the expectation of free
advice doesn’t rule the conversations.

That said, I think the lot of you have a wonderfully evolved idea of how
this thing might work down the road – I’m just suggesting first steps. What
if it turns out that few people are even interested in supporting the
Freeway Professional Services group? Simple first-steps are easier to build
on, and easier to correct.


Ernie Simpson


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Just a thought… are we talking about a similar environment like: odesk.com?
Whereby people can post jobs and hire contractors and in turn contractors can promote themselves…
or are we talking about something else?

Max


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Yes, both. Ernie is exploring the low-hanging fruit of just adding another mailing list specifically for clients seeking designer/developer types. Marcel brought up the idea of a more structured environment, separate from the lists, where there could be some client interview tools to help screen out the screamers and to set an expectation that “you get what you pay for” right up front.

Walter

On Jul 12, 2012, at 11:35 AM, max wrote:

Just a thought… are we talking about a similar environment like: odesk.com?
Whereby people can post jobs and hire contractors and in turn contractors can promote themselves…
or are we talking about something else?

Max


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