LimeExchange: A Social Network for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs

A few weeks ago, LimeExchange launched its online outsourcing marketplace to the world. The service is essentially a social network for freelancers, service providers and entrepreneurs that helps service providers matchmake themselves to buyers looking to outsource activities within those service categories.

Though marketplace services such as Guru and eLance have ably served freelancers and web workers for some time, LimeExchange seeks to differentiate itself from its predecessors by moving service marketplaces beyond simple matchmaking of buyers and sellers, to eBay-like reputation and feedback metrics that help users understand the prior reputability of their collaborators.

Like other marketplaces, LimeExchange takes a cut of a successfully completed project – quoted up frong at a hefty 8%. One curious feature enables buyers to ‘trial’ sellers with a demonstration of their abilities through a pilot project – the marketplace equivalent of paid pitching?

In other areas, LimeExchange is aping the Q&A and business networking features of LinkedIn, raising questions as to why business networks such as LinkedIn aren’t already offering this?

LimeExchange is part of a new wave of service marketplaces that’re all exploring post-Guru/eLance and post-LinkedIn opportunities that all seek to exploit advances in social networks and social media.

Marketplaces such as Kluster and Cambrian House, seek to aggregate sellers into startup opportunities with shared equity in new ventures, with varying degrees of success. Interestingly, marketplaces like New Zealand’s forthcoming Creative Federation and the UK’s bmedi@ operate tendering models which aggregate members around specific projects or tendering opportunities; bmedi@ in particular is using its position to help freelancers ‘club together’ to tackle larger tenders and promote its region’s members.

LimeExchange is currently orienting its services around design, development, media production, blogging, networking, consulting, writing, legal work, accounting, market research and administration – all areas which appear to correlate closely with our audience here.

I’m curious to hear from readers of Web Worker Daily on their experiences with such services…

  • do they contribute a steady pipeline of work for you?
  • what proportion of your works originates from such marketplaces?
  • do you find most transactions and collaborations to be reputable?
  • are the fees reasonable?
  • what is lacking?

If we get enough interest responses, I’ll aim to put together a follow up post summarising people’s views.


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