Received a Skillpages request from a friend on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and immediately decided to check it out.
What is Skillpages? – Skillpages aims to be the internet equivalent of a ‘yellow pages’. It is an online platform listing people with varied skills.You can use it to (a) find people with skills that match a requirement you may have such as baby sitter, a web designer or a tutor or (b) as a platform for marketing yourself as a skills provider.
It is an Irish company, which was earlier known as Weedle.com. It was rebranded as Skillpages in 2011.
Here’s how it works – So for example, if you need a photographer, post the job on Skillpages and here’s how it will work:
- assuming that you have a bunch of your friends on the site, they can share the opportunity with their contacts and hopefully someone within their circle will respond to the job, or
- the site itself populates the requirement to people with matching skills, who may then choose to apply for the job.
Finding people with skills within your network – Importantly, the site will also highlight if you (the skill seeker) and the potential contractor have any commonalities within your network on Skillpages. The Skillpages team claims that people looking for skills are 4 times as likely to message someone who is directly or indirectly within their network. The age-old surmise, we all like to do business with people that we know.
Watch this interview of Skillpages CEO Ian MacDonald for more information.
The Experience of Using Skillpages as a skill provider
The Login – Easy
The login process was easy as it immediately created a basic profile using my Facebook account details. It does take about 30 minutes to really get your skills page up and running with all the details. You can also sign in with G+, YahooMail, Outlook and Hotmail account and invite your contacts to join in.
Use Interface- Easy
The site has a clean look – not too dowdy and not too casual. You can display your portfolio as per each category of skill (I wish Elance would add some of these neat looking features). The site interface is extremely user-friendly and just as easy on the eye. So no complications here.
Is this site any good for sourcing freelance writing jobs? No! ….here’s why
Most of the people who are posting jobs on the site have not shared specifics (budget, project requirements, there appears to be no client verification on record). There is a lot of quantity, but quality is desperately lacking. Maybe because Skillpages is absolutely free, anyone and everyone is posting their job requirements here.
In effect the job search on Skillpage is equivalent to searching for a needle in the haystack and you could end spending much more of your time narrowing down to suitable jobs on Skillpages, than you would on more structured sites such as Elance or Odesk. But then again these sites don’t offer all the categories of skills that Skillpages does, so that is one vote in favor of Skillpages.
The other is the alleged problem of spamming contacts: Now while I can’t substantiate this personally, a lot of users have complained that the company spammed their email contacts (just check Google and you see a lot of these feedbacks).
Final verdict: Its early days yet and with more than one million users joining the site every month, there may be some scope in the future. The chances of finding a suitable opportunity on this site depends entirely on the number of people you know who are also using the site and that necessitates inviting people within your email and social network to join Skillpages. For now I prefer to be a dormant user on the site.
I had also initiated a discussion on this topic on some of the LinkedIn writer groups. To view the feedback click on the name of the groups below.