Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, June 5, 2000

Electronic collaboration

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Ework exchange
>> Clearinghouse mechanism for IT projects and professionals

Combining an intuitive interface with top-notch tools, business support, and training services, eWork Exchange is an excellent source for independent consultants to find and conduct business on the Web. eWork offers areas for finding work.

EWork offers a matching service between projects and freelance professional in a wide range of sectors and industries, plus other useful services for the daily management of distributed working groups, billing and training.

The Exchange, in particular, is the process that allows project managers to post project profiles where they can set prices, time schedules, skills requirements for the professionals they are looking for. Once the project profile is completed and submitted (it does take a few minutes), the matching process with the CVs and profiles available in the eWork database starts immediately, so you are able to verify on the fly whether you have found the perfect match for your project. If this first round of selections does not get to any satisfactory results, your project profile remains in the database available for other freelance professionals looking for work.

The Exchange also works the other way round. Freelance professionals and companies can submit their CVs and profiles and wait to be contacted by project managers on the hunt for human resources.

As simple as it may sound, however, the process is not so intuitive for those unfamiliar with the service, although a quick tour and instructions for each step are available for the stranded user. Help notes for project profile form fields are not exhaustive. Neither are error messages if something goes wrong while trying to submit the project profile. It must be said, however, that this lack of on-screen support is greatly made up for by the responsive, helpful staff at eWork customer service, who provided me, by e-mail, with the solution to my problem in a few hours after I sent a SOS message.

A real example of the customer support:

----- Original Message -----
From: NOSPAM [mailto:nospam #]
Sent: sabato 18 marzo 2000 10.21
To: Support
Subject: RE: Many troubles with eWorks service. Please Help me.


At last, I found the way to read messages: I had to click on "start interview". Sorry but this is not a intuitive procedure. I've already started an interview with those contacts, so it was not clear to me that I needed to "start" it again to read reply to my past requests.

Anyway, I am really impressed by the very fast response time of the contacts and the qualification (at first glance) of the persons interviewed.

Unfortunately the project for which I needed resources has been canceled so I don't need anymore to hire people for that, but I am sure I will use again eWork for the next project discussed only some hours ago in my firm.

Thank you.

----- Original Message -----
From: Support []
Sent: sabato 18 marzo 2000 2.20
Subject: RE: Many troubles with eWorks service. Please Help me.


If you get an error with a link, there is a good chance it is only temporary. If you try it again and it still doesn't work, you can always log on to the site and go to your account directly. You are still accessing the same information.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at the number below or at the email address provided.


Dominic Cramp
Customer Care Representative
eWork Exchange
(415) 546-4815 telephone

You may wonder: how do I trust the information provided by professionals and companies seeking self-promotion? An interesting feature of eWork is that people who got jobs through this service can get credit or "reputation", as they name it, from the companies they have worked for. Such word-of-mouth recommendations can help you decide whether you should contact them or not.

Contacting selected professionals is also done through eWork that will send an email to the professionals and the hiring manager, so that they can initiate their exchanges. Email-based interview facilities are also offered on the site.

eWork is free for independent professionals to post their profiles, and for hiring managers to post one project profile. From June 2000, a monthly-fee membership will be introduced for hiring managers to post unlimited profiles.

A word of advice: scanning eWork database even if you don't need to hire someone can give you the pulse of where market rates are going, as people who post their Web-sumes have to enter rates for their services. Since a browsing functionality is not available yet (although they claim it will be added soon), post project profiles that reflect your usual staffing needs to get an idea of what you can get for how much.

While contributing editor Antonella Pastore has reviewed the above service let me share here some feedback from Massimo Curatella who has tested the service recently as well:

I received two matches from eWork.

----- Original Message -----
From: Massimo Curatella
Sent: martedì 14 marzo 2000 10.17
To: Giggi
Subject: eWork

"I've just sent two messages to those two contacts.

eWork is really well engineered: you cannot talk directly with the resource people, you have a sort of virtual mailbox in your "My eWork" when you can manage to "interview" the related matching resources without e-mail directly to him.

(In the "interview" window you have on the left side a very useful step-by-step list to conduct the interview, I really liked it).

I am waiting two replies.

I tried to match only 10 out of 100 proposed match by my initial research. I have to say that, basically, all the people who do Web developing and VB programming have matched my request.

Is really curious how their algorithm for matching treats the skills entered by user: in fact they are free text box and not combo box with pre-selected keywords. Anyway, it seems to work."

Also an excerpt from the messages received:

This is the message you receive when someone accept your request to match.

----- Original Message -----
From: []
Sent: lunedì 13 marzo 2000 21.59
To: nospam #
Subject: Match Accepted - Update Messenger

Match Accepted

Good news from eWork Exchange! The independent professional you contacted, Dinis Cruz, has accepted your offer to match.

Here's what you need to do next:

1. Verify. Return to eWork Exchange and confirm the match - click the link below. Be sure this is a good project fit before confirming; you will be able to review the profile in My eWork.

2. Confirm. When you are certain you want to work with this person, click the "Confirm" button. Again, if it's not a good fit, click "Decline".

3. Match Completed. If you've confirmed the match, a match confirmation notice will be emailed to both parties.

4. Get to Work!

Click here to complete the matching process!

Thanks for using eWork Exchange at
If you have any questions please e-mail us at

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posted by Robin Good on Monday, June 5 2000, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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