Elance and Outsourcing Your Life

Elance (elance.com) is a web service that hooks you up with freelancers for writing, programming, etc.

I've been reading The 4-Hour Work Week (Ferriss, 2007) and it has a great suggestion about "outsourcing your life."

I used Elance for the first time recently and it was great.

I got my Ph.D. at Georgia Tech. I had webpages there (a lot of webpages). The problem is after a year of being there they freeze your account. This means you can't change the webpages anymore. This is a problem, because webpages can become outdated and surfers need to know there's a better version out there. I didn't want to delete them either, because the pages are still on the web, just not on tech's servers anymore.

I've asked every year (since 2004) to give me an extension, with the intention of replacing all of my webpages there with links to where I now keep them (http://www.jimdavies.org/). I don't like doing this kind of programming and I have been procrastinating it for three and a half years!

I started working on it in the fall of 2007 and it was annoying and I stopped because I had classes to teach, students to supervise, etc. I read about Elance and put up a post describing what I needed.

You describe the product you want and people bid on it. You choose a bidder and they do the work for you, and you pay them. The minimum is US$50. I found someone, they wrote the script for me in perl!

It changed all of my .html pages on the Tech server to point to the new companion page at jimdavies.org (it has the same directory structure). You can look at

to see the results.

Pictured is a pizza, an example of a food I adore.


Ferriss, T. (2007) The 4-Hour Work Week. Crown publishers.


Vanessa said…
Brilliant! Glad it worked for you :)
Ashley said…
I have a similar story, but I used oDesk (www.oDesk.com) rather than eLance because I had a strict budget. With oDesk, you can post hourly jobs, which I feel make it easier to stay within a budget. (Not to mention there are all sorts of productivity tools so you can check up on your programmers if you like; I usually trust them after a few days).
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