Tim's Blog

Twogateways.com... and how to abuse it
I've always liked an idea of a website for freelancers being set up in Malaysia. Many many many people have spoken about it at various forums over the years, but no one has made it successful because of marketing problems.

There just wasn't enough money or credibility to get businesses to post on them.

In comes Twogateways.com with dollops of both. It's run by Ricky Lee, formerly the CEO of Iberhad. And it aims to bring both Malaysian freelancers and businesses together for mutual benefits.

It has a .net backend, which didn't make a good first impression on me since .net isn't cross-browser compliant and I use Mozilla. But the website is still work in progress. Links from the About pages go to the wrong pages. The search engines don't work. I created a test account for Agonus and searching for that came up empty. And the website is still reletively new so the project database needs filling up.

It's free for businesses with jobs (called Service Buyers), which is great for them. It's like Ladies Night every night for them. Unfortunately this allows (and in an inethical Malaysian environment) practically encourages businesses to string freelancers along. The rating system helps to a certain extent. I tried to get more information on this, but their About Section on the ratings system goes mis-directly to their About Payment page.

It's also great for freelancers who aren't certain of how to price their services by starting bidding wars on Twogateways to see how much people would charge for a job. But it's still work in progress and the job posting engine is down, but I intend to use it very extensively for this purpose in the future.

It is however not free for freelancers. You can post jobs for free as businesses. But you're pretty much hampered if you don't fork out the RM195 to Twogateways for a more prominent and elaborate listing. Without that you can kiss any chance of you getting a job. No one is going to want to give a job to someone they know nothing about. Although it's not linked to any part of the website currently, I had a sneak peak at plans from the marketing director of Twogateways that they're planning to charge freelancers RM995 for the privilege of getting "verified" by them and therefore get a prominent posting

And that's the problem I find with Twogateways. It's more geared toward businesses and moneyed freelancers. The marketing director told me "if you are a freelancer, and you are not earning more than 4k a month, then it's best you don't be a freelancer." Tough talk for someone who isn't a freelancer. Kind of like saying: If you're just a casual freelancers, please don't waste Twogateways' time. You can't pay us. We don't want you. Although please feel free to fill up our database and make us look useful.

You'd have to basically get a few people together to post as a group to get jobs. It's a good idea for small enterprises to do that. Actually it makes more sense for small businesses rather than individuals to post on Twogateways anyway. Job providers would prefer doing business with other businesses anyway and if you're a lean mean and hungry enterprise, you can meet their job price too. It beats the hell out of the individual freelancers so that after a while they give up and go away.

Great! More jobs for me! Kick the damned casual freelancers!

(But wait, do I really want to spend so much time on a website where any Tom Dick and Harry can post jobs just for the hell of it? What a fucking waste of time!)

So here's what you do: don't pay Twogateways a single cent.

Troll the projects database and look for the company name then call directory help at 103 and get the phone number and call the company directly. Cut out all your competitors. Let those who paid the RM995 grind their teeth. Why not? They were fools to have paid Twogateways anyway.

Yeah, yeah, it's abusing the system, but talking to the marketing director of Twogateways, he revealed that Twogateways is so solvent that it can run for three years on zero income.

So feel free to abuse the system for the next three years.

posted at 03:16:16 PM on 09/16/2003 by timyang - Category: General


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