Working your way
It used to be the case that there were limited means to communicate online. Remember when MSN messenger, chat rooms and even IRC were more or less the only options to chat? Today communication options have absolutely exploded not only in the number available, but also in the depth of functionality. I won't list anything here as it will probably be out of date by the time I finish writing this blog post (apart from email, that that will probably be around for a good while yet)! It's now a time when people have unparalleled opportunity and options in the way they communicate with others and this is just as true in a work setting.
With this range of options comes preference, and people generally tend to stick to the set of tools they have over time come to regard as the best fit for their particular work situation. Unless there is a good reason not to, people usually end up using the same set of tools for many years as moving away from these usually means a drop in productivity and effectiveness. So we like what we like and it's great to have that choice. However, not everyone wants to give you that choice.
When using other services, because the business model revolves around taking your hard earned cash in the background as the project is actually worked on (resulting in you losing a great deal), these services have to find a way to force you to conduct your business entirely through them for everything from how you communicate, to tracking time worked, to invoicing. This of course means that you can't then follow your usual working pattern of using the tools and software you have come to favour, you are forced to use theirs instead, the functionality and versatility of which is likely to be severely lacking compared to what you are used to. You have to do this because if you don't conduct your work entirely through them and conduct business externally your account will be closed and you will be banned.
The reality here is that this creates a service that is increasingly flawed over time because the underlying business model is not flexible enough to allow external communication and work. It's totally focussed on maximising profit off each and every user as opposed to offering actual value to the customer. Forcing this way of working onto people doesn't add value to these other services, instead it restricts the established, productive working patterns people have become accustomed to with the end goal of forcing people to work entirely through them long term for all projects, thus increasing their profits.
The only reason people use services like Developer Connection and others is to connect with developers and clients that they otherwise probably would never find. And that's all that people want to be able to do. Do people want to throw away nearly 20% of their project budget because they have used a service to find someone? Of course not. And that's why at Developer Connection all we do is give you the ability to make that new connection, and you are free to work in your normal way using your normal tools, importantly at no cost to you.
The problem is that other services are built on the assumption that fundamentally people are untrustworthy. This is shown in the high level of monitoring they do of all of your communications to find any users who are attempting to break the rules. They also work from the position that a client is going to fundamentally distrust a developer and this is shown by their time tracking software taking random screenshots - which many developers find highly intrusive.
At Developer Connection we are the complete opposite and prefer to come from a fundamental stance of trust. We understand that using big brother monitoring tactics is not how you create trust in a working relationship, there are much better methods to create trust in a new working relationship. Part of coming from a stance of trust is allowing our users to continue to use the tools they like to chat, time track, ticket, invoice and everything else.