Rachel Christenson posted a few weeks ago at online marketplace TaskRabbit Inc. Neither she nor her husband wanted the "gross" job of dealing with an overflowing compost bin, so she clicked her mouse in search of someone who would do her dirty work. After about 11 hours and a few crazy questions like, "Are your worms nice?" Ms. Christenson, 27 years old, found a taker. Douglas Ivey, a 45-year-old research scientist, drained the "worm juice" from the bin, put back the compost, mixed in newspaper and hosed it all down. The price? $31...More at the Wall Street Journal. Amazon Mechanical Turk sounds interesting; anyone with experience re the site?
Thousands of unemployed or underemployed workers have parlayed one-off job requests into part- or full-time work. The gigs are especially popular with stay-at-home moms, retirees and students. Workers choose their jobs and negotiate their own rates...
After submitting an online application, completing a video interview and going through a Social Security number trace and a federal criminal background check, Ms. Greenham joined the San Francisco-based company's crew of about 2,000 "TaskRabbits." She does odd jobs via the service every day, aiming to clear at least $25 an hour. So far, she's completed about 250 jobs and has racked up around $1,500 a month...
Amazon Mechanical Turk, a service of Amazon.com Inc., lets people work from home, like virtual temps. Companies such as Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn Corp. place jobs on the service, often to help them manage or categorize content, says Sharon Chiarella, vice president of Amazon Mechanical Turk. About a year ago, Chris Berry, a special-education teacher in Granite Bay, Calif., began actively using the service, launched in 2005, in hopes of making extra money to support his wife and four children. Mr. Berry, 39, earned more than $10,000 from tasks that paid as little as 10 cents a pop. He says he sometimes completed more than 1,000 jobs a day, ranging from writing golfing tips to doling out parenting advice.
addendum: I just checked the Amazon Mechanical Turk site for "writing" tasks from home and found this request:
Rewrite a given sentence so that it is similar in meaning to the original sentence, yet substantially differently worded.That's not proofreading; it sounds more like a request to help someone steal intellectual content, disguise plagiarism, duplicate term papers etc. Lots of other dodgy requests on the list. But from some of the comments received on this post, there apparently are plenty of other better options to choose from.
Addendum: See the response by Lady Heather in the Comments below. She read this post, signed up, and is now generating about $20/day by working at home.