Innovation That Matters

Job marketplace for quick online tasks

Work & Lifestyle

There are countless employment sites out there that help companies fill full- and part-time jobs. Not included in most, however, are all the extra little tasks businesses often need to get done, but that aren’t enough to justify hiring another regular employee. Targeting those small—yet important—jobs comes ShortTask, which aims to connect qualified workers with companies in need of such short-term help. Now in beta, ShortTask is essentially a community that focuses on connecting what it calls “seekers”—companies or individuals who need various tasks accomplished without hiring in-house staff—and “solvers,” or workers who can complete those tasks virtually from home. Seekers begin by listing the tasks they need done, such as transcribing audio or video recordings, identifying objects in a photograph or creating written content. They also create an escrow account for payment and indicate for each task how much they’re willing to pay, along with its deadline. Solvers then visit the site and choose the tasks they’d like to complete. Once the work is done and the seeker approves it, they get paid in US dollars via PayPal from the seeker’s account; ShortTask, meanwhile, takes a commission of 10 percent. There are currently more than 50,000 tasks listed on the site, including finding articles and commenting on (price: USD 1), for example, or asking questions on a forum (paying USD 0.15). Solvers from around the world are allowed to find jobs through the site. Similar to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, California-based ShortTask gives companies a more flexible way to get work done and allows consumers to earn some extra money during tough times. One to emulate on a localized or niche basis? (Related: Matching students with odd jobsBidding system for domestic outsourcing.) Spotted by: Jonathan Kyle



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