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The Gig Economy

 

Pixel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In The Gig Economy: Sarah Kessler really takes the wind out of the “monetize your passion in your free time” marketing of errand and odd-job marketplaces like TaskRabbit:

I spend the biggest chunk of my time, about two hours, labeling photo slideshows at a nickel each. Each of them has five photos, and each photo has 11 pages of labels to use on it. That means that it takes at least 55 clicks to earn $0.05. There are slideshows of cats on couches. Cats on beds. Dogs on beds. Cats in sinks. Dogs with cakes. Cats with cakes. Cats with pizza. Cats with windows. Dogs in car mirrors. Dogs with bananas.

No surprise, it takes an awful lot of small gigs to even begin to get by (she has one or two good days in four weeks of hustling), but Kessler’s story shows just how seriously atypical the social media success stories are.