Gigwalk’s odd-job database gets boost from Microsoft’s coffers

Jul 25, 2011
Tech

Gigwalk offers users on iPhone and iPod Touch a chance to make some extra pocket money by performing random tasks for local businesses in their area. When the service launched in May, it was a novel idea, but available work wasn’t always plentiful, leaving some users frustrated with the experience. Right now, Gigwalk’s landscape is […]

Gigwalk offers users on iPhone and iPod Touch a chance to make some extra pocket money by performing random tasks for local businesses in their area. When the service launched in May, it was a novel idea, but available work wasn’t always plentiful, leaving some users frustrated with the experience.

Right now, Gigwalk’s landscape is dotted with jobs, thanks to Microsoft’s Bing. The company has turned to Gigwalk’s workforce — at least those with iPhone 4 — to crowdsource images of local businesses using the panoramic Photosynth app. Completed gigs will be used for Bing’s search engine, and there is money to be made here — Chicago boasts more than 10,000 gigs, many of them paying.

To get started with Gigwalk you’ll need to provide some information, like your name and email, and this is one form I’d suggest being truthful with — you want to get paid right? After creating your account, you’ll need to pick up a practice gig or two to earn street cred. Although it’d be nice to start earning immediately, I understand the need for some sort of training, and the Microsoft gigs are exacting in specification, so this exercise will benefit you in the long run.

Once you’ve earned enough street cred (near me, it was the equivalent of one practice gig, and there were many to choose from), you’ll be able to unlock actual paying gigs. The Microsoft gigs pay $4 to $4.25 in the areas of Chicago I viewed, and were plentiful, numbering more than 100 (including the practice gigs) in my neighborhood alone.

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When you’re ready to take on a gig, you’ll need to install the Photosynth app, which I raved about last month. Bing is exacting in its standards for 360-degree panoramas, so you’ll want to be sure you’re familiar with the tech before taking on work. You’ll need to take five images at each business, but Gigwalk provides detailed information on what angles to take and what you need to do to have your gig accepted. If your gig is approved, you’ll be paid via PayPal within seven days.

Gigwalk also offers a built-in worker forum for discussing problems, asking questions or sharing tips, so new users can get advice from Gigwalk pros. My one issue with the app is that GPS pings remains perpetually on unless you disable the app in location services in the settings panel. This battery suck needs fixing immediately.

Gigwalk is active in the Los Angeles metro area, New York City, San Francisco Bay area, Philadelphia, South Florida, Boston, Seattle and Chicago and its suburbs.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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