Online: the ‘sharing economy’

Original post by NICK CHURCHOUSE via stuff

Elyssa Pallai founded micro-tasking website Pocket.Jobs to match talent to need, skill to shortage, pet feeder to pet feeder needer.

She describes Pocket.Jobs as ”a connection marketplace” linking people to people online, facilitating the delivery of a needed service or talent in the real world within existing communities.

People with a need for curtains can find someone nearby who can sew curtains, for example.  Ditto dogwalking, lawnmowing, housesitting, fence painting and so on.

Outsourcing talent and resources is a common way people are using the web, and provides great avenues for business models delivering platforms for this behaviour tailored to specific communities of users.

Dubbed the ‘sharing economy’ it is home to some of the fastest growth and most hyped web-start-up companies.

Elance, based near San Jose, is an online site that allows companies and individuals to hire and pay independent professionals and contractors online and in the cloud.

The site boasted 80,000 new employers and $43-million in contractor earnings in the first quarter of 2012. And the number of people hiring on Elance grew by 120 per cent in 2011.

Another successful site is AirBnB which advertises people’s spare rooms for rent. There are countless others making huge revenues, as well as those looking to earn.