iPhone Users Make Money From Gigs

July 25, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. out and about (idiom) [out] [and; unstressed uhnd] [uh-bout] – regularly going out of the house to work or do something else outside
Example: As news reporter, Ana is always out and about for the latest news and updates.  

2. gig (n.) [gig] – booking or engagement to do or perform something usually for a fee
Example: The manager gave some extra gigs to his employees for extra income. 

3. background check (n.) [bak-ground] [chek] – gathering and collecting important personal records of an individual  (e.g. criminal, commercial and financial records)
Example: Banks grant loan applications to individuals after making a background check.

4. outsource (v.) [out-sawrs, ‐sohrs] – the process wherein one company hires the services of another company to perform tasks for it
Example: Big companies in the Middle East usually outsource majority of their workforce.

5. GPS (n., acronym) [jee] [pee] [es] – Global Positioning Service
Example: Tourists can easily track locations by using GPS.

Read the text below.

A new company in California called Gigwalk lets people earn money when they are out and about.

The company employs iPhone users, called “Gigwalkers”, who get paid by doing some gigs while on their way to work. These gigs may include trying out a new iPhone application, taking a picture of a menu for an online restaurant guide, or visiting a wireless store for a mobile phone company.  As of this time, there are already thousands of gigwalkers in several cities in the United States.

Co-founder and CEO of Gigwalk Ariel Seidman developed the company’s software with former co-workers Matt Crampton and David Watanabe, both of whom used to work with him in Yahoo. According to Seidman, many companies spend much time and money gathering information from distant areas. He said that it is practical to make use of the services of iPhone users who are already in those locations.

iPhone users become part of Gigwalk when they download a certain application, register with the company and pass a background check. Gigwalk then uses iPhone users’ GPS locations and home addresses to give out gigs that are near their locations. Gigwalkers only have a limited time to finish a task once accepted. If they succeed, they will receive payment through PayPal.

Gigs come from clients who specify the tasks they would like to outsource. MenuPages, an online restaurant guide, pays Gigwalk to get updated information from different restaurants across the city. According to Tom Bohan, a director of MenuPages, Gigwalk finishes tasks much faster than workers they temporarily hire.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What are the usual part-time jobs that people have?
·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of having part-time work? How about full-time work?

Discussion B

·         What tasks do you think can be outsourced by companies?
·         What are the advantages of outsourcing tasks?

July 25, 2011