The On-Demand Diaries: Micro-tasking and the Future of Work

For those unfamiliar with it, Microtasking could be the future of work. As well as digitised tasks that can literally be minutes long (see Amazon Mechanical Turk) companies like TaskRabbit unbundle what might have previously been temporary jobs and allow those who would not or could not hire a full time assistant to occasionally hire people to perform assistant like tasks. This is how TaskRabbit works:

Doesn’t it look nice? Well, no, not really. The chronopolitics of it are extremely interesting (i.e. using wealth to free up your time by hiring those who need to sell theirs) and the potential long term trajectory is extremely worrying: see Zero Hours for an example of where this might lead. If you’re interested in finding out more, the Matter online magazine are running a series of reflections called the on-demand diaries. Here are links to the first two and there are apparently more to come:

My Life As An E-Lance

I Was A TaskRabbit Butler

Categories: Digital Sociology, Rethinking The World

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