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Author Topic: Could we get an economy of freelancers doing mini- or microtasks going?  (Read 2417 times)
Vitalik Buterin
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May 28, 2011, 09:41:37 PM
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Is there any demand for small tasks, like designing logos, writing simple webpage code, writing tutorials, etc. that could be contracted out to freelancers for bitcoins? I know of this site: https://workforbitcoin.com/forum.php?id=1 , but it doesn't seem to be getting too much activity. If something like this could get bigger, I think it would help the bitcoin economy grow greatly since there would be an easy way for new people to get some coins and get started in the economy. Is there a possibility to get something like this working reliably, or is there just not enough demand for this sort of thing?

Argumentum ad lunam: the fallacy that because Bitcoin's price is rising really fast the currency must be a speculative bubble and/or Ponzi scheme.
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shackra
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May 28, 2011, 10:01:11 PM
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He's right, if you dont have a 3k usd$ in equipment for a mining rig you cant enter easily to the bitcoin economy :-/. Who we can fix this issues? :-|

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May 28, 2011, 10:38:52 PM
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I like the idea of being paid with bitcoins, but I would want it to be when the job's finished.

Say I accept to do something for 10 bitcoins, but the currency decreases in value, what happens then?

I don't think Bitcoin is stable enough to not list these offerings in USD.

Buy beer, snacks and candy with your bitcoins over at BelgianFlavours.com (http://www.belgianflavours.com)
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May 28, 2011, 10:46:35 PM
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He's right, if you dont have a 3k usd$ in equipment for a mining rig you cant enter easily to the bitcoin economy :-/. Who we can fix this issues? :-|

This is stupid. Mining is just one small part of the bitcoin economy. It's like saying if you don't mine gold or print dollars you can't participate in the gold or dollar economy.
Vitalik Buterin
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May 28, 2011, 11:05:28 PM
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I like the idea of being paid with bitcoins, but I would want it to be when the job's finished.

Say I accept to do something for 10 bitcoins, but the currency decreases in value, what happens then?

I don't think Bitcoin is stable enough to not list these offerings in USD.

I think having a Bitcoin employment economy would be the thing that stabilizes Bitcoin prices. Wages are sticky, so if people had the assurance that they could buy a certain amount of labor for 10 BTC in a few days, Bitcoin prices would have a natural limit to the suddenness of their growth.

Argumentum ad lunam: the fallacy that because Bitcoin's price is rising really fast the currency must be a speculative bubble and/or Ponzi scheme.
Stephen Gornick
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May 28, 2011, 11:11:20 PM
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There are a number of bitcoiners who have listed their services on the Freelancers category in the Bitcoin Wiki:
  - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:Freelancers

  Freelancers can also register on Bitcoiners:
  -  http://www.bitcoiners.org
     For example, freelancers who offer programming services: http://www.bitcoiners.org/jobs/programming

There are a few startups involved in matching up those who wish to do task work and those needing assistance.

One promising development is Zaarly:
  - http://www.zaarly.com

Another very interesting project is CoffeeAndPower.com, from the co-founder of Second Life:
  - http://beta.coffeeandpower.com
  They even have their own currency, C$, which can be used for transactions, purchased through the site with PayPal, redeemed to the site with payment redeemed via PayPal (less 15% fee), or traded person-to-person for bitcoins (yes, I've asked, they are fine with it.).

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May 29, 2011, 01:09:17 AM
 #7

I asked 2 BTC for tutorials on programming. Nobody takes it except one guy who successfully complete the task. I got another guy who promised to work on it but it will be a while.

I asked for people to write an article for me with payment of 1 BTC each. Often, they bailed out before I even get the chance to pay them. To date, I only have two-long term with two freelancers, one of which I turned into a staff writer.

I am one of the most reliable employer in the land but even I have a hard tough time finding people who is willing to work for me.

Perhaps the wages is too low for the market to bear.

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May 29, 2011, 01:21:42 AM
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I asked 2 BTC for tutorials on programming. Nobody takes it except one guy who successfully complete the task. I got another guy who promised to work on it but it will be a while.

I asked for people to write an article for me with payment of 1 BTC each. Often, they bailed out before I even get the chance to pay them. To date, I only have two-long term with two freelancers, one of which I turned into a staff writer.

I am one of the most reliable employer in the land but even I have a hard tough time finding people who is willing to work for me.

Perhaps the wages is too low for the market to bear.

Since you mentioned it, I thought these rates (1BTC for an article?) were much too low for me to consider the offer. I honestly didn't think you were serious.

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kiba
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May 29, 2011, 01:27:09 AM
 #9

Since you mentioned it, I thought these rates (1BTC for an article?) were much too low for me to consider the offer. I honestly didn't think you were serious.

My operation is very capital constrained and it will remain that way for the foreseeable feature.

Bitcoin Weekly is a shoe-string one man show.

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May 29, 2011, 04:12:40 AM
 #10

He's right, if you dont have a 3k usd$ in equipment for a mining rig you cant enter easily to the bitcoin economy :-/. Who we can fix this issues? :-|

This is stupid. Mining is just one small part of the bitcoin economy. It's like saying if you don't mine gold or print dollars you can't participate in the gold or dollar economy.

it's does not :-|
i mean, if i give my service of graphic design, as many others for example, there will be sufficient market, i mean, there's people with BTC how needs a graphic desing and will pay with BTC?

anyway, i drop the question in the air... the next thing is test my theory, in few months i'll mount my own business like freelancer, accepting only my national currency and Bitcoins.

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kiba
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May 29, 2011, 04:19:39 AM
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it's does not :-|
i mean, if i give my service of graphic design, as many others for example, there will be sufficient market, i mean, there's people with BTC how needs a graphic desing and will pay with BTC?

anyway, i drop the question in the air... the next thing is test my theory, in few months i'll mount my own business like freelancer, accepting only my national currency and Bitcoins.

You could work for me. I think an infographic would be a useful addition to my magazine.

BitterTea
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May 29, 2011, 04:39:28 AM
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it's does not :-|
i mean, if i give my service of graphic design, as many others for example, there will be sufficient market, i mean, there's people with BTC how needs a graphic desing and will pay with BTC?

anyway, i drop the question in the air... the next thing is test my theory, in few months i'll mount my own business like freelancer, accepting only my national currency and Bitcoins.

I plan on doing the same. I believe there are many people who will gladly pay for goods or services in BTC, especially if they cannot easily get them elsewhere with other currencies. There's always the effect of Gresham's law, that people will spend "bad" money (fiat) and save "good" money (Bitcoin, gold), but I think especially in this small economy, people are willing to stimulate it by spending what they don't necessarily need to save.
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May 29, 2011, 04:45:36 AM
 #13

Thought I'd pitch in here, I recently put up a site that does exactly what you're talking about (kind of an e-lance for bitcoin).  I've been getting a steady stream of user signups but there are no projects listed yet.  It went up yesterday, it's www.btcworker.com if anyone would care to check it out.  Also, really open to any feedback from the community as I think it could be a great way for a lot of people to make a living and earn bitcoin from non-mining related activity.  Also announced it in the projects section in its own post.
Vitalik Buterin
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May 29, 2011, 09:19:35 AM
 #14

Since you mentioned it, I thought these rates (1BTC for an article?) were much too low for me to consider the offer. I honestly didn't think you were serious.

Way back in March, the rate was 5 BTC per article, or $3.7 USD, and people were writing articles. Now, it's 1 BTC per article, or $8.1 USD, and people aren't writing nearly as much. Is this psychological?

Argumentum ad lunam: the fallacy that because Bitcoin's price is rising really fast the currency must be a speculative bubble and/or Ponzi scheme.
kiba
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May 29, 2011, 10:52:01 AM
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Way back in March, the rate was 5 BTC per article, or $3.7 USD, and people were writing articles. Now, it's 1 BTC per article, or $8.1 USD, and people aren't writing nearly as much. Is this psychological?

Are you sure that's true? We need statistics to find out.

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May 29, 2011, 06:11:10 PM
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Since you mentioned it, I thought these rates (1BTC for an article?) were much too low for me to consider the offer. I honestly didn't think you were serious.

Way back in March, the rate was 5 BTC per article, or $3.7 USD, and people were writing articles. Now, it's 1 BTC per article, or $8.1 USD, and people aren't writing nearly as much. Is this psychological?

I'm aware that the rate (converted to USD) is rising. I still think the offer is much too low to seriously consider.

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kiba
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May 29, 2011, 06:18:27 PM
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I'm aware that the rate (converted to USD) is rising. I still think the offer is much too low to seriously consider.

What else would you use your time for? In other words, what is your opportunity cost?

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May 29, 2011, 06:50:06 PM
 #18

Great idea, I have a project in the works that will address this problem and hopefully create a valuable service based economy for bitcoin.

Brad Mills
Former miner - Former Bitcoin Business Owner - Victim of the Great Bitcoin Crashes of 2011 and 2012
Vitalik Buterin
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May 30, 2011, 09:24:23 AM
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What else would you use your time for? In other words, what is your opportunity cost?

This is interesting - there are obviously a substantial number of people for whom the opportunity cost is zero - people who see writing as a preferred way to spend some of their free time, which is why we have forums and blogs. Bitcoin Weekly is essentially a blog where you get a thousand readers, or whatever the number is, for free. I'm becoming more and more convinced that it's psychological - maybe the draft and review process makes it feel too much like doing homework for school, maybe it's the Tom Sawyer effect - http://www.pbs.org/marktwain/learnmore/writings_tom.html (if you get compensated it feels like a job so all you think about is the work and the compensation). This is why finding regular writers is even more difficult - if you're a regular writer, writing an article stops being a way to fill up free time and starts itself becoming a responsibility.

That last idea is why I like the idea of a mini-task freelance store in general so much - it's a one time thing you do to get some cash, no strings attached. I think that there are plenty of people willing to work for coin, we just need more employers. Research, analysis and sociopolitics are not everyone's hobby - some people might like drawing, others programming, we just need to find people willing to pay for what people are willing and capable of doing.

Argumentum ad lunam: the fallacy that because Bitcoin's price is rising really fast the currency must be a speculative bubble and/or Ponzi scheme.
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July 05, 2011, 07:00:37 PM
 #20

I'm an unemployed trained computer technician, I need work very much, and I'd love to earn bitcoins instead of USD.  I still have debts and bills to pay in USD though, which sucks. Sad  I'm trying to find a job the usual way, applying, sending my resume, etc.  But nothing has panned out yet.  I can do data entry, clerical stuff, phones, etc.  But, despite my expertise with computers, I simply can't wrap my brain around programming in C, C++, C#, Java, Javascript, Perl, and Ruby.  Not even Ruby on Rails.  It all baffles me too much.  I would love to write articles for bitcoins, but what do I write about?  I write a lot, and I get a lot of great feedback.  But, I have ADD, and I can only write what happens to be on my mind at the time, I can't focus enough to decide what to write about.

For instance, I'm trying to think of a topic right now to write an article about on wikinut.com, but it just won't come to me.  I'm drawing a blank.

If anyone wants help on a mini-task of some kind, I want to help.  Something I know how to do, not something that would be impossible for me.  I can't do everything you guys can do, I'm no developer or web designer.  I can find and report bugs in programs and websites, and even figure out fixes for them, I've done that many times, but, like I said, I can't program, so I can't debug code.  I can debug HTML, but that's just simple markup language, not programming, Huge difference.
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