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A work-from-home side gig: Getting paid for your opinions

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You’ve heard the expression “a penny for your thoughts”? Dozens of companies would like you to take the expression literally. They’ll pay for opinions. A number of them will pay considerably more than a penny.

Most of the companies willing to pay for opinions are market research firms that help big companies package their products or make their websites more user-friendly. However, a few work with lawyers, who need to know how a case will be received by jurors. Conveniently, in these days of COVID-19, many pay-for-opinion jobs are done from home on a computer or phone.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the better ways to get paid for opinions. But don’t expect this to replace your full-time job. The well-paid options are sporadic, at best. Poorly paid options are abundant — worth your time only if you’ve got nothing else to do.

That said, if you can’t face another dog-walk or binge-watch while you wait to hear about returning to work, these sites are diverting and, occasionally, lucrative.

Mock jurors

Being a mock juror is a bit like being a real juror, only there’s less waiting around in court hallways and considerably better pay. Generally speaking, you read — or watch — a case online from the comfort of your own home. Cases typically take 20 minutes to an hour.

The lawyer’s goal is to get feedback about how you’d rule and why. If you’d rule against the attorney’s client, is that because you didn’t get enough information in one pivotal area? Did you find one witness’ testimony more believable than another’s? Your opinions help lawyers strategize before they get in front of a real jury when the client’s life or livelihood is on the line.

Mock juror sites pay either by the case or by the hour. Online Verdict, for example, estimates that the cases it sends to mock jurors typically require 20 minutes to an hour to review, and pay between $20 and $60. Jury Test pays $5 to $50 per case. EJury pays $5 to $10 per case. SignUp Direct pays $12 per hour.

To qualify for any of these opportunities, you need to be at least 18 and can’t be an attorney or a felon.

Videos and photos

A company called Product Tube will pay you $5 to $35 for making short — two- to four-minute — videos about your shopping habits. Let’s say the site is looking for detailed information about how you buy dishwashing detergents, for instance. On your next shopping trip, it may ask you to film your walk down the detergent aisle, vocally describing the detergents you see and what makes you choose one over another.

The main catch with Product Tube is that it expects you to shop at specific stores. If the stores are not on your regular shopping loop — or are outside your geographic area — the app doesn’t pay enough to make going out of your way worthwhile. If, however, this is something you’d be doing anyway, it’s an easy way to pick up a few bucks.

Added bonus for those short on cash: Product Tube pays within 24 hours of completing an assignment.

Another option for those interested in video reviews is User Testing. This site wants you to review corporate websites online, while the site records your interaction. You spend 15 to 20 minutes looking for particular features as instructed by the site and talking aloud about whether the feature is easy to find, attractive, etc. The site pays $10 in Amazon gift cards for each review.

Similarly, a company called Ivueit pays freelancers to take photographs and answer a short survey about the state of construction, repairs or maintenance of a commercial building. “Vues” pay between $5 and $32, depending on the number of photos required and the location.

WeGoLook, meanwhile, will pay you to take photos of automobiles and accident scenes for insurance companies. The downside is that the paperwork is far more onerous with WeGoLook than with the others. As with the other options here, the pay isn’t enough to go significantly out of your way for a “look.” But if you happen to find one in your neighborhood, it could be worthwhile.

Online surveys

There are dozens of online survey companies that will pay you to answer surveys or view advertisements or videos on your phone. Most of these pay pennies per survey. A SideHusl reviewer estimates that the pay per hour works out to about $3 to $4. Mostly, too, the pay is doled out in the form of gift cards rather than cash.

On the other hand, these surveys do not require your full attention. You can do them while watching sports, waiting for a bus or sitting in an airport. In other words, they’re not worth doing for the pay but may be worth doing for the diversion. Some of the more diverting survey sites include Swagbucks and Survey Junkie.

Focus groups

The pay-for-opinion jobs that usually require in-person attendance are focus groups. Focus groups typically enlist a dozen or so people who are willing to dive deep into consumer experience issues. For instance, where do you expect to have cup holders in an SUV and how important are they? What car features influence your buying decision, and just how much influence might those specific issues have?

Normally, the groups meet in an office or conference room, and discussions are led by a member of the marketing team. Getting selected for a focus group is relatively rare — and more so in the coronavirus era. However, when you are enlisted for these meetings, you’re typically well compensated, with pay ranging from $75 to $150 for meetings that could last just a few hours.

If you’re interested, you can sign up with FindFocusGroups, Consumer Opinion Services, Shifrin-Hayworth and FieldWork to be matched with appropriate researchers.

Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.



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State Urges Man To Apply For Gig Worker Unemployment After Penalty Weeks Hold Up His Benefits For Months – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A possible solution has emerged for an unemployment benefits problem we have been reporting on for months.

A man still serving unemployment penalty weeks said he got a call that could mean he will be getting money from the state soon. The call came days after CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov’s reporting.

Two business days after Ken Scott’s story aired, he heard from an Illinois Department of Employment Security employee telling him to apply not for regular unemployment benefits, but for benefits earmarked for independent contractors and business owners.

But an independent contractor he is not.

“Makes no sense to me,” Scott said. “I just got the call right out of the blue.”

It’s a call that could put thousands of dollars into Scott’s pockets and help him pay his bills. But it has left him confused too – the call was from an IDES employee telling Scott to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, and he would get benefits dating back to March 1.

But Scott is still serving out 24 unemployment penalty weeks for a $143 overpayment two years ago.

So how is that possible?

“He said that the penalties have to keep going, but this is a way to alleviate some of the pressure,” Scott said.

The financial pressure of the result of months of Scott having no income because of those so-called penalty weeks. But PUA benefits are meant for independent contractors and so-called gig workers, of which Ken Scott is neither.

“I did ask him – is this something handed down for people going through this with penalties?” Scott said, “I never got an answer.”

Scott’s call came four days after we first introduced viewers to him and his personal struggle. That same week, state Sen. Celina Villanueva (D-Summit) sent Gov. JB Pritzker a letter asking for an immediate revision to the penalty week law during the pandemic to help thousands of people like Scott.

Villanueva said she knows the governor got her letter, but has heard nothing else. And Scott’s potential good news is still peppered with frustration.

“When I tried to put in going back to March 1 like he instructed, it kicked me out,” Scott said.

Scott will now have to deal with the IDES callback system, and some have had to wait weeks or more than a month to get a call back.

 

Kozlov sent IDES spokeswoman Rebecca Cisco two emails Tuesday asking if this change to apply for PUA benefits is just for Scott, or if they are making a change to the penalty week law statewide.

As to Villanueva’s letter to Pritzker, Kozlov reached out to the Governor’s office last week and again on Tuesday to get Pritzker’s reaction to the senator’s letter and ask if he was considering making changes. There had been no response as of early Tuesday evening.

There is a new acting IDES director, and it is possible she is making some changes, But until we get answers from those who are supposed to provide them, we won’t know for sure.

Several other states reportedly have issues with penalty weeks holding up benefits. New York and California have changed their laws, but so far as we know, Illinois won’t budge.

CBS 2 is committing to Working For Chicago, connecting you every day with the information you or a loved one might need about the jobs market, and helping you remove roadblocks to getting back to work.

We’ll keep uncovering information every day to help this community get back to work, until the job crisis passes. CBS 2 has several helpful items right here on our website, including a look at specific companies that are hiring, and information from the state about the best way to get through to file for unemployment benefits in the meantime.

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Can Patreon and Twitch Drive the New Gig Economy? – OZY

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WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

The pandemic is giving rise to a freelance model driven by platforms geared toward remote working and for a generation that’s digital first.

  • Amid the unemployment crisis, platforms that enable self-employed workers to charge subscriptions for their content are having a surge in sign-ups.
  • From journalists to bookkeepers, IT engineers to porn actors, these platforms could be the future of the gig economy.

In an episode of the Netflix original series Love, Bertie Bauer, played by Claudia O’Doherty signs up for Tinder after a rocky breakup. She asks her roommate Mickey Dobbs (Gillian Jacobs): “What does it mean when someone says they’re a project manager?” Mickey responds: “They’re unemployed.”

While pop culture has often equated self-employment with unemployment, freelance work is a reality for a growing number of Americans. A 2017 survey by Edelman Intelligence concluded that a majority of Americans — especially those living in urban areas — would be freelancers by 2027. Now the coronavirus pandemic is giving rise to a freelance model driven by a set of platforms geared for remote working and for a generation that’s digital first.

Patreon is a subscription-based platform popular among creators, from musicians to printmakers, who want to sell and distribute their work. In just the first three weeks of the pandemic, as job losses battered America’s workforce, it added 30,000 sign-ups.

Substack, a platform that allows writers to build and distribute customized subscription-based newsletters, saw a 49 percent increase in sign-ups in March, as newsrooms across the country laid off journalists. Well-known writers, including former The New Republic climate science writer Emily Atkin, ThinkProgress founder Judd Legum and Matt Taibbi, a former Rolling Stone contributor, have turned to the platform. Some writers on Substack make six figures — the average salary for a staff reporter in the U.S. is $46,270, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If the pandemic continues there is a high probability that more and more people will use these platforms in full-time capacities.

Chris Stanton, Harvard Business School

Upwork, which connects employers with gig workers for tasks ranging from a six-month UX design project to a weeklong bookkeeping stint, boasted a 19 percent growth in revenue in the second quarter and 21 percent in the first quarter. 

“Freelancing takes a lot of hustle. There is a freedom that comes with it as well,” says Carol Wolper, author of Adapt or Wait Tables: A Freelancer’s Guide. “People must adapt to this moment.… In the freelance world, to be successful you’ve always had to bring something to the table that no one else can.”

The reality of course is far from idyllic, especially for the millions of workers who don’t have a choice but to seek freelance work. In the past six months, companies ranging from Uber to NBCUniversal to Boeing have laid off employees, as industry after industry has been decimated. The United States is in the middle of its largest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Week-over-week, unemployment numbers continue to rise as furloughs turn into layoffs and then the cycle repeats itself. “The idea that there will be a V-shaped recovery is looking less and less plausible,” says Chris Stanton, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Until now, the platforms seeing monumental growth in sign-ups for self-employed gigs have often been used for supplemental income, he explains. The current crisis could change that. “If the pandemic continues there is a high probability that more and more people will use these platforms in full-time capacities,” Stanton says. 

That’s why platforms like Twitch are also on the rise. The world’s largest livestreaming platform has historically been home to gamers. That has expanded across several industries, with everything from yoga classes to cooking shows filmed at temporarily shuttered restaurants. Sponsored content on Twitch grew 89 percent in the first two months of the pandemic.

Twitch has partnered with Bandsintown, a platform that connects musicians, fans and brands, to help elevate emerging artists at a time when performances in bars and clubs are not an option. OnlyFans, a London-based content subscription platform used principally for pornographic content, has seen a 75 percent month-over-month increase in users since the start of the pandemic, offering a lifeline to an industry brought to a halt because of social distancing norms.

In some ways, this explosion of growth is in keeping with a shift toward freelancing that’s been evident for a few years, says Trevor Blake, author of Secrets to a Successful Startup: A Recession-Proof Guide to Starting, Surviving & Thriving in Your Own Venture. “But the pandemic [has] clearly accelerated the process.” He expects to see more independent contractors performing roles ranging from HR to IT for businesses. How all of this shapes the future of the American workforce remains an open question. But as the economy shifts toward freelance work driven by these 21st-century platforms, the stigmatization of self-employed workers could soon be a thing of the past.



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Gig Based Business Market Overview Along With Company Profiles Product Data- TaskRabbit Guru Rover HopSkipDrive Freelancer Fiverr Favor Delivery Upwork DoorDash BellHops Turo,,,,, etc

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The report titled “Gig Based Business Market: Size, Trends and Forecasts (2020-2027)”, delivers an in-depth analysis of the Gig Based Business Industry by considering there type, application, market value, by production capacity, by companies, by region, etc.

The report assesses the key opportunities in the market and outlines the factors that are and will be driving the growth of the Gig Based Business industry. Growth of the overall Gig Based Business market has also been forecasted for the period 2020-2027, taking into consideration the previous growth patterns, the growth drivers and the current and future trends.

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The major players profiled in this report include: TaskRabbit Guru Rover HopSkipDrive Freelancer Fiverr Favor Delivery Upwork DoorDash BellHops Turo

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