Welcome to this read-only archive of the Worknets wiki. Our content is in the Public Domain. We were active at this and previous wikis from November, 2004 to July, 2010. Please join us at the sites below where we are now active!Tweet
Andrius Kulikauskas Self Learners Network. Think Through Art with Andrius Kulikauskas. Directory of ways of figuring things out. Chicago Street Artist Blog. Video summary of knowledge of everything. Notes on Gamestorming. Living by Truth working group. Twitter: @selflearners Email: ms @ ms.lt
Edward Cherlin Earth Treasury
Kennedy Owino Nafsi Afrika Acrobats
Ben de Vries
Samwel Kongere Mendenyo
George Christian Jeyaraj
Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz
Christine Ax, Steve Bonzak, James Ferguson, Maria Agnese Giraudo, Marcin Jakubowski, Ed Jonas, Rick Nelson, Hannington Onyango, Linas Plankis, Proscoviour Vunyiwa
Andrius helped with the following websites:
Income From Small Computer Related Tasks
This page relates to an article I wrote on the internet, which I've copied here, about earning an income via the internet. The original article is here, and you may find the text-format easier to read than the worknets page...
There would be a website to link people in developing countries who need computer-work, with people in the wealthier cities who speak their language or with people overseas that they know. The website would act like an international job-center, but for single tasks taking a few hours or days, not permanent jobs. Please take a look on the internet for ideas of services that people and businesses already offer at a very high price, then do them cheaper.
This is just one form of KnowledgeWork (click for other forms).
See also: Ricardo (all my projects), and pages related to this one - KnowledgeWork (check out the table of sub-pages), MoreWaysToEarnExtraMoneyViaTheInternet, InternetAccessByMobilePhone, ICTTraining, ObtainingComputers, GetPaidToCreateEbooks (or just create eBooks for your own use, for many display-devices), TeleCenters, BluetoothPhoneIncluder, ThinClientComputers (including both Thin Client and Zero Client systems), ElectronicLibraries, Sneakernet
An idea for people in developing countries to earn money from their computers.
My name is ricardo, from England, and one of my interests is in how people in developing countries could benefit from computers and the internet.
I’ve been thinking about how people could obtain enough money for their first Computer, Text Editor, etc, and earn some extra money from it. For people in the poor rural areas, one possibility is to earn money by performing small jobs/tasks on the computer for people in the cities of the same country or people in Europe and North America. The customers would be people with a computer at home in their house.
A group of people in a developing country (and friends and colleagues) would set up an internet site for a type of micro outsourcing business, with a name like "Fair Trade Computer Tasks". The term 'outsourcing' is usually used when a company sends work, that is not its main business, to another company. People in developing countries could earn a few Euros/Dollars per task doing things that the customer can't do or doesn’t have time to do. The customer doesn't just give money to the worker, they are doing genuinely useful things.
Many people have a computer but only know how to use 4 or 5 programs, an internet browser, word processor, email, etc. Workers in developing countries could become experts in many other programs and jobs, such as photo or video editing programs, creating internet pages, complex search techniques, etc.
For example, workers could :-
Improve the appearance of digital photographs (sunnier, bluer sky, fix 'red eye', etc).
Repair the tears and scratches in old scanned photos using a photo-editor program.
Type the text of scanned documents that an Optical Character Recognition program cannot recognise (handwriting or old-fashioned type-face).
For a worker with access to the internet, they could search for 1 week for the seller with the lowest price for something that a customer wants to buy on the internet, for example, a TV set. The worker would get a percentage of the saving.
Website maintenance - The customer requests changes to a website, a volunteer with internet access downloads the site and sends it to the worker in Africa, they make changes, check that a local copy works correctly, then send it back for uploading and final checking by the volunteer.
1. Customers in the richer cities of Kenya, Europe, North America, etc. These might include Kenyans who have emigrated to Europe, North America, etc, and who want to help other Kenyans by giving them some paid work.
3. An internet site with a manager in Europe/North America. He or she would advertise services, get descriptions of the work plus files from customers, send completed work to the customers by email and collect payments by Paypal, Nochex, etc.
4. Someone in Kenya with an internet connection (at their house or internet-cafe). He or she would receive descriptions of tasks and customer's files from the internet site and return the files for the completed work. If there is no access to the internet, they could just send a USB-Flash-Drive (Memory Stick), memory card or Compact Disk via the postal service to or from the site manager in the city, Europe, North America, etc. They would also obtain money (in Euros/Dollars/etc) from the Paypal/Nochex account and transfer it to a local bank account. He or she would then convert it into cash. Any other method for transferring money could be used instead, such as Western Union. Another method of payment is to use a credit-card/Paypal based online service that sends mobile-phone airtime to people in Africa, which they can use or sell to a village phone operator for cash.
5. A computer, PDA, text editor, etc, for each computer worker.
6. A communication method to connect the computers, etc, in remote areas to the computer with access to the internet. For example, a well-organized ‘Sneakernet’ network (see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Sneakernet or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneakernet ). This would move files on a memory stick, CD or DVD and also take money from the bank to the workers. There is no need to pay for an internet connection for each worker. For more file transfer technologies that don't use the internet, see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Internet.
7. Battery re-charging. The people who operate the sneakernet, which transports the files, could also take batteries to a place with electricity, for recharging.
Like Fairtrade Coffee (coffee at a fair price without exploitation), etc, the customers are people who are prepared to pay a higher fair price for the product or service, because they want to help a particular group of people, not just go to the cheapest seller. In areas where many people live on a dollar a day, earning a few dollars for 2 or 3 hours of work would be very welcome. There are barriers to the export of physical products, but no barriers to information (in the form of computer files).
The customers and workers may have some sort of existing connection. They may be friends and relatives, members of the same hobby or sport, farmers, the parents of children at a twin school, an aid organization, church, etc. This would help to build and maintain trust.
The work would be unimportant things related to hobbies and interests, not business. The work would be things that the customer requires in 2 to 5 weeks. There would be no short deadlines. The customer and worker would not exchange any personal information (address or phone number). All communication would be via the organization and the internet site. The worker would keep 100% of the money. It is not like exporting goods to European supermarkets, nobody else is taking a percentage of the money.
For the workers, the work would be a spare-time 'second job', so that there is no risk of losing the income from their main job. Each worker only needs to learn how to do one or two things well on a computer, using a photo editor program, word processor, etc. If some of the people can't read or write well, in order to work with text, they could work with other people on photos. The extra income would help their family and allow them to upgrade their computer, Personal Digital Assistant, etc, and have their own internet subscription. After 2 or 3 years, they may have enough experience to get a permanent job which uses computers.
The money to start the organization could come from friends and supporters (local or in another country) or a group of workers who save money together to buy their first computer and a subscription to the internet. It could come from a 'microfinance' scheme, where a group of workers make small loans to start businesses. They may decide to just buy time at an internet cafe, until they have enough money for a computer. The friends and supporters would help them to set up the system and advise on how to do the tasks. After a while, the first group can advise other groups on starting similar organizations.
This scheme may be a way to get out of the situation where:
a) I can't access the internet because I don't have a large income.
b) I don't have a large income because I can't access the internet.
The main advantage of this scheme is that each group of workers in Africa has their own group of friendly customers. They are not competing for work at very low prices against other groups of workers or against every company in the world.
Does anyone know a group that might be interested in starting such a system?
Please send any comments or questions by email to: [email protected]
Ricardo England 22-Sep-2007
Often, if you know a bit about computers and the internet, you then become the 'resident expert' or 'IT Support' for your family. The next time you do a task for someone, make a note of it and add it to the list of possible computer related tasks. You can keep your own list or share it here in the 'List of Computer Related Tasks' section. If enough people contribute ideas, we should soon have a good long list.
To generate even more ideas, here are some suggestions for finding whole lists of genuinely-useful tasks that people in developing countries could be paid a small amount to do :-
iFreelance.com - all sorts of Freelance online services (proofreading, etc).
Yell.com - The online UK Yellow Pages (business pages). There's no browse facility, but try just entering a common surname and place, such as Company Name: Smith, Location: London and see what services turn up. You can of course browse the paper version of the Yellow Pages, if you have it.
http://www.whitepages.com/ - US business phone directory.
eBay Speciality Services Section - As well as selling goods, it's possible to sell services on eBay (online and offline services). See especially, 'Web & Computer Services' and the 'Advice and Instruction', 'Business & Computer' sub-section.
http://www.dmoz.org/ - A human-edited directory of websites, by category.
From the original article :-
Most families have boxes of old photos. Their are many companies online that you can pay to scan the photo into a computer and spend an hour or two improving the brightness and contrast, fix scratches and tears by airbrushing over them or copying/cloning other parts of the photo onto them. They can also 'colourize' the photo, for example the clothing based on colours of the time, skin, sky, grass, etc. They can use any details that people remember about the people (hair colour, eyes, etc). The company can then return the photo as digital files via the internet or CD/DVD, oand provide prints and enlargement.
Training the TrainersBefore the workers can start earning money, it would be a good idea to Train the Trainers. These would be literate people, ideally English-speakers or another language supported by the software. They can follow the tutorials, learn how to do one or two tasks each to an acceptable standard, then start teaching other people, perhaps less literate than themselves.
A good place to start would be with school-teachers, those already familiar with computers, or those who possess artistic skills. They can then train anybody, verbally, by just showing them how to do a task, what buttons to use in photo editors, etc. If people work in a small group, they can help each other.
Since we need to road-test the payment system and the economic viability of the idea, the teachers in developing countries could earn some spare-time cash doing genuinely useful tasks, like the ordinary knowledge workers.
Knowledge Worker definitionSee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_worker Andrius where people in developing countries bid for 'chores' on a website (computer/art-work etc).
Here's an article about it, written by Claire Cain Miller...
The scheme has a number of differences to my income scheme. The main one is that serebra connect is a conventional, commercial scheme where people bid against each other to do work at the lowest price, for clients they don't know. This drives down wages to low levels. In my scheme, a workers-group knows the client-group, and does the work at a 'fair price', in a friendly, non-competitive way. They don't have to worry about their price being under-cut by lower bidders and work disappearing. Also, computer-work is just extra income, in addition to farming etc, not their main job.
My 'sheltered, friendly, fairtrade' scheme and commercial schemes can easily co-exist. I'm just listing some differences. I'm not trying to promote my scheme above other schemes in an often-occuring and pointless 'my scheme is better than your scheme' type of debate. People may learn new skills in my scheme and move up to competitive, professional work later, for example.