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This article was published on May 12, 2011

Turn your iPhone into a money printing machine with Gigwalk

Turn your iPhone into a money printing machine with Gigwalk
Matthew Panzarino
Story by

Matthew Panzarino

Matthew Panzarino was Managing Editor at TNW. He's no longer with the company, but you can follow him on Twitter. Matthew Panzarino was Managing Editor at TNW. He's no longer with the company, but you can follow him on Twitter.

For many of us, our iPhones are essential parts of our business lives. We literally can’t get work done without them. For the large majority of people though, the iPhone is just a way to keep in touch with people and waste time on the web or with games.

Gigwalk [App Store, free] changes that completely, turning your iPhone into a way to earn money with the investment of a bit of your time and basic photo skills.

The premise of Gigwalk is simple. An iPhone app allows Gigwalkers to see a job in their area, the money that they will earn for it and the instructions for completion. Jobs may consist of a variety of tasks, all of which can be completed right from the iPhone.

A typical gig might consist of visiting a local restaurant, checking in at the location, shooting some pictures of the menu and decor, answering a questionnaire about the state of the business and posting that information to the Gigwalk system. The process can take a few minutes or require more time, depending on the complexity.

Gigwalk also pushes gigs to you based on the skills that you enter in your profile when you first fire up the app.

Gigs are priced starting at $3 for simple tasks but ramp up as you earn more ‘street cred’ from successfully completed gigs. Some of the gigs I saw went as high as $10-15. This means that if you’re in an area where gigs have been posted you could spend your Saturday walking around the city and picking up some nice cash with only a phone.

The concept is a really slick one, the idea of a mobile workforce that you can access for a set of tasks is one that’s really hot at the moment. In addition the Gigwalk app is incredibly well executed with an easy, well designed interface and super sharp design.

The whole experience makes you want to use it, which is many times not the case with systems that have monetary rewards. Just getting paid is often not enough for people to want to use your app and the guys at Gigwalk realize this. In this interview with Robert Scoble, the Gigwalk team discusses their plans.

It’s interesting to note that many of the top Gigwalkers are apparently making in the thousands of dollars a month, perhaps not enough for a primary job but easily enough for a nice second paycheck. Gigwalkers are paid via Paypal within 7 days once a gig is submitted and approved by the customer.

The flipside to the Gigwalk story is the side of the businesses and individual posting gigs up for users to complete. With Gigwalk’s web interface they have the ability to create gigs very quickly, adding requirements for the gig and a location where it is to be performed. The tasks can be built from a list of tasks including photo, video, audio, free text, multiple choice and yes/no questions.

There is even provision for having people download a third-party app that the user can test and give feedback on, creating a crowd sourced reviewing engine for apps. Currently the Gigwalk site allows anyone from individuals posting up one or two gigs to businesses posting thousands of gigs at a time. The possibilities are pretty staggering.

For instance, if I’m an individual who wants to get a good idea of what a restaurant looks like that I’m going to be taking clients to for dinner when I land in LA, I could post up a gig to just shoot me some photos and verify the menu. The scalability of the system means that a business could just as easily build a database of current photos and reviews of hundreds of their locations in a fraction of the time it would normally take to hire contractors.

Gigwalk is available from the App Store now for free. Anyone can grab it and start performing gigs, earning money and eventually street cred to work their way up to higher tiers of earning. Gigwalk is one to watch as it will be interesting to see how far they can take this crowd-sourced tasking.