At a glance, Gigwalk sounds like a shady work-at-home marketing scam: Take pictures on your iPhone! Get paid!
In reality, Gigwalk is not as sketchy, but also not as simple. Yes, Gigwalk will pay you (via Paypal) to report on various locations and establishments in a handful of major U.S. cities, using pictures and text. The assignments, handed out through a free iPhone app, come from clients like TomTom, which wants eyes on the ground to fill out its database of local information. Just don’t expect to earn an honest wage from it.
In my neck of Los Angeles, for instance, there’s a gig associated with an Indian restaurant that I happen to frequent. The employer wants pictures of the establishment, pictures of the menu and a list of questions answered, including store hours, credit cards accepted, minimum delivery fee and wheelchair accessibility. The job should take about 20 minutes, and pays $4. That’s more than minimum wage until you factor in travel time and expenses, which are half the battle in Los Angeles.
Not all gigs are available right away, either. Some require you to earn a certain amount of “Streetcred” by doing good work on lower-level jobs. It’s a potentially addicting system, but it seriously limits the amount of work you can do right away.
Gigwalk strikes me as a clever concept without a clear audience. Driving to a location with the specific intent of completing a job doesn’t seem economical (and imagine how restaurant owners would react to you snapping photos and not buying anything). And for folks who just happen to be at a place where work is available, I wonder how willing they’ll be to take 20 minutes out of their day to save a few bucks.
But if you’ve got an iPhone, give it a shot. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your dream micro-job.