Can I make you some bucks?

how the net is transforming the way we work and earn

Paying others to do your dirty work May 27, 2008

Today I had a long chat with my brother. Well, it was more like one long venting session with me moaning about this blog post and how I had no idea what I was going to write about. Now before you roll your eyes and stop reading there are a couple of things you need to understand. I’m in Grahamstown. My brother , at that point was remotely connected to work from his home in Joburg and in between moaning about his dirty, hole-ridden socks, chatting to me and watching his daughter of 15 months he was working (or so I’m lead to believe). How incredible is that? And it really has little to do with him having exceptional multitasking skills, sorry to break it to you Gary. That’s the power of the internet. So by the end of the conversation I knew all about my brother’s socks and how he has now resorted to wearing two pairs to cover up the holes. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, we did discuss other things besides socks and by the end of it all I had effectively outsourced a topic.


I hope he will forgive me, but I just couldn’t resist. Here’s a snippet from our conversation:


Gary: lol

i want to pay to have a hit on someone

does that make me a bad person?

is organised crime really that bad?


me: mmh, i think u may have just given me my blog post

9:47 AM wow


u need help

like seriously


Gary: no i don’t


me: ahh , yes u do!

082 – 498 – 6230 .. that may help



It’s a very tempting thought



me: LOL

committing murder is a tempting thought?


9:48 AM ppl have and do go to jail for less


Gary: no

not me you tool

someone else can do the dirty work


me: there’s my topic



Out-sourcing murder? Sounds like a crazy idea and he was joking, I hope. The point is that outsourcing is becoming quite an industry and the possibilities seem to be endless. You can outsource your child’s homework. Just think about it, no more irritating questions about high school algebra that you can’t remember. GetFriday , offers services that range from paying bills, organising for electricians to do repairs to reading bed time stories to children over the phone. Think of all the mundane things you have to do every day. They can probably all be outsourced. And no I am not joking.


One man , A. J Jacobs, did just that. He outsourced every aspect of his life that he possibly could with the help of a remote assistant from Brickwork India. Jacobs used his remote assistant to send emails to his colleagues and to patch things up between him and his wife when they’d had a fight. Yes, he got someone in another country to email the person he sees every day. And it doesn’t end there. Some women in India have started outsourcing babies for just over $5000. I suppose it isn’t as terrible as it sounds but it’s still interesting and begs the question, what can’t be outsourced?


Personal outsourcing, as it known, makes up a tiny portion of the entire outsourcing industry but the internet is making it easier to exploit cheap labour in countries like India, China and Bangladesh. Things like instant messaging and VOIP make meeting in person unnecessary. Why hire a tutor in your own country when for a pittance you can find one online? In the US, the average tutor charges $40 to $60 an hour while a skilled tutor in India charges between $2 and $3. And it’s because it’s so cheap that outsourcing is rather appealing.


Take a look at some of the outsourcing services available online:


  • Payroll is a South African service which enables you to outsource the payment of domestic workers and can also be used by companies which have less than 50 employees.
  • Workaholics4hire is a service which caters to the needs of both telecommuters looking for freelance work and to businesses who wish to outsource.
  • YourManInIndia is for outsourcing only in India. They describe themselves as “a much needed lifeline for Indians worldwide to keep their bonds with home alive”.
  • DoMyStuff is for outsourcing a chore or can be used to find a task and make some money.
  • RentaACoder is for people who wish to outsource their specialist programming skills.
  • There are also several virtual assistants that you can hire and outsource certain tasks to like confirming appointments, managing your calendar or for bookkeeping tasks. These companies include World Office Support and Odesk.


While this is good news to those who want to pass their responsibilities on to others it should also make job-seekers smile. The internet has opened up the workplace and means that the job search is no longer restricted to one country or time zone. Now anyone with the relevant skills and access to the internet can register on one of these outsourcing sites and offer their services. And it seems there is definitely money to be made in this industry. According to Evalueserve:


Outsourcing revenue from small businesses was more than $250 million in fiscal 2006, and is likely to grow to more than $2 billion by 2015.


Want to make millions online? I’ll tell you a little secret … May 12, 2008

Filed under: making money online — Nicole @ 6:31 pm
Tags: , ,

I broke up with my digs mate this weekend. I just wanted to see what it would be like. How she would re-act. If there would be any tears or dramatic pleas. “Oh please, don’t do this Nicole. We are made for each other. I’ll do anything for another chance,” I imagined her saying. Well, not quite since we have never nor do we have any intentions of dating each other. But I still did break up with her. That part is true. Though it was more for a laugh really. Some harmless fun. After all I broke this news to her over email.


See, I came across this website which generates a break up email based on a form you fill out. It’s a free service and so I decided to test it by breaking up with my digs mate. As any normal person who comes across such a gem of a website would do. Based on how I filled the form out this is the email that was generated which I subsequently emailed to her:


Dear digs mate

I’m writing you this email because I think our relationship has run its course. I don’t know how to break it to you, but I found someone else to replace you. You know what they say: out with the old, in with the new! The wise Righteous Brothers wrote a song called “You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.” You might want to listen to it a few times, because I’ve lost that loving feeling. I don’t really do the whole long distance relationship thing. New area code, new market, and it’s time for me to go shopping.

Sometimes you need to take things a bit slower, and just have fun. Unfortunately, this relationship is becoming too serious for my tastes.

Even though our relationship is at its end, I hope we can still be friends. It’s not you, it’s me. Really. You’re more like a sibling to me, you know? It may be a typical line, but it’s true: we just aren’t meant for each other. I’m sure we’ll see each other again, if you’re ok with it. I think you get the idea: this relationship is over.

Wish it could have worked out,


Of course we both had a good laugh about it. It seems ridiculous to me. Breaking up with someone over email. And getting a website to generate the message. Who does that? It seems people do though. And some are even willing to pay to have others do the dirty work for them.


  • breaks the news to the person being dumped either in the form of a letter or a phone call. And all this for only $50.But wait, there’s more. You can even request that the mediator meets the soon to be dumped somewhere to give them a gift as a sort of peace-offering. How thoughtful.

  • sells break up letters to suit various occasions. These are then sent, as part of a handmade parcel, anywhere in the USA.

  • DatingIntervention offers three services. You can get them to check-up on the status of your relationship if you are worried about mixed signals from your partner. Or maybe you want an easy out and don’t have the chutzpah to dump the person in person. DatingIntervention can do the dumping for you for only $9.99. You are also given the option of deciding how amiable you want the break-up to be. Lastly, they offer a make-up service to reconcile any relationship which has gone wrong be it between lovers or even family members.
  • Divorce-online allows you to get an online divorce without the expense of a lawyer
  • In Japan there are break-up agencies, many of which can be found online, called wakaresaseya. They are used to end relationships and marriages or to help win back a lover’s affections. Some have even hired one of these agencies to fire an employee. Fees range from $12 000 to $ 15 000.


It doesn’t end there though. It seems there is an online industry which has developed simply to exploit people contemplating or going through a break-up. And yes I mean exploit.


After a break-up you’re often left with sentimental flotsam like rings or perhaps a pair of earrings. And what are you meant to do with all this stuff? It would be emotional suicide to continue wearing any of it. And yet burying it at the bottom of a box or giving it away somehow seems callous So why not make some money out of your heartbreak?


It may not make you a millionaire but you can definitely make a profit selling your break-up memorabilia online. On Ex-boyfriend Jewelry (and yes that is what the website is called) you register the items you want to sell, you set the price and provide a brief explanation about the item and the break-up. And for those looking to buy jewelry, you could pick up an engagement ring for $1, 500. 00 from this site. But, I’m not sure what that might mean for you in terms of karma.


Making money online from break ups seems to be the latest trend. Another website, , which is similar to Ex-boyfriend Jewelry , also gives you the option to buy and sell items given by exes. “Don’t get mad … break even,” says the website. A novel idea.


Then there is Smashing Katie. An online boutique which provides retail therapy to help you through your break-up:


We understand the roller coaster of emotions one goes through during a breakup. We understand that breakups happen for various reasons. We understand that sometimes the decision is one-sided, mutual, or for those special breakups, there is a third party involved that “helped” in the process. Smashing Katie spawned from such a breakup where a real Katie was the inspiration.


Here you can find things like a Get Back Out There Breakup Package . For $29.95 this includes a book with advice to you get back into the dating game as well as playful vouchers which you can use to claim things like hugs from friends. Or maybe you’re still at that angry-post break up stage and so the Call Her A Slut Mug may be more your cup of tea. This online boutique has quite a good variety and if nothing else is bound to make you laugh.


What does all of this mean? Well, consider this. In 2005 Americans spent over R500 million on online dating services. Research suggests that the U.S. online dating industry will be worth $932 million by 2011. Online dating services are popular largely because they exploit a human need. There are even dating agencies in virtual reality spaces like Second Life, which says a lot.


So you want to make millions online? Set up an easy to use; inexpensive yet efficient online break up service. A service which gets the job done without any mess or fuss. Maybe you could partner your break-up agency with an online dating agency. Or is that just heatless? It seems though, that making money online is about seeing a need and exploiting it no matter how heartless that may seem.