Online “quest board” Zaarly is a neat way to get your overwhelming tasks done with the help of your fellow man. It operates similar to Milk.ly in that people who desire help will post their task on the site’s collaborative crowdmap, and other users who choose to help will get paid the listed amount for it.
I like apps like this that crowdsource small tasks to local help. It’s a get way to enhance both local economies and communities, and it’s a good opportunity for someone who’s a bit of a specialist to take on some relevant jobs and show their town what they can do.
This is why I’m excited to see what comes out of Zaarly’s new “Zaarly Anywhere” API. The update would refocus the app on products in addition to tasks. For example, if you were browsing Pinterest and saw a really great carved wooden chair, the Zaarly API would give you the option of posting a task asking local craftspeople to make a similar chair for you. If you see one you like, you pay the price, and the chair of your dreams is in production without you ever leaving your seat.
I see a deep well that this technology could draw from. The advent of sites like Etsy has made us all too aware that there are talented artists and producers literally right down the block, and I’m sure they’d love another opportunity to showcase (and sell!) their skills. And I can already imagine this will have some impact on the tech support / computer repair industries if it catches on; people will stop using these services once they realize their neighbor’s kid will do it in half an hour for a fraction of the price.
Personally, I would love for applications like Zaarly to create some sort of money-free economy where people simply trade help for other help. But until then, getting a few bucks for helping someone set up their LinkedIn profile isn’t bad.