Virtual Assistance Grows In Popularity
Several sites report increases in the number of requests for people who can perform a wide range of personal and professional tasks remotely.
What's the Latest Development?
People wishing for their own personal assistant may want to look online: Fabio Rosati, chief executive of the freelance site eLance, reports that the number of virtual assistants who found work via their site in 2012 jumped 44 percent from the previous year. On another site, oDesk, requests for virtual assistance increased more than tenfold between 2008 and 2012. Both sites involve individuals working for hourly rates, while others specialize in outsourcing assistants for a monthly fee. One of these sites, Las Vegas-based Zirtual, offers 10 hours from a US-based worker for $197.
What's the Big Idea?
Virtual assistance in various forms has been around for a while, but more people are using these services for a wide range of personal and business tasks. The assistants themselves range from college students to the semi-retired, and can live in the same city as their client or in an entirely different country. Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Marc Plotkin turned to Zirtual for help because, he says, "I was in the workaholic mode of, 'I don't have time to be more sociable.'" Indiana resident Danielle Johnson now gets about $700 a month to manage aspects of his personal life, such as lunches with friends. She also helps empty his in-box, which receives over 1,000 e-mails a day.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.
In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
New research on the public's opinion about genetically modified foods illustrates an alarming cognitive bias.
- A recent study compared the public's scientific literacy with their attitudes on GM foods.
- The results showed that "as the extremity of opposition increased, objective knowledge went down, but self-assessed knowledge went up."
- The results also suggest that, in terms of policy efforts to boost scientific literacy, education about a given topic alone isn't going to be enough.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.