For my articles at The Advocate, I’m always looking for interesting sites or services to write about that are related to personal finance. So when I learned about ShortTask.com through this post at Gay List Daily, I decided to take a look:

The newest tool in the fight against unemployment is ShortTask.com… All jobs listed on the site are short term, temporary positions or tasks that pay in small amounts, but can really add up if you’ve got a knack for freelancing. Some are rather menial (adding websites to search engines) and some perhaps unethical (adding positive reviews to product list sites), but, as most sites we frequent, there are a few diamonds in the buff.

With a little extra money from the random data entry or research gig, we can once again rev up our engines with that debilitating and fiscally draining vice – our daily Starbucks addiction.

Sounds interesting, right? That is until you start looking at what the “tasks” pay. Many of the listings I observed pay a whopping $0.05 to $0.20 per task.

Web Worker Daily indicated that in many ways, it’s similar to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) service. It then points to this amusing Salon article, “I make $1.45 a week and I love it” where it asks why thousands of people are happily being paid pennies to do mind-numbing work:

Is it a boon for the bored or a virtual sweatshop?

My guess is virtual sweatshop. Anyway, I won’t be reporting on the sensation of ShortTask.com or the amazing Mechanical Turk.

Rather, if you’re really looking to make some cash on the side, take Aundi’s advice from a post last year and stick with Guru:

Guru has job forums for most forms of legalized freelance work available. From marketing to web design, accounting to photography, and computer programming to architecture, if you’ve got a marketable skill set, chances are guru has a job for you. The first time I punched in my writing credentials, almost 800 jobs popped up for perusal.

Real jobs, I might add.

Has anyone tried to make a buck (literally) on either of these short job sites?

Photo credit: stock.xchng.