Small Business Trends today had an article entitled "20 Platforms for Workers in the Gig Economy".https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/02/gig-websites.html It was a good list, but one that was heavily skewed toward driving, leading off with Uber, Lyft and Turo. The author also include some sites which are not gig economy sites at all, like Air BnB and Etsy. In my upcoming book, Thriving in the Gig Economy, I differentiate between the sharing and gig economies. The former involves a physical asset, like renting your home. The latter involves work of an uncertain duration performed in any field. Moreover, what many people do not appreciate about the Gig Economy, is that it encompasses a wide variety of fields, not just driving, errands or delivery services.
As part of the research for my book, I learned about a lot of platforms. Some, like Tongal, https://tongal.com/who hold the Tongie Awards every year to celebrate the creative talents on their platform, I first discovered in a great book, Lead the Work. ( You can see this year's nominees on their website now. ) In many cases I met with the founders or leadership teams of over a dozen talent platforms to better understand the business model. These included Experfy, a talent platform for data scientists, https://www.experfy.com and UpCounsel a platform for certain types of legal expertise. https://www.upcounsel.com . I mention these two in particular, because these were sites for which, I as a gig worker myself, would not be qualified. However, if there was a remote chance that I was qualified, I not only tried to interview the founder, I also joined the platform. I wanted to get a sense of the "user experience". All told, I am a participant in over a dozen high-end talent platforms right now.
It continues to be an interesting education. No site turned me down, which surprised me. If you check out my LinkedIn page,https://www.linkedin.com/in/marionmcgovern/ I do not represent myself as a consultant, but that didn't seem to matter. In the sites touting "experts", I wasn't sure what qualified me, though I do know quite a bit now about the Gig Economy. Some sites, used only my LinkedIn info and asked for little else, while others tried to be far more expansive in their vetting. A few put me through additional screens; one had a requirement that I complete a confidentiality course, while another required a human on-boarding session to review the inner workings of the technology.
Two site ignored me once I signed up, oblivious to my lack of engagement with their platforms. Most sent some sort of newsletter, although in one case it was more of a holiday missive; I am not sure I will hear from them until Christmas Carols start again. Several send regular project listings, and a few, a very few, send targeted projects that might appear to be meant for me - might being the operative word.
The matching process for the high-end talent platforms is not a passive one; it requires effort on the part of the worker to make it effective. Since virtually every site draws at least in part from a Linked In Profile, the potential matches may result from your background as represented there. As Chair of a humanitarian NGO, ReSurge International, I lead my LinkedIn profile with that role. Most of the platforms don't do to well differentiating governance expertise and Board roles. Consequently, I received a projects involving setting up clean water facilities in Uganda, which is not a skill set I can offer. But now that the book is largely complete, I can turn a bit more energy to evaluating these platforms as a discriminating user. Perhaps I could start my own Yelp category...