Your Own Mobile Army - Deployed in Minutes

We just released a new homepage design which focuses around Gig templates.

The thought was simple - No two Gigs are exactly the same, but there have been a lot that are similar to each other. So why not take advantage of all we’ve learned the past couple of years to make it easier and faster to post Gigs?  

Here’s how it works…

Step One: Visit the new Gigwalk.com, and click on the type of Gig you’d like. We currently have templates available for Field AuditsPhotographySurveys, and Focus Groups, with more coming!  (While you’re there, check out the new video that a few of our talented Gigwalkers created for us)


Step Two: Personalize the Gig template to fit your needs


Step Three - Post the Gig. That’s all there is to it!


It always helps to have a little guidance when posting a Gig.  Try posting a Gig with the Field AuditsPhotographySurveys, or Focus Groups Template, and enter the code MOBILEARMY at checkout for a free $15 Gig.  If there are any templates you’d like to see, please send us a note to mobilize@gigwalk.com or write us a comment!

The 3 Second Effect: Mobilize Your Usability Testing

It takes 3 seconds for an app user to perceive a delay as a “mobile app failure.”

Think about it: in 3 seconds, you’ve lost a customer. You worked for thousands of hours programming and potentially spent hundreds of marketing dollars to acquire them. Yet one simple tech blip and they slip through your fingers.

           

                      2.6 billion app downloads means a lot of app un-installs as well


With the app stores exploding with a new app every second (that’s not an official stat, but it should be), app developers are playing on an increasingly competitive field.  Development cycles are faster. End user expectations are higher. And mobile app failures, which most often occur due to non-functioning issues, cost businesses in the realm of $60 billion annually in lost revenue and remediation. How much revenue do you stand to lose if your next release features a serious bug?

So where does the intrepid app developer go from there? Two words: smart testing.

The Dot Bomb start-ups had dedicated teams of people working around the clock in cramped cubicles running through various software tests.

But in a Lean Start-up world, full-time onsite QA testers are a luxury most businesses can’t afford. Actually, when you consider all the variables from device compatibility to data provider issues to differences in levels of user tech savvy, the old model isn’t even logistically viable. You need a team of people testing your apps.

Should you outsource it? Crowdsource it? Send it overseas?

We propose you mobilize it.

Mobility is changing the way everything is done. Of course, if you’re an app developer, you probably figured that out already. It’s also changing the way that app developers recruit, reach, communicate with, and manage the teams they need to quickly produce market ready apps.

           

How does it work? Well on Gigwalk, our workforce of more than 150,000 people is growing every day. It’s no surprise considering 100 million people in the US carry smartphones, and 22% of the population is either unemployed or underemployed.  With mobility you can find anyone to test your app instantly. The best part is that our testers work from the very places your apps live and breathe: their mobile phones and tablets.

A natural concern is whether or not we can help you find the right people. Need to find 50 moms around the country to put a family management app through its pace? Are you looking for big-city foodies to take to the streets with your new restaurant finding app in 10 cities and report back?  Only interested in working with people who’ve tested a lot of apps and have the great reviews to prove it?   All of them are using smartphones, and are easy to find using a system like ours

Gigwalk’s toolset is designed to make it easy to get started. Our online suite gives you all the tools you need to communicate with your testers in real time, form teams so you can work with trusted testers time and again, and verify work done through time stamps, uploaded photos, and more.  All information is managed through a single integrated console which saves you time and effort.

Our goal is to streamline your testing by:

  • Making it quick and easy to post gigs using our online form;
  • Quickly connecting you with a pool of applicants that meet your qualifications and location needs;
  • Providing an interface for you to quickly vet and select applicants based on their proposals and performance reviews;
  • Offer project management tools to allow you to monitor progress and verify time stamped work submissions;
  • Building lines of communication offering real time instant messaging capabilities between you and your team;


It’s easy to get started by posting a gig.  In fact - we’re giving $20 in free testing to the first 10 people to try posting.  Just enter the code TRY_POSTING_A_GIG_012 when you get to the payment screen.  We look forward to helping you on your next app testing project!

Gigwalk for Good

Every day, thousands of people do Gigs across the country.  They range from taking photos of store displays to interviewing people about fruit juice, handing out fliers, and beta testing mobile apps. 

About a year ago, we posted a Gig that didn’t pay, but was for what some people will remember as Street Cred.  It was to pick up trash in your neighborhood parks.  

             

We referred to it as Gigwalk for Good and people had a blast helping improve their neighborhoods and building their Gigwalk reputation in the process!

While we don’t have street cred anymore, the Gigs they did and the positive reviews they got help them get selected for Gigs. That’s why we’re bringing back Gigwalk for Good.  This time, with even more kinds of Gigs.  You’ll see Gigwalk for Good pop up every once in a while with Gigs like:

  • Handing out water bottles to people who need it during heat waves
  • Compliment 5 people and ask them to pass the compliment forward
  • Volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen  

Just remember: The purpose of Gigs posted for Gigwalk for Good is to give back.  Because of this, they won’t pay unless it’s to reimburse you for something you may need to buy. However, these Gigs do count towards the total number of Gigs completed. Good reviews still help you build your reputation, and bad reviews will hurt it. 

We’d love for you to send over your ideas for Gigwalk for Good Gigs. If you have a cause you feel passionate about, email us at mobilize@gigwalk.com or let us know about it in the comments!

Goodbye Mountain View. Hello San Francisco.

Like many startups, Gigwalk started in my home.  Then we rented a few desks.  Our third place was our own space - a converted classic car garage in Mountain View and less than a mile from the Google campus. Scoble stopped by to shoot a quick video.

We recently moved GigwalkHQ from Mountain View to San Francisco.  San Francisco is great, but that (crappy) little Mountain View garage is where we publicly launched Gigwalk from.

It’s where we had our first flip cup party.

It lived on the right side of the haimesh line - and we’ll miss it.  But the time had come to say goodbye to Mountain View and hello to San Francisco.

Goodbye Mountain View

The top five things we’ll miss about our old garage:

5. Leaves that blew into our office - through the cracks at the bottom of windows.

4. Conference calls in the parking lot - we quickly ran out of conference rooms and the quietest place to take calls was the parking lot.

3. Days the heat worked - they were few and far between.

2. La Bamba (everyday) - with very few food options it meant great tacos for lunch.  This can do bad things for your stomach.

1. Tar trucks parked outside our office -for about three weeks they parked one of these outside our office. I have new found respect for people who lay tar - its hard and smelly work.

Hello San Francisco

San Francisco from Twin Peaks

Here’s our first stab at all the reasons we moved to San Francisco. As we discover more great things about San Francisco we’ll update our list.

5. It’s not crazy expensive downtown Palo Alto and Mountain View — two places for startups that have become rather pricey.

4. Natural air conditioning - the Peninsula can get hot, San Francisco has great natural air-conditioning. 

3. Food trucks - whether it’s Le Truc or the other yummy food trucks you are going to add some pounds eating lunch out and about in San Francisco.

2. Talent is everywhere - in addition to being super convenient for the loads of SF talent you can also recruit from the East Bay and Marin.

1. You cannot escape technology (and we love that) - the combination of a vibrant creative class with new mobile technologies is creating some incredible new companies.

We built a lot of great memories in that old crappy garage.  Now we get to start building them in our San Francisco loft. 

~Ariel

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Before you read this blog - go update your app.  It’s all good, we’ll wait… It’ll be worth it, we promise.  

All done?  If you’ve already opened the app, you probably noticed that you go straight into the Map/Gig List now. After all, that’s the most important part of the app.  In fact, the entire navigation has been spruced up so that everything that has to do with finding and doing Gigs is front and center.

                       

But that’s not the best part. Next time you go in to apply for a Gig, you’ll see something new and exciting for most of the Gigs that get posted.  Those of you who post Gigs will want to listen in on this part too.  

Now, the customer has a choice between choosing who does their Gig themselves, or having Gigwalk’s technology choose for them.

Needless to say, computers can be a lot faster at choosing who’s going to do Gigs than people are, especially when there are lot of Gigs to decide on.  So now, when you stumble upon one of these Gigs and hit the apply button, You’ll get a window like this:

                               

The computer will then use your answer to this question, along with its knowledge of the work you’ve done before to make a decision within the hour of who’s going to do the Gig.  So while some customers will still want to hire their own workers, you won’t need to apply to a lot of them anymore, giving people using the app, and posting Gigs the power to get more done.

Of course, as Uncle Ben from Spiderman says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Saying you can get a Gig done in 2 hours helps you get the Gig, but not getting the Gig done within the time you say will have grave consequences for your reputation - and therefore your ability to get Gigs in the future. After all, it just makes the computer look bad if it chooses someone and they don’t pull through.

Thanks again to everyone for their feedback, and as usual, stay tuned for more updates to come!

What’s Up With Android? From An Android User…

Hi everyone, I’m Kamla and I’m the marketing manager at Gigwalk.

I’m also one of the three Android users out of the 14 employees at Gigwalk 

I love my Nexus S and Xoom. I love that they have a back button, I love how well they integrate with Google apps, and I love that I can watch full episodes of The Daily Show on them.

That’s not to say my Android love is totally rational.  It’s a way better logo. Plus, have you seen the dessert field at Google HQ? 

Image courtesy Techwhack

Suffice it to say, I get the frustration over how long it’s taken. I can’t even get screenshots of the app without asking one of the Apple fanboys in the office. However, there’s a pretty good reason that it’s taking so long:

When we released Gigwalk 2.0, it was a huge change. There were things that worked and things that didn’t.  For example, we took out the maps interface because of the anywhere gigs, but found out that the map was one of the features people loved most about Gigwalk.  

Every few weeks we’re putting out big updates that are fixing the things that didn’t work. These updates are fixing the user experience for both people doing Gigs, and people who are posting Gigs.

Android runs on around 100 different devices all with different versions of the OS.  Making Gigwalk for Android means testing the different devices and the different versions which takes a long time. If we were to have to update the Android version every time we made a major update, it would take a lot longer to put these updates out.

And Now, Jellybean.  Image courtesy 88reviews  


So, why should we Android users care? We can’t do Gigs, and doing Gigs is better than not doing Gigs…

A lot of these major updates are improving the experience for the people who post Gigs as well.  A better experience for them means more Gigs available to do.  The faster we get these updates out, the faster we can build up a customer base that will post more Gigs.

Think of it as a long term investment in the health of Gigwalk and the number of Gigs available for people to do. It’d be nice to be able to do Gigs right now, but in the long run the wait will make the experience better for everyone. Not only that, but Android users will be getting a really awesome version of the app.

As far as timing - same thing goes.. still not sure, but we’ll update as we know more! But - We will be sending an email out to Android users with an opportunity to do a Gig outside of the App. The Gig will pay $10 for a survey, so keep an eye out for the email!

~Kamla

5 Tips for Getting Chosen for Gigs

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be releasing updates that speeds up the application and selection process, and gives the people that post gigs more information about your qualifications and skills.  

Applications will still be a part of the decision process though, so here are a few tips to help you put your best foot forward!

                                  

1.) Be professional when you apply - Think of your application like a short cover letter - You need to convince clients that you’ll be able to the job well!

2.) Say when you’ll be able to work on the Gig - This is especially important when there’s a quick turnaround, but also gives clients a bit more peace of mind that the work will get done

                  

              This is a great application              This application could use some work

3.)Read the directions carefully - there may be specific instructions for your application, or the client might be looking for a specific skill or quality.

4.) Be Honest in your application - If the client finds out that your application wasn’t honest, they may give you a bad review which will effect your reputation.

                                           

5.) Always submit your best work, and complete Gigs as quickly as possible - This is the best way to get a good review from the client which will help you get more jobs in the future!

Do these 5 things, and you’ll improve your chances of getting selected for Gigs.  Then you’ll be on the road to making more money through Gigwalk!

Meet The Survey Tool

It’s been around for a few months.  You may not have noticed it exists, even though it’s probably the most used tool outside of the the Photo clipboard.  We consider it the quiet workhorse of Gigwalk, making it easier than ever to ask and answer questions.  

Meet the Gigwalk Survey Tool (you can also try it when you post a gig)


The Survey tool is really interested in learning new things - How people feel about the taste of food, or what the price of 5 different types of frozen pizza are.  You’ll see it asking questions all the time about a lot of different types of Gigs including:

  • Ethnography
  • Consumer Insights
  • Store Audits
  • Usability
  • Business Verification
  • Inspections
  • Ad Verification



It’s also incredibly well-rounded. It can handle a lot of different kinds of questions including:

Nearly any kind of multiple choice questions, no matter how many answer options.  It can also handle multiple select questions.



Open Ended questions for when you need qualitative data. You can include pre-filled text to get answers in a specific format:

It’s also incredibly flexible (3 hours a day of survey tool yoga will do that):

  • It’s simple to edit, even after you’ve posted the Gig.

  • You can make sure people answered questions in the right place at the right time by clicking on the red pin
  • Download data any time - before or after the Gig is complete.  Get survey answers delivered in a handy excel or CSV format along with links to any corresponding pictures.  

Now that you’ve been formally introduced - Give it a try and Post a Survey Gig

Drop the Crowd - You Deserve Better

You are a beautiful and unique snowflake.

Until someone lumps you into a group of thousands of nameless, faceless people. That’s when you become part of a crowd.

Crowds are massive, but not in a “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” type of way.  It’s more like grabbing a handful of jellybeans and hoping.. just hoping.. that you got mostly strawberry flavored ones and none of the licorice flavored ones. 



To put it in terms of work- A crowd makes it okay to say to people “the work you’re doing is easy and not worth that much.” It makes it okay to say to employers, “The work you need done isn’t worth being paid attention to.” Neither of those are true.



It takes a certain amount of charisma to convince a coffee shop owner to let you take a picture of the inside of their store. There’s the steadiness of hand and understanding of light needed to take a clear iPhone photo of an endcap in a way that shows the floor to ceiling. All work requires conscientiousness to strive to do the best job possible.

"But Gigwalk - aren’t you crowdsourcing?" 

That makes all of our hearts hurt a little, including Bud’s. 

           

We have a lot of people doing work on the Gigwalk app (Over 140,000).  But our philosophy here is that there are a ton of people with the skills that businesses need to do work everywhere and get it done fast.  It’s not fast if someone has to wade through piles of work that isn’t up to snuff, and it does a worker no favors if their work gets rejected without any explanation of why. A crowd is stagnant, never improves and is nameless and faceless.

We consider the people on Gigwalk a workforce in the cloud. A workforce is skilled, managed and improves over time with feedback and communication. Being in a workforce helps people learn and grow.

A workforce is a custom bag of jelly beans that you make better by adding only the good flavors. Both workers and employers deserve this.

Photo uploading just got a whole lot faster and easier

Those of you who’ve done some of our photo Gigs don’t need to do the math to know that submitting photos can take a long time.  Time is money, so we wanted to make it easier and faster to capture and submit your photos.  That’s why we just updated the Gigwalk app (download here) to

  1. Make photo submissions 5x faster
  2. Let’s you delete photos before submitting your work 
  3. Gives you the progress of your photo submission

              

Before, it was difficult to tell the progress of submission and it could take a while - Now there’s a progress bar and submissions will be much faster.

              

Before, you couldn’t delete photos. Now you can delete and caption from the same screen, so you can choose which pictures you submit (saving even more time!).

The app update was just released, and is the one of many to come over the next several weeks.  Be sure to update your app to see!