If there’s one good thing that may come from all the recent economic turmoil, it’s a return to some good old fashioned neighborliness. Back in the day it was usual for people to help each other out in their community, because you never knew when you might need a hand yourself. However today we’re all so busy staying alive that this stuff has kind of fallen away.
A new Canadian service called Ask For Task doesn’t replace the old style system, but it could go some way towards pulling communities together more as things get tough. The online application offers a kind of classified advert systems for small tasks that people need doing. Need your attic cleared, some help with moving or assistance with a birthday party? Just post your need on the site and set a price.
The key thing about the whole process is the fact that the Taskers (i.e. the workers) are individually vetted for quality, no anonymous Craigslist type stuff here. There are background checks and community reviews so Askers (geddit?) can be sure that the people doing their small jobs are trustworthy and reliable. The downside to this is it can’t be rolled out instantly to a thousand cities, and right now the company is planning to open up in more cities outside Toronto, but slowly.
It’s a cool idea and one that could really be useful in the future as we all revert to a more local existence. It’s not hard to see this morphing into a fee/barter/free system too, with Askers and Taskers working out different payment combos depending on the type of jobs and the relationship. Now all we need is for the idea to spread to more cities and countries.