Whether you need a fresh pair of pants stat or your garden could use a good weeding, the internet is making farming out your chores and odd jobs the best way to clear off your “to do” list.

Sites like TaskRabbit and Zaarly are popping up every day, allowing busy people with extra cash to create jobs for the underemployed who could use more cash. If you have a job or some small task that needs to be done, and you’re willing to pay someone else to do it, all you have to do is post a request and in no time, you’ll have a ready helper signed on for duty.

New mom Rachel Christenson didn’t want to clean out her compost bin, so she posted “Manage our worm bin” on TaskRabbit. Eleven hours later, a 45-year-old research scientist performed the task at her home for $31.

It may sound a little too Huck Finn to be true, but this new trend of micro-labor done by micro-employees is starting to catch on and catch the eyes of wealthy investors. Online marketplace Zaarly Inc. already raised $14.1 million from the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which was also a Google investor, as well as cash from Ashton Kutcher and clothing designer Marc Ecko.

Even Amazon has its own version of micro-labor service with its Amazon Mechanical Turk site that allows people to get work as virtual temps. Companies like Microsoft and LinkedIn can post jobs and pick up micro-employees for brief, work-at-home jobs without going through a cumbersome search, hire and contract process.

Zaarly and sites like it are processing more than 1,000 transactions a week, ranging from requests involving tangible goods to any kind of random service you can imagine. And with tasks averaging about $50 each, the services and opportunities are only going to grow.

Finally, you can play golf and your wife never has to know it wasn’t you who cleaned out the gutters last Saturday.

[Wall Street Journal]

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