Last week while I was away from home and with time to kill, I stumbled on an article about the best places on the internet to make easy money. Most of the lists were composed of the same sites, such as Respondent and SwagBucks (one of those “you gotta spend money to save money sites). Another that popped up on several lists was Slice The Pie, which is an on-line survey site where participants get paid for their opinion.  Oh and let’s not forget working from home as a proof reader.

I live in Portland, Oregon where there are a bazillion coffee shops within blocks of my house. Within them are slews of 30 somethings lounging on couches and low slung chairs, sipping java and pecking away on laptops. Until last week, I wondered what they might actually be doing – writing the Great American Novel came to mind and so did using a free Wi-Fi and an app called WireShark to spy on other laptop users. But I was wrong. It seems there is a whole world out there on the internet exploiting the unemployed.

Respondent claims they will pay for your opinions once per week via PayPal. So does REV, which is a SF based service that employs the masses to transcribe audio and video tracks for slave wages (one needs only to examine what is required to discover just how laborious it is to produce an acceptable transcript – way below pennies per word – more like pennies per paragraph).

Gleaning through the lists and visiting some of the sites hosting this sort of work landed me on several blogs that hyperlink to the same sites. The bloggers are all trying to gain passive income by using the hyperlinks as referrals to get $ for folks signing up to do surveys and some of the other gigs.

Does it actually work? Can a person make $ this way? Many claim to. We will see.

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