TaskRabbit is doing what it can to fulfill the promise of informal online networks while avoiding the security issues that have blighted platforms like Craigslist and, more recently, Airbnb. The company allows users to farm out tasks to waiting “TaskRabbits.”
Leah Busque, TaskRabbit’s founder, said that her site uses the Internet to deconstruct the barriers that the openness of the Internet paradoxically helped construct. “The Internet kind of put us in our silos and broke up that offline community we had,” Busque told reporters. “People have said that TaskRabbit is bringing it back, allowing people to connect to their neighbors again.”
To weed out potential fraudsters and layabouts from the droves of wannabe TaskRabbits, the company has put in place a variety of safeguards. Helpers must submit an essay and pass a written test, a video interview, and a written test. In the end, only 25 percent of applicants are accepted.
Read more at The New York Times.