“The matchmakers (apps) effectively satisfy customers without having to bear the real cost of providing the services.”

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Meanwhile, Forbes lets us know why the on-demand economy is so popular with investors: “The matchmakers (apps) effectively satisfy customers without having to bear the real cost of providing the services.” A good in-depth look at what the “workers” in these systems actually earn.

Trebor Sholz talks about how platform cooperativism (think Uber but owned by drivers) might work, in this new piece.

Geeking Out

Will you buy a telepresence bot from a salesperson who isn’t actually in the store with you? (Perhaps a better question—why wouldn’t you?)

Voice recognition and natural language software are about to give you the digital assistant you deserve. Bonus fact from this article? There’s a Blind Twitter.

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

I guarantee that an automated french fry vending machine will be 100% bad for my diet.

Uber just deactivated a bunch of drivers who had been organizing, and closed their office in LA for a day so no one would be able to get answers about why. Then they raised their prices for rides, since there weren’t enough drivers on to satisfy demand.

Really great piece by Wil Wheaton about why SAG-AFTRA voice actors voted to authorize a strike against the video game industry.

I guarantee you will not be able to stop watching this group of drones build a rope bridge. It’s hypnotic.

You knew it was only a matter of time—a school to help people apply for gigs in the on-demand economy.

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

You knew it was only a matter of time—a school to help people apply for gigs in the on-demand economy.

How would you feel about flying into an airport where there aren’t any human air traffic controllers on the scene? It’s like a Reagan fantasy come true.

Sweden is experimenting with a six-hour workday, and their Conservatives want the experiment to end…

The future of management jobs may involve more software than humans. Meet iCEO.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Want to monetize whatever your expertise is in? This new app wants to connect you with people who have questions that they want to ask a real person, not google. (Surprisingly, when I signed myself up, I discovered that “Elections” is not an option for expertise, but “Union Elections” is.)

This computer scientist says we should be running experiments with Universal Basic Income, to prep for a day when most humans may not have traditional jobs.

Why not organize an event for New Economy’s “New Economy Week,” being held from November 9-15th.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Construction workers come under increasing scrutiny, as companies use drones to make sure they’re working.

Organizing Theory

Berlin trip to learn how to do better mobile organizing? If only it weren’t during GOTV!

From Partners

Released on the fourth anniversary of Occupy—check out this map of global protests. Not seeing one you think should be on there? Submit it here.

And the Young Workers Media Project just released this resource guide: Black Lives Matter at Work.

Geeking Out

Can we program robots to ask questions when they don’t know how to do something?

If robots become union members, will they file grievances against humans?

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

If robots become union members, will they file grievances against humans?

Google’s about to roll out an on-demand grocery delivery service, in SF and one unnamed city.

Why is it so hard to figure out how many people work in the on-demand economy? Steven Hill breaks it down.

“If you’re well-versed in the area of robotics right now and you’re not working on self-driving cars, you’re either an idiot or you have more of a passion for something else.” What happened when Uber hired 40 academic researchers away from Carnegie Mellon University?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Please, someone put up a solidarity fridge in my town, and take these extra brownies off my hands!

“I am sympathetic to the motivation behind a higher minimum wage as too many people are working hard and yet can’t meet their basic needs, but a Basic Income is a better longrun solution to that problem.” So says Albert Wenger, of Union Square Ventures.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

“It doesn’t matter if you have nothing to hide, it matters if the people in your networks have nothing to hide. You don’t know. They may or may not. They are not obligated to be forthcoming about that, and you as an activist or journalist might not know what those things are.” Why organizations should care about digital security—and some steps yours can take to start moving to protect your own.

Organizing Theory

Austin, TX doesn’t just take public comment on policy proposals via email—they recently opened up their platform to people who didn’t have internet access, through text messages. It gave them a whole new perspective on how city residents felt about Ban the Box.

Geeking Out

An interesting post from Nick Grossman about how we could think differently about how to regulate new online businesses—by using data that governments historically haven’t had access to.

“Why did so few bankers go to jail following the crash of 2008?”

Geeking Out

“Why did so few bankers go to jail following the crash of 2008? Because almost everything they did was perfectly legal.” Great look at the morality of banking, in this month’s Contributoria.

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

You know what the world needs? A trash truck that doesn’t require people to get the trash from the can on the street into the truck. Meet the trash truck with a robotic arm.

“We’ve basically gutted wages for working people, and we’re wondering what’s happening.” Tim O’Reilly doesn’t think the W-2 vs. 1099 debate is worth having-because so many W-2 jobs have gotten so bad. Happy Labor Day! Meanwhile, the folks at New America want to suggest that we set up Multi-Employer plans to deliver benefits to folks who have — you guessed it — multiple employers.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

The UK is working on creating a database to track every detail of people’s finances, including mortgages, pensions and bank accounts. Now that’s what I call big data.

And while we’re on the topic of Big Data, Facebook’s decision to insist on everyone using their legal name makes a lot more sense when you know that they want to be able to sell info about you to lenders.

Most of us will agree that children deserve privacy. Unfortunately, most of us are not setting the standards for websites that collect personal data about kids.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

ZipCar says that users of their business service are less likely to buy a personal car, after their company joins the service.

Fascinating report on how AirBnB & other short-term rental websites are harming the rental market for New Orleans residents.

H & M wants you to tell them how to recycle clothing better—and if you do, you could win a million bucks.

“Power is the opposite of dependency.”

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

“Power is the opposite of dependency.” How has the replacement of tipping with “rating” affected the way we think of ourselves as consumers? Interesting post on the power dynamics of the sharing economy.

Five-Thirty-Eight looks at how the jobs of the future may be better suited for women than men.

Is the Uber endgame just to replace mass transit with a privatized system?

Google wants to have its self-driving cars commercially available in 4 years. Their first (non-Silicon Valley) tests are being done right now in Austin. On a related note, they’ve also filed a patent to create a system for tracking—and creating a giant data set about—drivers.

From Partners

In NYC? Come over to the New School on November 13th & 14th, and check out the Platform Cooperativism conference.

In Baltimore? Why not head to UB on September 19th, for a one-day conference that will explore the New Economy.

I’m super sad to see this announcement from Contributoria, and hope there will be some analysis of what worked—and what didn’t—as they tried to build a crowd-funding model for journalism.

Geeking Out

New York Public Libraries have embarked on a year-long program to help close the digital divide, by lending out hotspots to people with no internet at home.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Freelancers who share a common work space (coworking or other) might want to check out Cotivation—which helps people set goals and hold each other accountable, when they’re working for themselves.

This activist is calling on co-ops throughout the world to hold a one-day strike in December, to bring attention to the climate crisis.

Here’s a new startup that wants to connect people who want to learn how to do something with people who want to teach it.