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= "Microwork refers to a series of relatively small tasks that are carried out by a distributed workforce over the Internet. Practices of coordinated microwork therefore allows for relatively large projects to be carried out quickly by workforces from around the world". [1]


"another sector of the virtual economy represents an unequivocally positive contribution to society: the market for Microwork, or small tasks such as tagging an image or trascribing a snippet of hand-written text. E-commerce sites and other companies need such work. With suitable technology, this demand translates to income opportunities for digitally connected individuals in developing countries. In the report, we examine the value chain of this industry and assess its development potential.

One important point to make is that microwork is distinct from the related concept of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing refers to the outsourcing of all kinds of tasks to a crowd via an open call. Microwork refers to tiny, digitally distributed tasks, whether these are sourced via an open call or, as is also common, through closed networks. (http://virtual-economy.org/2011/04/07/world_bank_virtual_economy_rep/)

More Information

  • This graphic illustrates the global division of microwork undertaken on the ODesk platform and reveals some of its locally divergent practices. [2]