Instacart has promise as a side gig, but it may not make you rich

Instacart appealed to me, initially, because the number of actual people you have to interact with while completing your gigs is way less than, say, driving for Lyft. I should also admit to having a soft-spot for grocery shopping, as I use it regularly as an excuse to get out of the house and have some time to myself. When the pandemic picked up steam last spring, the demand for food delivery skyrocketed, and with it, the demand for shoppers and drivers for services like Instacart. During the early days of the winter COVID surge, I spent full work days…


On the Occasion of Your Graduation

As you prepare to graduate and go on to better things, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect a little on our experience together, the impact that you had upon me, and the promise for a better world that I’m desperately hoping that you keep safe for another generation.

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

Your four years in high school have been marked by some of the worst political chaos and dysfunction modernity has seen. And to top it all off, we’ve plunged into the worst pandemic in 100 years, and we have found ourselves stunningly incapable of rising to the challenge of controlling…


Dapper Labs’ Blockchain-based NBA Collectibles are a hit, but for how long?

I am, by nature and by education a skeptical consumer. So when I first learned about digital trading cards and collectibles, my reaction was something like “why would anyone do that?” But the news about NBA Top Shot began to flow out, first as a trickle, and then as a torrent. Finally, buoyed by reports from major news outlets like NPR and Forbes, I had to check it out for myself.

About NBA Top Shop

NBA Top Shop is at the center of the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) mania, and it capitalizes on the irrational exuberance of folks for sports, collectibles, and financial speculation. As…


On the occasion of your graduation from high school

Photo by Jonathan Daniels on Unsplash

I was browsing the news recently when I came across some commentary that aptly sums up where we are in human history. I’m paraphrasing, but the author mused: imagine being a freshman in the Fall of 2016, and ending your time in school in the Spring of 2020. What an unimaginable four-year period to experience and then move out into the world.

That about sums it up. Your four years in high school have been marked by some of the worst political chaos and disfunction modernity has seen. And you know that because you were all my students at some…


How to stay in shape when you’re stuck at home

Photo by Zen Bear Yoga on Unsplash

COVID-19 has us all wondering how to stay in shape when the track and the gym are off-limits to us. Fortunately, for the outdoor aficionados, even the shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders have exemptions for outdoor activities. The six Bay Area county order, for example, allows for outdoor hiking, biking, and running so long as participants maintain a six-foot bubble as part of the social-distancing guidelines.

However, for those who are taking stay-at-home literally, or for those who are in isolation (self-imposed or otherwise), outdoor workouts are no longer an option. The benefits of staying in shape during this moment are…


I measure time by the school calendar

Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver on Unsplash

I don’t measure time by the changing weather, or the length of a typical day. Seasons have nothing to do with snow or thunderstorms. Or colorful leaves and flowers. Or the heat. Or the chill. I only gauge the changing seasons through the lens of the academic year.

The rhythm of the school year is even more predictable than a temperate climate. You can set your watch to the way your body, mind, and spirit react to different moments in a school calendar. Energy, exhaustion, emotion, stoicism. All come around exactly when you expect them to.


An experienced take on how to navigate the urban landscape

Photo by Flo Karr on Unsplash

I prefer to do my runs in quiet spaces, away from the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life. On weekends and for vacations, I have no problem getting away and finding a natural setting. During the workweek, however, most of my runs are based in the city. I’m a resident of the Bay Area’s urban expanse, and though it’s not so difficult to find a trail through the hills, it’s much more practical on a day-to-day basis to run around the city.

Despite the headaches it may cause (both literal and figurative), running through the city can be fun. When it’s your…


The original freelance services marketplace has a lot of potential

Photo by Caroline Rccrd on Unsplash

I first stumbled upon Fiverr back in 2011, when I ran a modest blog about sustainability issues. I was looking for some cheap help with SEO, and my searches led me to Fiverr’s growing list of SEO offerings. At the time, I thought that blogging, with Adsense and Amazon Affiliate listings, was the gold rush of the work-from-home possibilities. It turned out that I was wrong about blogging, but like the real Gold Rush, I realized that there was money to be made selling to prospectors. …


Here’s how

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The Side Gig Report is a publication that explores the lives and the experiences of workers in the gig economy. In it, we will publish articles that explore how the gig economy has been helpful, hurtful, or complicated for those of us who work the gigs. We will also offer well-written reviews about different gig providers.

Do you want to write for The Side Gig Report? Read below to find out how.

Submission Guidelines

By submitting work to The Side Gig Report, you agree to all the following conditions:

  • We prefer unpublished drafts.
  • However, we will accept previously published pieces on a…

Despatches from the Gig Economy

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

Income inequality is rising, and the cost of living, especially in America’s major cities, is going up as well. The postwar economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s made it possible for single-income families to live a comfortable middle-class life. No more it seems.

The following graphs tell a sad story for the American worker. The rising cost of living. Stagnating wages. Increasing inequality. How is one to make ends meet?

Robert Nelson

History Teacher, Marathoner, Husband, Father, Explorer. Views my own. IG: instagram.com/realrobertinelson T: @robertinelson ; robertinelson.com

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