aku-aku: v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
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Posted by dav at 2007 October 15 12:59 PM
File under: News

This morning I tried signing up at three Virtual Assistant companies. These are companies that will do pretty much anything you can do over the Internet or on the phone. Prices range from $7-20/hour. Usually the tasks are completed by English-speakers in India. At two of them (AskSunday and GetFriday), errors on the website prevented me from signing up. This doesn't give me much confidence in their abilities or professionalism. The third (and most expensive, as it is more geared towards business research) is Brickwork India and their sign up process seems to be OK so far.

Update: Steven Ludmer, a co-founder for AskSunday, wrote me back in about an hour to thank me for alerting them to the problem and to let me know it had been fixed. I've completed the sign up process now and will report back sometime on how I feel the service is working out. They have a referral program, so if you decide to sign up be sure to put my name (Dav Yaginuma) in your referral field.


When it comes to outsourcing tasks to companies based in India, China or the Philippines, you might find great rates, but those rates often don't compensate for what those services will cost you in return. Often it takes more time to give meticulous explanation about a task, then if you'd gone and done it yourself.

If you don't like interpreting broken English from a heavy Indian accent and you want to make sure that your requests are completed thoroughly without misinterpretation, you might want to think about looking for a US-based personal assistance agency like Zirga.

From simple tasks to complex problem solving and research, Zirga can take care of tasks and problems you don't have time for. Zirga is in hot demand because while offering our services at an affordable price, we also employ representatives who speak plain English. In addition, our representatives offer creative solutions when unexpected barriers are encountered. We don't just accept and complete tasks, we follow through to make sure you are never left stranded.

>Standard Plan: $95 for 35 tasks*/month
(That is less that $3 per task.)
>Extended Tasks are completed at $25/hour.

Task Specific Rates:
>We charge $1 per minute for audio transcriptions.
>Basic Data Entry is billed at a 1/2 cent per word.
>Advanced Data Entry is billed at 1 cent per word and 1 cent per field.


Posted by: Preston on December 18, 2007 02:51 PM

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