Data & Society > our work > blog posts > Instaserfs: Precarious Employment in the New – and the Old – Economy

blog post | 07.20.15

Instaserfs: Precarious Employment in the New – and the Old – Economy

Ethan Zuckerman

Benjamen Walker makes some of the best radio around….His finest work tends to come out in series of podcasts, exploring a complex issue through interviews and stories that unfold over two or more sequential weekly episodes.

The most recently concluded series is called “Instaserfs” and it focuses on the “sharing economy”, aka “the 1099” economy, the “gig economy” or as Ben offers, “the demand economy” or “the exploitation economy”. Struck by the ability to outsource virtually any task, Benjamen hires San Francisco native Andrew Callaway to make three episodes of his podcast as an “Instapodder”. The working method? Andrew’s task is to take on as many sharing economy jobs as he can and to report Benjamen about the experience, and whether he can pay his San Francisco rent with the money he earns.

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