Email is work: Email programs have become our workplace and email messages are the result of our labor. Are we getting paid for the work we do?
Statistics, extrapolations and counting by Radicati Group from February 2015 estimate the number of emails sent per day (in 2015) to be around 205 billion messages per day meaning nearly 2.4 million emails are sent every second and some 74 trillion emails are sent per year.
A portion of these emails are requests for work and responses to requests for work which, if managed, could be transformed into value. Unfortunately several factors converge to hinder the release of this value:
- Unsolicited email is estimated to be around 86% of the total making these legitimate requests for work difficult to find
- Email, though it has become the de facto interface between providers of work and consumers of work, lacks a formal system of contracting for microservices. This results in many jobs being performed and not paid, not being performed, or being performed but without a structured relationship between a buyer and seller and thereby generating ambiguity about the actual value of the work which often leads to conflict.
- Massive amounts of time are spent on tasks within e-mail which are not accounted or billed. This can because as single tasks they don’t justify the overhead of billing and accounting, they are considered informal “favours”, neither the provider nor the consumer has an accountable way of recognising the effort.
Email is Work – Get Paid For It
PayMyTime is a specific approach to the challenge of extracting value from e-mail work and the enabling of microservices and a microservice economy. The intention of the document is to introduce the concepts and serve as the basis of a proposal for a brief study, opinion paper or other appropriate report on the potential economic impact of the approach presented by PayMyTime Ltd., a software startup (www.paymytime.com) located in the UK.
The PayMyTime software platform which relies on the block chain to track and validate transactions, may also have broader impacts not only on the micro-services economy but on the international remittances market, which is dominated by a few electronic wire transfer companies such as Western Union and Moneygram. These systems, which predate the telegram, require the users to be present physically at the end-points, are only available in large urban centers, have high transfer commissions and poor (uncontrolled) exchange rates and require a bank account on both ends of the transaction. By using a decentralized block chain system, PayMyTime dramatically reduces the cost of transactions while increasing security.
Many other companies are entering the market with their own web/mobile platforms:
- Gmail (UK and US only)
Several of the factors limiting adoption of these
- Technological gap between sender and receiver.
- Users may lack the savvy to set up a financial account but have already set up an email account.
- Lack of bank account/credit card on either end of the transaction.
- Separation of the transfer transaction (physical teller, web interface, mobile app) from the service contract and delivery platform (email)
- Because the interface is a separate entity from email and requires the configuration of a separate account, many users do not trust the intermediary.
The PayMyTime Platform
PayMyTime is a software platform that uses three distinct tools to allow the extraction of value from tasks performed via email:
- PayWithMail® is an innovative payment system which allows users the possibility of making cash transactions via email. The objective is to make payments as easy as sending an email.
- BillingMeter® analyzes and certifies the time spent on each received email tracking time and actions performed on each email and allowing the automated preparation of certified time or job billing.
- NoMailSpam® is a reliable system to block undesired email. Received emails are all filtered by PMT’s engine that only lets messages pass that have been screened according to specific parameters. Accepted mails from known senders are passed through (family and Friends) while other mails which can be interpreted as requests for work are resent to the sender with an offer specific to the task they are requesting. Accepted mails which are themselves offers are sent back with a request for payment to consider (i.e. if you want me to read your offer, pay me $.05. Absolutely every email from any unknown sender, as well as senders that you have set as “paying” in the user’s account, will be initially blocked until payment is received or an offer is accepted. Nearly all unwanted emails, especially those sent automatically, will be filtered from the user’s email account reducing drastically the amount of emails in your inbox, and the time the user needs to invest reading them.
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