Get Me The Geeks! – A CBS video report by Steve Kroft says that ‘geeks’ are the only ones that can help us out at the time of a technology related emergency.
We are becoming slaves to our own technology – addicted to and dependent upon all sorts of beeping, flashing gadgetry that is supposed to make our lives easier.
But it has become so complicated to set up, program and fix, that most of us don’t know how to do it, giving rise to a multi-billion dollar service industry populated by the very people who used to be shunned in the high school cafeteria: geeks.
If you have some good knowledge of computers, software or gadgets, it may well be a golden opportunity for you (as a geek) because there are hundreds (if not thousands) of people in your neighborhood who are in urgent need of tech support.
Today, we’ll share an interesting service that can help you get started in the tech-support business at minimal cost. We also explore different areas where you can employ your tech skills:
Tech Support over Phone or E-Mail with Ether
When people call you for tech support, a complex part of the workflow is the actual payment process – how do the clients pay you in proportion to the time you spent in fixing the problem. And Ether is one free service that can help you here.
Ether provides you a unique phone number and when people (your clients) dial that number, the call is automatically forwarded to your regular mobile phone. Then you set your rates like how much you would like to charge per hour, per minute or even per call.
The call from Ether only gets through when the client has prepaid your standard rate. Ether takes a 15% cut. [Here's a list of countries where Ether is supported.]
Conduct training sessions for not-so-tech-savvy crowd on Weekends
Everyone in your local community has an iPod, they know about Google Search and chances are that all of them are equally worried about the online safety of their children. And there’s lies an opportunity for you.
Hire some room with a projector or if you have enough space at your own home, use that. Invite parents of your friends and even family members for practical sessions on useful topics like “how to transfer music from an iPod”, “how to search that Christmas cake recipe on Google”, “how to decide a smart phone” and so on.
The topics may sound too simple but think from your dad’s perspective – is it easy for him to decide between a Blackberry Pearl and a Windows Mobile phone ? That’s where your infinite tech wisdom can help.
Build Your Own “Geek Squad Army”
A lot of people need help in installing software, inserting that extra RAM in their laptops, recovering data from crashed hard drives, adding a router and so on.
Such services generally require you to visit the physical location of the client instead of talking over the phone. If you and your “geek” friends have the time and the inclination, why not grab this opportunity. You get to do what you love and can make good money as well.
[Amit Agarwal writes for Digital Inspiration]