How to make a little money by doing (almost) nothing

Would you like to earn a little money?

The emphasis is on the word, little. It's almost laughably little when you get to the part where I'll tell you how little. Still, other than apply and get set-up to do this, you don't have to do anything, and so I figure that this might appeal to some people.

Gomez, a Lexington, Massachusetts firm that measures other company's Web performance, pays the public small cash fees for running their program on their personal computer.

Sure, it sounds Big Brother-ish or at the least, a bother, but it's an "invisible and non-invasive application" according to Gomez's spokesman, Frank Cioffi, who explains, "We use it to run website performance tests for our clients, which include 14 of the world's top 15 web sites. It does not slow a PC's speed, nor does it monitor your personal web browsing or data."

The idea is that a company that hires Gomez can look at the data they collect (from the people who run their software) and determine that, say, a particular web page on a site is taking forever to open. They can get data that involves the actual public, many of whom have slow, aging computers. In other words, computers that are from the real world, rather than testing with a giant group of identical PCs. Hopefully I explained that without sounding like a total moron. An IT guy, I am not.

But I do appreciate the value of a few bucks, and so if you're interested in earning up to $2-4 a month for running the Gomez software on your computer, just click here, and click on the word "apply." Once you fill everything out, and if you're accepted, you're paid once a month, provided the balance is at least $5, and your meager earnings go into your PayPal account, assuming you have a PayPal account. If you don't have PayPal, you're out of luck. And you're not necessarily going to be accepted; from what I gather, from reading the article that Internet RealTime IT Newswrote about it, they're especially interested to hear from people located in far-flung places in the world. I'm guessing a person living in Arthur, Nebraska may have a better shot than someone in New York City. But that's just a guess.

And if you happen to have your own computer network -- say, an Internet cafe -- you might be able to make as much as $45 a month. In any case, again, once you're accepted into the program, you do nothing but collect your money. So at the end of the year, if it pleases you to realize, "Hey, I made $24 or $48 thanks to reading that WalletPop article," and if you can stomach losing about five to 10% of your earnings, feel free to buy a thank you card and send it my way.

Geoff Williams is a freelance journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).
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