Do you want to make the world a better place, but you also identify as internet trash and haven’t left the house in three days? (Or have a legitimate reason you can’t go out?) It’s OK! You can help from your couch or even from your computer chair.
A recent thread on Ask MetaFilter focuses on at-home volunteering options. Here are some highlights, and a couple of our own ideas.
Medium human interaction: Help the blind see
On the iOS/Android app Be My Eyes, you can help blind users handle visual tasks like reading food labels and matching outfits. The app will alert you when someone needs help, and you can pick up or ignore, no pressure.
Conversely, you can help create realistic digital voices by recording your voice for VocalID.
Low/no human interaction: Transcribe, read aloud, and proofread
Non-profits and research projects need lots of help with gruntwork:
- Transcribe Shakespearian manuscripts or classify photos of antibiotics through the Zooniverse platform.
- Transcribe documents for the Smithsonian
- Proofread Project Gutenberg’s digitised books with Distributed Proofreaders
- Record audiobooks for LibriVox
No human interaction: Fight disease with your computer
Do: Use distributed computing to contribute to huge scientific projects. [email protected], one of the most famous, has helped researchers design drugs to fight Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and HIV. You can start helping by downloading an app, or just running [email protected] in your browser.
Don’t: Mine crytopcurrency for charity. Mining crypto is inefficient; the creator of crypto miner Donate Your Tab (which lets you mine crypto in your browser) estimates it might mine five cents per user per day. That adds up, but so does straight-up donating U.S. dollars. Plus, mining cryptocurrency only works so long as that currency is worth something.