Virtual Assistants


#1

If a Free Agent was looking for an online or offsite assistant to offload a little work where would they start to look? Or, maybe, if one were looking to assist a Free Agent as an online or offsite assistant where would they go to make themselves available? (corrected when airwhale pointed out the error of my use of virtual assistant, so sorry)


#2

What exactly is “virtual” about the assistant you are looking for? Siri, Alexa, Cortana - these are all virtual. Not to pick on you as I certainly understand you did not coin the term, but I find it problematic to refer to hard-working people using the Internet to make a living as being “virtual”. Could we please find a better term - perhaps “online assistant”?

Am I being overly sensitive here?


#3

Corrected. You make an excellent point. I hope it was obvious I was not trying to offend.


#4

The way I see the terms used Siri, Alexa, et. al are digital assistants. Virtual assistants are people who provide administrative services remotely over the internet. When I Google virtual assistant nothing related to Siri, Alexa, or any of the other digital assistants come up on the first page of search results. I don’t think you’re being too sensitive as much as you’re operating off of the wrong definition.


#5

When I read Virtual Assisstant, the first thing that came to mind is remote assistant. I don’t see offense.
That being mentioned, did you see Remote and UpWork?


#6

Something like what @mina mentioned – or FancyHands? If you Google “online assistant” or “virtual assistant” you’ll find more assistants and more info about virtual assistants.


#7

“Remote” works well too. Of course, the people working in this part of the service economy should probably come up with their own branding.

I simply connect the term “virtual” to something that is “not real”.


#8

Thanks Joel! I don’t think you actually made a mistake, as this term is currently in use. I just find it to be incorrect, and words have meaning. Are there any other professions that have a “virtual” counterpart?


#9

It’s a growing aspect of medical care. Virtual nurses. Virtual doctors. Medical insurers are coming on board with virtual services. Where I live, where fewer practitioners accept old school insurance plans and demand upfront fees per month or year, virtual medicine is a growing part of the transactional, concierge economy.


#10

I wanted to thank everyone for the input on this subject. It has been very helpful.