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Thread: Mechanical Turk

  1. #1
    Mistress Mischievous Lilith's Avatar
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    Mechanical Turk

    Has anyone tried using it or is an active worker on it?

    I'm curious to know how 'hits' work and the like. It's basically my first time to use it and I am doing a little investigation.

    Tips?

  2. #2
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Don't expect to get paid.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

  3. #3
    In 2008 I made enough to buy a 40 ounce and cashed out.

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    I used to use mTurk to run studies during an internship. We had to apply filters to the workers locations, because there's a lot of Indians that are willing to work for literally pennies. I know there's ways to make yourself more valuable, but on the base level, you're competing with people that are willing to do a task for 25 cents.

  5. #5
    Mistress Mischievous Lilith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Don't expect to get paid.
    Why? Pray tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by flurps View Post
    In 2008 I made enough to buy a 40 ounce and cashed out.
    How? Was there a decent payment scheme? Are you still on it? And how do you mean with 40 ounce?

    (English is barely my third language so I may not be understanding you correctly here.)

    I know I can just spend more time in there and read for me to get these info but I'm interested to know your first-hand experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    I used to use mTurk to run studies during an internship. We had to apply filters to the workers locations, because there's a lot of Indians that are willing to work for literally pennies. I know there's ways to make yourself more valuable, but on the base level, you're competing with people that are willing to do a task for 25 cents.
    That's helpful, thanks.

    Actually, I'm 'immersing' myself to get a deeper knowledge of how mTurk works as a worker. I'm working on some website formula and my boss has decided to use mTurk as our method of outsourcing micro tasks at a minimal cost. I can start with a few tests and I just found out that there's this "Qualification" thingy that has to be obtained for me to advance in the worker pool. My main objective is to assign which task is to be done in X time at Y cost. I have a very tight budget so I have to make sure things are done on time with good quality. I think I can control time but I'm not sure about quality.

    Is there a method or strategy you guys can share with me? I know this can be case dependent but I was hoping someone here was in a similar situation or something and can provide some perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mccrissanth View Post
    Is there a method or strategy you guys can share with me? I know this can be case dependent but I was hoping someone here was in a similar situation or something and can provide some perspective.
    From what I recall, you can choose not to pay the workers if you are dissatisfied with their work. That seems pretty fucking unethical to me, and it's basically online wage slavery, but it is what it is. So if they are late, or the quality is bad, you don't have to pay them (I think you need at least objective reasons to explain why you aren't paying them). You can also sort workers by their level of skill and qualification (as you noticed), but you tend to have to pay them more as well.

  7. #7
    They had me transcribing podcasts for 25 cents each, did it over a month while unemployed and it was totally not worth it. This is a 40 ounce. It fights for freedom. Worth two bucks, or if you buy it from a chain convenience store about tree fiddy.

  8. #8
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccrissanth View Post
    Why? Pray tell.
    This:

    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    From what I recall, you can choose not to pay the workers if you are dissatisfied with their work. That seems pretty fucking unethical to me, and it's basically online wage slavery, but it is what it is. So if they are late, or the quality is bad, you don't have to pay them (I think you need at least objective reasons to explain why you aren't paying them). You can also sort workers by their level of skill and qualification (as you noticed), but you tend to have to pay them more as well.
    A few years ago when I was looking into it, my research indicated it was pretty common to choose not to pay workers.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

  9. #9
    Member HilbertSpace's Avatar
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    I looked into it, and I'm thinking about using it for a preliminary study prior to actually going out and conducting a real one. One thing I learned is that apparently the ecosystem has evolved to the point of having Turk headhunters. Basically, you can pay someone for a pre-validated set of participants that match your criteria. You'd have to pay more per respondent, as well as pay a fee to the headhunter, but if you need a survey conducted on only a particular group, it's still much less expensive than putting together a traditional survey.

    Anyway, if you were thinking about participating, you might be able to leverage who you are and where you live for more selective work.

  10. #10
    Mistress Mischievous Lilith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    That seems pretty fucking unethical to me, and it's basically online wage slavery
    Quote Originally Posted by flurps View Post
    They had me transcribing podcasts for 25 cents each, did it over a month while unemployed and it was totally not worth it.
    Oh, the horror.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    A few years ago when I was looking into it, my research indicated it was pretty common to choose not to pay workers.
    Hmm okay. They just sent me the email membership confirmation thing. And the pay will be granted within 30 fucking days! Like, omg, thank you capitalists!

    Quote Originally Posted by HilbertSpace View Post
    I looked into it, and I'm thinking about using it for a preliminary study prior to actually going out and conducting a real one. One thing I learned is that apparently the ecosystem has evolved to the point of having Turk headhunters. Basically, you can pay someone for a pre-validated set of participants that match your criteria. You'd have to pay more per respondent, as well as pay a fee to the headhunter, but if you need a survey conducted on only a particular group, it's still much less expensive than putting together a traditional survey.

    Anyway, if you were thinking about participating, you might be able to leverage who you are and where you live for more selective work.
    That's interesting. Re survey: that seems efficient. I think I might be on that path.
    Last edited by Lilith; 02-20-2014 at 11:04 AM. Reason: oops

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