Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy Monday Turkers!

Ah Monday the worst day of the week from many....But not for me. Despite once being an avid believer in Garfield's "Mondays Suck". I now have much love for Mondays. For me they are not the start of a new work week...But rather a day to relax and watch the clouds roll by.

And of course do a little Turking....I have such HITs to choose from as Collect US school district contact information, Write a short Muslim Sci-Fi story!, Restaurant Verification, Look up information for things from various lists, Rank Your Top 3, and of course A Penny for Your Thoughts.

Now all of these HITs are pretty much fun.....None pay well...Most pay horribly...But mTurk currently is a place to hang out...And mess around and get paid while doing it. A mentality that perhaps the site should reflect. Now of course you can go through painstaking HITs such as Podcast Transcribing and make some actual dough. But if you're not low on cash and not freakishly fast at typing, Why? All of these HITs are fun...In fact I've spent hours doing much more frustrating and annoying tasks in video games with my only motive being the "privilege" of doing an even harder task.

I've read a few articles since's article on mTurk that call mTurk a virtual sweatshop (though Salon's article is informative and doesn't take sides). Now I'm asking how so? Now I can see some mentally ill person trying to pay their bills with mTurk rather then going out and getting a job (or second job if needed)...But the fact is mTurk is a place to waste some free time, and get paid for it...Extra cash to spend on weekends. These people aren't repressed....Admittedly underpaid many times but they can easy turn there backs from such HITs and the price will go up (which I suggest doing in some cases).

And despite low prices mTurk surpassingly has yet to have any large number of foreigners living in low cost areas taking it over (that I know of...) I credit this mostly to mTurk being in English and the only payment options being transferring money to a US Bank Account and to an Gift Certificate balance. If I do ever hear of true "sweatshops" being setup by Americans in foreign countries to have low income workers work all day on mTurk I will be rather disturbed (unless the conditions are somehow good) But until then give it break, the Turk is great, the workers are happy (sorta...We do love to complain though). And the Requesters although they are coming slowly, keep coming. mTurk's future is bright. Keep up the good work everyone, it's been a blast...And guess what? Only 3 months or so till mTurk's B-Day (Don't check my math...)! I'll have to get Requesters to post some crazy fun HITs that day, maybe force Turkers to get the high score on some game or go through a scavenger hurt or something.

Or maybe some sort of massive puzzle that all the Turkers have to complete in 24 hours (as a team)...And if they don't....All of the HITs get rejected! (I think that's a violation of TOS...) But ya...I'll have to think up of something fun and make it happen (don't count on me though...heh) Anyways keep it up, it's been great so far.

And of course.....HAPPY MONDAY TURKERS!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

HIT: Lookup People!

So Amazon seems to be using mTurk to create a database of people from lists that they have collected.

The HITs pay one cent and have you research the following about a given name
Whether he/she is alive or dead.
What his/her gender is.
What his/her birthday is.
What his/her profession is.
His/her page on (if one exists). Use the fully qualified URL e.g.
The best website (NOT on for information about the him/her. Use the full qualified URL e.g.
I got Clint Eastwood from the Top Movie Directors List. The information for him was rather easy to find...

This appears to possibly be another part of the "Rank Your Top 3's". Where now they are referencing the names given. Especially considering the first question is whether or not the name is a person. Heh. Anyways have fun with these...I really don't see how 1 cent is worth someone's time....Bump it up to 3 cents and I'd be on it like crazy. But 1? When at the very least the person has to perform a search and copy and paste two links? Not the best example to other Requesters. But at the same time I guarantee the 4k of them posted will be gone within a day or two (Of July 30th).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Turk Gear

So you're sitting at home in your PJ's, trying to transcribe a podcast and you're just not feeling it.

Well the issue is that you aren't surrounded with Turkness. Now if you go the Casting Words Spreadshop and buy yourself a nice Turk Shirt, and Coffee Mug and Hat. Wait a week and throw the hat on and the shirt and start drinking out of the mug...You will feel the Turkness...And the Turkness will feel you....Soon you'll be dreaming about left footed sheep and ranking the top 3 of everything....Plus your eyes will be drawn to business signs. (Yes I am just making up words as go and don't wait to finish the podcast untill your gear comes..It'll expire.)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

HIT: Lookup Symbol

Thousands of 1 cent HITs from lyon1727 were posted that simply requested that you lookup the company name of different stock symbols (I'm lost on the proper terminology) Here's the instructions given

Lookup the following symbol SMDI

Hurray for clarity.....

Simple enough...Though seems like he could've found this information somewhere....But perhaps 40 bucks or so seemed easier to scrap a database for it together.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Trivia Research Department has posted a large number (700+) of HITs that have Turkers write puzzle clues for 3 cents.

Here's the one I got
Puzzle Category: Sports Puzzles
Puzzle Subcategory: NBA Star
Supportive Information:

Write a Cryptic Clue that will be used it the above puzzle. The clue is to help the player guess the PUZZLE ANSWER

Now I have no idea who Jalen Rose is... Other then apparently a NBA player so this isn't worth 3 cents to me. But hey if you are into sports and know this sort of stuff, plus a total puzzle master in your spare time (ha, puzzle master) then I hope you jump on these HITs and have fun.

Now this is an interesting idea, let's say 700 trivia questions would take one person probably a month to write...Let's say they make 30,000 a year thus 2,500 a month then with mTurk they are only paying 21 dollars for 700 thus saving 2479 dollars if it works out....By my rough calculations. Plus it gets done way quicker. I'm surprised more businesses aren't experimenting with mTurk if these savings are as realistic as they seem.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Compliment Me!

Wow, I've been lazy and haven't had a proper post in a while...Sorry. Anyways a great HIT that I noticed is entitled Compliment Me.

Here's the instructions from Kyle Consalus
Write at least a paragraph (3 sentences or more) in English that praises my character, moral strength, physical appearance, intelligence, and/or humility. Entries completely lacking in effort will be rejected, but any reasonable and attempt to compliment me would be great.
I'm male, I have brown hair and hazel eyes, and I'm generally above average.
Make me feel awesome.
Now Kyle, I don't think you are just a depressed loser with low self esteem that is paying others 10 cents to raise it. Rather I think you have some sort of a funny idea to do with these things. But this raises a lot of ideas in my mind....Like say the poor guy who sucks at writing love letters but wants to impress his wife, why not explain a few things and get one written for him. Or perhaps we can go down the road of sadness and have people post there picture and Turkers compliment them on various features like their oversized nose giving them a very defined face.

Heh. Sounds like fun. So Kyle, I'd just like to say that no matter how you feel there we always be a special place for you. I don't know where this place is....And I'll try not to care. But it's out there, try not to get in to too much trouble finding it.

Thanks for laugh.