Monday, January 29, 2007

Turking for a Living

Imagine working any hours you please.

And never being late, just simply working when you feel like it. Plus you can take vacation whenever you wish and as much as you want without having to give notice. Heck you can even live anywhere with a decent internet connection.

This could be the life of someone that Turks for a living.

Of course I wouldn't dare try this without some money saved up. But if you are currently doing a minimum wage job and the prices on mTurk went up a little. Why not? Even if for no other reason then to say "Hey I Turk for a living!".

Of course I definately wouldn't go out on such a limb quite yet. Perhaps give mTurk another 6 months and you could. Maybe a breed of Turk Bums could be born? Highly skilled workers that have figured out how to do some steady task on mTurk super-fast and so they only work a few hours a day. That'd be a sweet life.

Let's keep dreaming.

Inspired by Jonathan's Comment on this thread


Anonymous Michal Migurski said...

So I just finished reading The Box, a historical book about the changes to shipping and trade brought on by the container age. The description of a longshoreman's life up to the 1950's or so pretty much matches this ... show up to work your ass off, or don't. No one's expecting you, go fishing if you'd like. Pay sucks, work sucks, but you get to pick & choose when to do it. Of course, they all got steamrolled out of the trade when the container arrived, but apparently the union was strong enough that the few remaining longshoremen around today make insanely large amounts of money, for the kind of work they do.

11:37 PM  
Blogger ben bakelaar said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:58 AM  
Blogger ben bakelaar said...

Over at the AndroidTech Web 3.0 blog, whoever writes it made up a storyline a la Minority Report to describe what "turking" might look like in the near future (10-15 years?).

Web 3.0 is the bridge to the singularity

10:59 AM  
Anonymous laurens said...

Have you checked out this turked out videoclip yet?

I think you will like it..

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Mc | solve shutdown problem said...

Nice.. inspiring
ImprovingNew Blogger With Tips

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a tip: it's "definitely." :)

3:47 PM  
Blogger What's Wrong with Amazon's Mechanical Turk? said...

I'm all for outsourcing and crowdtasking. I'm also a big supporter of smart systems that reward workers and make people feel like their work is fairly rewarded and stable. This has been a big problem for Mechanical Turk, and I've documented some of the issues at Broken Turk blog ( Check it out and see what Amazon hasn't quite gotten right about their crowdsourcing platform.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Are you still turking for a living? I notice this blog hasn't been updated for a long. A pity, as it is fun to read.

I blog about MTurk too and was hoping to feature other turker bloggers in a post! :-)


10:37 AM  
Blogger Justin said...


I've taken it upon myself to write a blog that rates the quality of pay for time it takes to complete each HIT that I do.

My rationale is simple - my turking fee is $0.10 per minute.

If it pays less than that, it's a poor paying HIT.
If it pays about that, it's HIT worth doing.
If it pays much more than that, then it's a good quality HIT.

And they're color coded so that you can quickly sort through them.

I'll be trying to make $5 a day. That may not be much for the full-time Turker whi is "Turking for a Living" - but $5 a day for the rest of us can translate to $1800 a year - or an all expense paid vacation for a family of four and maybe even your Christmas presents too.

All the good paying one's I can find will be in one convenient place. I encourage others who may work on more HITs than I do to do the same.

10:19 PM  

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