As a service run by Amazon, Mechanical Turk has received a lot of publicity ever since it was launched. Along with the publicity though, come negative reviews as well. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is actually a well-conceived service. Essentially, it is a marketplace that connects companies to thousands of people who are willing to complete tasks for a fee. This is where it gets interesting.
Mechanical Turk is an outsourcing platform for repetitive, boring tasks that can’t easily or cheaply be automated. Labor-intensive projects can be done completed quickly using an army of low-cost workers. Both small businesses and large enterprises use Mechanical Turk as a way to improve their business processes.
Each task that is uploaded to the platform is called a Human Intelligence Task (HIT). The cost of each task varies depending on how difficult and time-intensive it is. Some tasks get hundreds, if not thousands, of replies while others get none at all. If you’re not getting any response to the posting, it’s either the price is too low or the instructions are complicated. Among the most common tasks on Mechanical Turk include data entry, transcription, and sentence rewriting services. A number of companies also offer a few cents if you like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.
Review by Outsourcers
Since Amazon’s Mechanical Turk can dramatically decrease the cost of a company’s operation, it is looked upon favorably by outsourcers. Tasks that will take you as much as 24 hours can be completed in as little as 2-4 hours because of the number of people willing to complete the job for a small fee. Of course, there are also a number of firms that got lower quality output than they expected.
Overall though, many would agree that Mechanical Turk is worth trying out if your company needs to have a lot of small, repetitive tasks to be completed. It is quick, easy, and convenient to get results from this outsourcing platform. Just make sure to provide complete instructions and the answers will come rolling in.
Review by Workers
On the other hand, a lot of workers who have signed up with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk say they were disappointed by the low pay that is offered there. There are a number of jobs that pays as little as $0.01.For many, it is not even worth reading.
If you look at Mechanical Turk more as a gig that will fit in the gaps of your work though, then signing up will worth it. A number of people make minimum wage by completing the task on the platform. Take note that most of the HITs that pay well are taken up quickly. It would be a good idea to refresh your page every now and then when you’re online. That way, you’ll be able to maximize your earnings there.
Overall, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk offers a great service both to outsourcers and workers. The key to make it work, if you are interested in making money, is to be picky about the task you complete. Completing the gigs offered on the site can give you some extra cash when you need it.