Back in 2005 Amazon.com launched a website they call Mechanical Turk, which is basically a job posting board for small tasks that people can do from home, such as writing reviews, transcribing podcasts, describing photographs,answering surveys, etc. These tasks have nothing to do with Amazon.com, Amazon just runs the site. Workers are usually paid $.01 – $.20 for each task. The service has had its ups and downs, but more recently it seems to have attracted a good following, so I decided to give it a try (as an employer) for 3 jobs:
1. Give comments/feedback about my virtual pets website at Adoptme.com – $.50
2. Tell me a true story from your life, like about getting a job, buying a house, getting fired, going on a date, travel, money problems, an embarrassing moment, going fishing, etc. , to be posted on a new site I am creating – $.10
3. Give comments/feedback about my discount flower delivery website at CheapFlowers.com – $.20
After 5-10 minutes of setting up my account, depositing money, and configuring the postings, I was up and running. I made it so there was a limit of 50 responses for each job. I was not sure if it would take days or weeks for me to fill up this quota, and I had no idea of what people wrote for me would be any good or if it would all be junk, but I was very happy with the results. Within 24 hours I had 50 reviews for each of the 2 sites, and I only rejected one of them for being junk. For the “life story” job, I have had 37 responses (out of 50 maximum) so far over the past 2 days, so it might be that my 10 cent price is a little too cheap. I plan to repost it soon at a higher price to see if it gets more of a response.
My Adoptme.com and CheapFlowers.com were both created in the early 2000s and look very outdated, so that is why I wanted user feedback on them. I emailed all the comments people made to my graphics designer, who will use those comments when creating new versions of those sites for me. Mechanical Turk can be used for more complicated projects that wht I did, but I just choose these 3 projects because they were easy for me to create, plus I wanted to get familair with the site. I definitely plan to post more projects to Mechanical Turk in the future.