Milestone 1 : Mustang

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Experience the life of a Worker on Mechanical Turk

Both our accounts were not authorized by Amazon on time for us to complete the assignment.

Experience on Mechanical Turk

Both our accounts were not authorized by Amazon on time for us to complete the assignment.

Alternative crowd-labor market - TaskRabbit

I (Achal), have completed two tasks on TaskRabbit before. The first task involved buying food for someone from a particular restaurant and delivering it to them. This was an easy task, since the restaurant was nearby and the final destination (where it was to be delivered) was also fairly close. The second task involved walking someone's dog for an evening. I received both these tasks through the TaskRabbit iPhone app, and was able to accept or ignore these requests. It was a very interesting experience, and I had to do nothing except complete the assigned task - TaskRabbit took care of everything else, including giving me the details of the requester's order from the restaurant, and the details of the dog walking task as well. I did not have to leave the TR app to communicate or engage with the requesters.

In conclusion, the process was fairly streamlined and did not require any overhead on my side. Everything except the actual task was taken care of by TaskRabbit.

Readings

MobileWorks

  • What do you like about the system / what are its strengths?

I like the concept behind MobileWorks because it aims to introduce India's lowest common denominator to the world of crowdsourcing. The paper highlights how pleased the participants of the study were with MW. They could use it at their convenience, and it involved very little set-up or overhead other than basic information, both of which are strengths, in my opinion. From a User Experience perspective, this is an ideal target to achieve - good UX makes users want to return and use the application.

  • What do you think can be improved about the system?

One issue that MW might run into as it scales up as a service is making sure that the service is accessible and usable by participants in spite of increasing payloads within each task. From a technical perspective, as tasks become larger and more complex, they will also require users to have hardware and connectivity that will complement the growth. Another issue the MW might run into is the fact that users might lose interest in performing tasks as they become more complex, causing engagement to taper off. It is essential for MW to find a balance between brevity and complication as usage grows.

mClerk

  • What do you like about the system / what are its strengths?

I (Vignesh) like the innovative methods the system used to send the task to the people via sms's and the payment methodology. They have utilized the countries and people limited capacity to flesh out a functional system.

  • What do you think can be improved about the system?

While the current payment methodology works, i think the system needs to be automated in order to prevent any mistakes in topping up the phones. This is only okay for a small number of people and wont be sustainable as system grows.

Flash Teams

  • What do you like about the system / what are its strengths?

I Like how the capacity and numbers working on a task can be varied with need and necessity. This is excellent as it is very efficient from a operations viewpoint. Also saves money by paying for exactly what work is needed.

  • What do you think can be improved about the system?

Guaranteed completion is something that can be improved upon. Maybe work on a more permanent basis or incentives could help tide over this and other issues.