Milestone 1 TeamInnovation2

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Revision as of 18:54, 4 March 2015 by Crystalcalhoun (Talk | contribs) (Experience the life of a Worker on Mechanical Turk)

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Our team consists of three seasoned MTurk workers, which is the perspective reflected in the content below.

Experience the life of a Worker on Mechanical Turk

Things I like about MTurk:

  • It's reasonably simple to sign up for. There's no interview process, unlike with a traditional job, and you can start looking for work as soon as your account is open.
  • I can work from anywhere, as long as I have an Internet connection and a way to access the web site.
  • I can truly work whenever I need to work, and I don't have to ask anyone's permission to take a day off or change my schedule.
  • If a task is too stressful or I don't like it for some other reason, I can choose not to do it.
  • There's a variety of different types of work available to me, which keeps things interesting.
  • There's a lot of work available, so there's always something to do.
  • I can withdraw the money I earn whenever I want, and it appears in my bank account quickly and reliably.

Things I don't like about MTurk:

  • Often, the pay is abysmal - for many tasks, pay isn't even equivalent to half the minimum wage where I live.
  • Not only are pay rates low, the pay is often disproportionate to the effort and time required to complete a task.
  • Searching for tasks that are suited to me is inefficient and takes up valuable time I would rather be using to work on tasks.
  • There's no built-in feedback system to filter requesters, so that I have to use external resources to check whether a requester is reliable or reasonable.
  • Although theoretically there's a variety of work types available, in practice, it can be difficult, convoluted, or even impossible to get access to the tasks I want to work on.
  • The web site interface is clunky and non-intuitive.
  • Getting qualifications isn't obvious
  • Lack of stability. Even if I find a requester that I really like, there's no guarantee that requester will be on MTurk for the long term, so I really need to have my fingers in a lot of pots in order to feel like I'll always have work that's worth doing.
  • You don't get much for being a dedicated or skilled worker. You do get ratings (like the approval rating), but there's no reliable correlation between pay rates on tasks and good ratings.
  • There's not really a sense of cohesion among workers, except where they gather together off the MTurk site, and I kind of miss the camaraderie of being part of a work group that can directly share experiences and feedback.
  • I don't feel much of a sense of warmth or loyalty toward MTurk, as it seems very impersonal, and oriented more toward making other people money than toward being a user-friendly experience for the workers, who are a necessary part of the system.
  • There seems to be no quality control for tasks that are posted, so some of them are really badly designed or broken, and it's up to workers to inform requesters, who aren't always responsive for one reason or another.

Experience the life of a Requester on Mechanical Turk

Reflect on your experience as a requester on Mechanical Turk. What did you like? What did you dislike? Also attach the CSV file generated when you download the HIT results.

Explore alternative crowd-labor markets

Compare and contrast the crowd-labor market you just explored (TaskRabbit/oDesk/GalaxyZoo) to Mechanical Turk.



  • What do you like about the system / what are its strengths?
  • What do you think can be improved about the system?


  • What do you like about the system / what are its strengths?
  • What do you think can be improved about the system?

Flash Teams

  • What do you like about the system / what are its strengths?
  • What do you think can be improved about the system?