Milestone 1 crowdshrimp

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Working as a Mechnical Turk Worker


What I like is that you’re given clear instructions when you click on a task. In this sense, the work is easy and attainable. But I’ve found that there’s more I don’t like than what I like.

I didn’t particularly like how unsustainable the whole system seemed to be. For me, I was most drawn to the tasks that were higher paying regardless of what the tasks was, and for people who also are drawn to the quality of the work rather than pay, it’s difficult to feel motivated when the end-goal (financial, intellectual, emotional) doesn’t seem grand or guaranteed.

Thus, I think the question that ultimately consumes me is this: is some sort of financial reward enough to drive a crowdsourcing platform’s economic sustainability? (By sustainability, I’m referring to worker fulfillment [and, subsequently, commitment] and financial comfort). After reading “MobileWorks: A Mobile Crowdsourcing Platform for Workers at the Bottom of the Pyramid,” I was also curious to know how much percentage of Indians making money off of MobileWorks are making above or below their basic living standards.

Further elaborating on the relationship between my financial goals and finding quality work, there was an instance where I thought I had found a $0.50 task (which was to tag home design photos), but when I found out it would take two hours to finish the task, I was no longer motivated to do it. Though that would be 25 cents an hour, which is more than what most rewards for individual tasks on MTurk are, it still wasn’t enough.

Also, when it was also frustrating when I get message:

“You are not qualified to accept this HIT. You either do not have the required Qualification or, if you possess the Qualification, your value does not match the value required for you to accept the HIT.”

I got this message from work that asked me to find out if a company was hiring and then again for work asking me to watch videos. As a new MTurk worker, it’s hard to understand why I would not be qualified for something that seems short and easy when it paid so little. Thus, I think a good approach to future crowdsourcing platforms might be to recognize the frustrations of workers, and find solutions to them. At least in my experience, frustration was a defining characteristic of finding and doing work on MTurk.

Note: I tried to finish HITs to reach $1, but for some reason my account got “temporarily suspended” – I think from trying to submit something twice. There was one task where I was trying to submit and it wouldn’t go through, so I kept pressing the submit button and refreshing.