Milestone 3 TestSet DarkHorseIdea

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The Dark Horse. A magical, mystical creature. It's not the idea everyone wanted, it's the idea everyone needed.

A Minimum Wage

Oddly enough, the minimum wage began as a way to set the maximum amount you could pay laborers, and when the laws were eventually altered, a minimum living wage was also set up. Similarly, a worthwhile effort here is to set up a system to create a minimum wage.

Minimum wage may be paid per project, and each type of work can have its own standardized, set amount of minimum pay. Standardized payment will be presented as a basis of workers' rights, where time to finish task, payment, and skill will intersect at a greater equilibrium.

One line of online work that has standardized pay, for instance, is content mills, where companies hire anonymous workers (much like AMT) to write blog posts and articles for them. Blogmutt, for example, has a standard pay rate of $8 for 300-350 word posts, and though this is considered low in the writer world, it makes it easier for Blogmutt writers to track how much they're making. In addition, this allows writers to set monthly financial goals and calculate how much they need to be making a day (and how many hours they need to work, for the matter) to meet it. Similarly, standardized payment per task type will allow workers who are using this crowdsourcing platform to make ends meet to calculate their own financial goals, making them more achievable. This also makes the crowdsourcing workplace seem like a more sustainable place to earn money, encouraging good workers to stay.

An idea that's even darker, though, is to enforce a minimum wage per hour. In this case, workers will be need to accept a set amount of tasks per hour and finish them (the tasks should be manageable to finish given the time constraints.) When workers start a task, a timer will count how long that window is open and that particular page is active. Tasks will be organized into different categories (for example, "blog posts" or "translation"), and depending on which task group the worker chooses to work on this hour, the hourly minimum wage will adjust accordingly. Work cannot be rejected as long as the worker's skills meet the qualifications (this will be based on verified certifications they can upload or, for language translation, a satisfactory score for a prerequisite test). This being said, workers can accept tasks on a first-come first-serve basis.

Can satisfaction in a job well done be important?

We noticed when going through papers and forums that many academics, and even Turkers in general took great satisfaction in doing jobs that involved something to do with research. In effect, they felt partly compensated for doing something that we think can be considered "worthwhile". This may be an important fact to keep in mind when calculating something like the minimum wage. The problem with "worthwhileness" is that it's hard to set an actual value to. How do you judge worthwhileness? Is it judged by the Requester or the Turker? Regardless, we believe this is a crucial aspect of the minimum wage, as simply a monetary amount is insifficient to judge a task on AMT, or any CrowdSourcing platform for that matter.

For example, regardless of the outcome of this particular Crowdsourcing experiment we are all participating in, I enjoy the feeling that some of our ideas may actually be used in a new crowdsourcing platform. Just that idea makes this whole process worthwhile for me.