Amazon Mechanical Turk is a new crowdsourcing work program which claims that it gives businesses access to a diverse, on demand workforce and provides people with a work from home opportunity.
Crowdsourcing is a type of work where businesses post small, but important, tasks that can be easily and quickly completed by humans more accurately than they would be by a computer system.
Amazon says that signing up for their crowdsourcing forum is completely free, and only takes a few minutes. And each time you complete a task, the money will automatically put into your Amazon Payment account.
How Does It Work?
Amazon Mechanical Turk refers to their tasks as “HITs,” or Human Intelligence Tasks. These tasks can range from things as easy as identifying two items as being the same or different, to much more complicated tasks like translating text into a different language.
Many of the more complicated – and higher paying – tasks require Qualifications. Qualifications can be earned in different ways. Some you can simply request, others you must pass an exam, and others will be automatically awarded because of your performance.
There are currently over 160,000 different HITs available to choose from on the forum. Once you’ve registered, all you have to do is choose a task, complete it, and accept your payment once it has been reviewed and approved.
Tips for Succeeding as a Worker
Crowdsourcing is a great option for businesses. Most of these tasks are simple but time consuming for a company’s permanent staff, and can easily be accomplished by an at home work force at their own convenience.
The most basic tasks that you can accomplish quickly and without Qualifications won’t pay much. You will want to request as many Qualifications as you can, early on, so you have a wider range of tasks you can do.
But the most important thing to remember when taking on crowdsourcing tasks is to be accurate – because many of the HITs are so simple, people may try to fly through them as quickly as possible to accomplish the most tasks in a sitting.
The problem with this strategy, however, is that all crowdsourcing platforms from Amazon Mechnical Turk to Crowdflower and more will penalize you harshly for any inaccurate work you submit. Not only won’t you be paid for that task, but it will negatively affect your rankings and make it difficult to get higher paying tasks in the future.