Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Using Amazon Mechanical Turk Efficiently




Last night, Ashley decided to start working with Amazon Mechanical Turk to help pay for gas, food, and spending money.  She tried quite a few different HITs before finding something she was looking for.  She finally found one and then timed herself doing them.  She was able to consistently maintain $4.50/hour USD, which is pretty impressive compared to the other online methods we have looked at.  She received an email from the "employer" telling her that her progress was exemplary.  I thought this would be a good time to share some of my personal tips on how to be successful at Mechanical Turk.

My biggest tip is that to find something that you like doing and is easy for you, don't worry about how much you get paid per HIT.  Some hits may take an hour and only pay $3.00 and you can't repeat them, while others pay $0.15 to complete, but only take 30 seconds to complete.  These types of jobs usually have tens of thousands of jobs available and you can have very little downtime between jobs. 

If you have the equipment, dual monitors can effectively double the amount of work you can do in the time given.  If you have a laptop, most laptops have a VGA port on the side to add a second monitor.  Desktops usually require a capable video card, but some computers come with the ability from the factory.  A dual monitor capable card can cost anywhere from $30 USD up to... well the sky is the limit with video cards.  Most users can use a low end card, but gamers may need to look at more expensive cards.  If neither one of the options are possible, you may have one more trick available.  In Windows 7 you can use the "Aero" features to split your screen on one monitor.  Simply press and hold the Windows key on your keyboard (Usually between Ctrl and Alt, same icon as the start button) and tap the left or right arrow key and then release the Windows key.  This is called "Aero Snap" and can be a very nice feature in a pinch in that you can have two windows splitting your screen.

A lot of jobs on Mechanical Turk require you to do multiple web searches and then copy the web addresses into the HIT.  If you follow the directions correctly, you will have to type http:// on each address.  Instead of typing http:// each time, type it once and then copy it into each box.  This way the boxes will be ready to accept addresses and you will shave seconds off of your time.

Also, when you first start using Mechanical Turk, make sure to verify your bank account immediately.  This way you won't have to wait 5-7 days to verify it once you reach the payment threshold.  This can be done at the link below.


If I think of any other tips, I will post them as I find them.  I hope that these tips help my readers in their endeavors.

4 comments:

  1. Useful tips, thanks for sharing

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    1. You're welcome, thanks for visiting!

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  2. Thats interesting is it all legal?

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    1. Nothing illegal here as far as I know. Just little shortcuts is all.

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