Tag Archives: Mechanical Turk


Smartsheet: the deadliest app in town?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… “ Smartsourcing ”, a feature that allows users to design and post crowd labor tasks via Mechanical Turk. Smartsheet’s x-factor is the way crowdsourcing is totally integrated into its interface. Users can just click on the Smartsourcing tab, and have a task go live in minutes. The Smartsourcing system lets you specify instructions, timings, payment rates and privacy settings. The app also recently teamed up with Google docs, giving it access to a massive new potential market. …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk business crowd Crowdflower crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work human Mechanical Turk Smartsheet VisiCalc Yelp

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Can you crowdsource Christmas?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… If you blow your budget on T-shirts don’t worry, crowdsourcing can help out here too: Mechanical Turk offers payment in Amazon vouchers, which (seamless bit of linking) gives me the chance to recommend some of this year’s top crowdsourcing books.

Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirkey is a great book on the creative potential of human-computer interaction. In these heady days of Wikileaks, it’s easy to forget the wiki that started it all: Good Faith Collaboration is a …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk Christmas crowd crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work Holidays Kickstarter Opinions Peperami Simon Cowell

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Crowd Labs Incorporated

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… prisoner’s dilemma and the Asian disease problem have already been tried out using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

One ingenious Harvard PhD candidate – John Horton – also used Mechanical Turk for several “field tests”, where workers undertook tasks without knowing they were in an experiment. So while people thought they were merely tagging a few photos, they had, in fact, unwittingly contributed to a paper on worker productivity. (For now we’re ignoring the obvious ethical …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk crowd Crowdflower crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work experiments iPhone John Horton Psychology Social sciences workers

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Some work is born digital: from gold farmers to game masters

Posted on by Vili Lehdonvirta

… in rankings and search engine results. The latter type of work is even offered on Amazon Mechanical Turk, one of the earliest crowdsourcing platforms. The active job market for such tasks reflects the fact that they can be seriously valuable to many entities in the digital economy. But the reason why we consider them grey-market is because they can simultaneously destroy value for other actors in the network.

Heroes of digital labor

How about born-digital work that represents …

Tags: captcha crowdsourcing digital labor human computation Mechanical Turk richard heeks world of warcraft

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Faces in the crowd

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… inputs like labor are cheaper.

The wealth of nations

Crowdsourcing platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk should presumably take this basic economic principle to the extreme. With no need for the risky and expensive investment in overseas factories (or ongoing employment related expenses), crowdsourcing is a much more efficient way to source labor than outsourcing. All things being equal, “Turkers” from poorer countries like India will be able to supply their labor at much lower …

Tags: Adam Smith crowdsourcing Mechanical Turk Turkers' nationalities

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