Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mechanical Turk: The Demographics

Update: The results in this blog post are now obsolete. Please read the results of the new survey.

One of the common misbeliefs about Mechanical Turk is that it is a virtual sweatshop, essentially taking advantage of poor people in third world countries that are doing tedious tasks for pennies. Therefore, many people are afraid of outsourcing research tasks on Mechanical Turk, being afraid that the results will be either of very poor quality, or they will not be representative of the actual U.S. population.

Those that read the previous, qualitative survey about Mechanical Turk would have realized that the profile of the typical Turker is not of a person that completes tasks for a living in a developing country. Instead, Mechanical Turk tends to be often a replacement for TV, or simple something to spend some free time and get some spare cash in reward.

The next survey that I conducted focused more on the demographics of the Turkers. Are they uneducated, unemployed people with no income? Well, as you will see below the Turkers are a pretty representative sample of the online population, perhaps with a slight bias towards females and towards young participants. (See a detailed comparison on how the demographics of Mechanical Turk users compare to general demographics of Internet users)
Let's see the main results!

First, I would start with the country breakdown.

United States 76.25%
India 8.03%
United Kingdom 3.34%
Canada 2.34%

The clear result is that most of the participants are coming from the US and not from a third world country, despite the common misconception. This is due to the fact that in order to get paid, someone has to have a US bank account, or be willing to be paid using Amazon gift certificates.

Then, the gender breakdown:
As you can see, there are slightly more females that males. I do not have a definite reason yet, but I get a feeling that females are less inclined to "waste time" and find that if they can exploit their spare time to get a little bit of income, then they would do it.

Next, the age distribution:

Not surprisingly, many young people participate on Mechanical Turk, mainly as a way to get some extra cash and to be able to drive their car, get some items from Amazon and so on. (The Mechanical Turk payment can be either deposited in a US bank, or be given as an Amazon gift certificate.)

And what about education?

Turkers are a pretty representative sample. Most of them have a college education, and some of them even have PhDs! In fact, the distribution seems pretty similar to the distribution for the overall US population.

Similarly, the income distribution also follows closely the income distribution in the US:

Finally, why people participate in Mechanical Turk? From the qualitative survey, you could see that most of the participants mention money, one way or another. However, very few participate only for the money. (See also the detailed responses.) Here is the breakdown of the responders when they had to choose (not exclusively) between the choices "for money," "for fun," and "for killing time":

I hope that the results above shed some light. I have to thank my student Beibei for preparing the running the survey for me. The next steps now are to present the results of the qualitative survey in a coded/tabulated manner, and to give more details about the different tasks that we had run on Mechanical Turk and the lessons that we learned.

If you have any more questions that you would like to see answered, let me know!

See also

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why People Participate on Mechanical Turk?

This questions comes up often when I describe the tasks that Turkers complete on Mechanical Turk. Therefore, I decided to run a set of studies that will aim to answer this question. Instead of trying to impose my own interpretation, I will let the Turkers speak for themselves. I posted the following question on Mechanical Turk:
Why do you complete tasks in Mechanical Turk? Please describe the reasons that motivate you for completing tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Do you do this for the monetary awards? For killing time? Do you consider the tasks fun? What discourages you from completing tasks? What attracts you to participate in a particular task?
The Turkers were then asked to simply answer this question in an essay-like manner, and they got 10 cents for their answer. I list below some of the answers. I will not try to tabulate and analyze them in this post. (This will be done in a separate posting later. You can check this post for the summarized results.) You can get some further insight by reading the responses below.

I'm on Mechanical Turk for two reasons. First, it kills time when I'm bored and restless. Second, I like making money! Sure, it's just a little here and there, but the money does add up. If I'm going to be sitting around being bored, I might as well be working on HITs and making a little cash. The tasks I don't like are tasks that have many, complicated steps. I also don't like tasks that require a lot of work for only a small amount of money. In addition, I won't complete tasks that require me to install a program on my computer. That's just too risky, in my opinion. I'm most attracted to tasks that are surveys or web research. I love giving my opinion on something and participating in market research. I also like searching for answers using the Internet, so web research tasks are my favorite. Of course, I like most any task that pays well that I am able to complete.

I complete tasks primarily for the money. I don't mind doing quick penny hits, but I really like writing the larger articles. Discouraging is when I have to do many things to earn a dime - like the 2 cent category summary things. Or - when people don't pay for weeks at a time. Or - when I cannot block stupid hits such as the maps of pakistan - like anyone has maps of those villages? They are on forever, it's hard to search past things like that, and they are a waste of my energy. Attractive? Simple quick tasks like this survey or penny hits that require quick judgement like the venue hits. High rewards for completable tasks are nice too. Thanks.

I have a lot of down time at worki waiting for various things to complete. Used to play little games and such - this way I can make some money that I won't feel guilty about spending. I do hits I can either do quickly, or that I can leave and come back to with time to spare. I do HITs based on time to work vs money, but the more interesting or well organized the HIT, the les it needs to pay to get my attention.

I do it for the monetary awards, but I also think it's a good way to kill time. I have a lot of down time at my office. Some of the tasks are fun...I like word puzzles and things like that. I like the tasks that are all written out on the Turk screen, I don't like to have to do a lot of clicking around or uploading my work. I like tasks that are easy enough that I don't have to do a lot of research.

I complete tasks as a way to kill downtime at work, but also as a way to earn a little extra spending money. In order for me to undertake a task, it has to be either interesting, or very easy to do. Additionally, it has to pay a reasonable amount for the work, since others are effectively prospering off the discounted labor being provided. Even by Mechnical Turk standards, paying 1 cent for a full minute of work is not acceptable. I particularly like tasks which leverage my personal skills or knowledge, because it means that the work is more specialized and thus likely to pay better than a task that relies merely on mechanically performing a simple task.

My primary motivation is the money, with entrtainment being second. I like takss that are doable quickly, and try to estimate the amount of money I can earn per minute before accepting a task. I am attracted by high payouts and to clients known to pay quickly.

I do this for the monetary awards. Some of the tasks are fun and some are boring. Sometimes I don't even know why I'm doing what I'm doing. I like short tasks so I usually won't accept a long one. I look for tasks that look easy or a longer one that looks fun. The price attracts me also. I'm not going to sit there for 5-10 minutes tagging street signs for 3 cents.

I do it mostly for is a fun and easy way to earn a little extra. I fuond most of the tasks fun, while some of the other ones are just a waste of time. I get discouraged from completing a task when it is too low pay for the work involved and when there is no clear instruction from the requester. I am interested in HITs that requires creative thinking and the ones that requires original answers as opposed to just a simple web search. Thanks.

I am a retired senior citizen on a limited income. I have been Turking for a little over a year now. I have found it to be an enjoyable way to occupy some of my time, and to add a bit to my monthly income for the extras I might not have with just my normal retirement income. The extra income becomes even more important now with higher gas prices, and the grocery bill becoming more costly each week. I am not as computer wise as I should be to complete some tasks, but seem to find enough of them I can do to make my time worth. Turking is much better for the mind than watching the TV for hours at a time.

I complete tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk for the money. I don't accept the hits that make you do alot of thinking. This is just a part time job and I have been thinking all day and want to relax. I want to do the hits that are quick.

I complete tasks mostly for the fun of it. It's also kind of a challenge to see how much money I might possibly make. I'm not expecting to make tons--but it's nice to make a little for doing pretty much nothing. I get discouraged when there are lots of specific directions. I like tasks that are quick and easy!

The reason I complete tasks on MTurk is because they are a good way to waste time while making little money in the process. For example whenever I am at the library waiting for sports practices and have some time to spare I just log onto and make a little bit of cash. I only do hits that are easy, usually ranging from 0.01-0.20 cents and try to get as many done as I can in the time I have.

I am currently unemployed and so am almost a full-time Turker. Although the rewards are rarely great, they build up rather quickly over time. I prefer to complete tasks that pay greater than 10 cents per task. I enjoy those that involve data entry or rewriting sentences-paragraphs. Tasks that only pay 1 cent are OK if they are extremely quick, otherwise they are a waste of time.

Reasons that would motivate me for completing any tasks are: 1st - How much it would pay me 2nd - How much time I am going to spend to finish the task and 3rd if the HIT/ Task is worth the money I will get. I dont really do it to earn becuase I'd probably go broke before I earn alot turking but I would'nt do any task that would cost me so much of my time but would pay like .05 or .20. I wouldnt mind doing those .01 or .05 as long as i dont need to read ALOT (because it would take so much time just reading the requirements), or go to so many linked websites. Generally, I do this for fun but earning a little extra is cool too!

The reasons that motivate me for completing tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk include monetary awards (mainly), since it is my main source of income! Without Amazon Mechanical Turk, I wouldn't be able to drive my automobile, especially with these very high gas prices. I sometimes use it for killing time. The tasks are especially fun because you never know what to expect - every day is always different! There's always hits that are challenging but are very fun and interesting to complete. What discourages me from completing tasks is a huge task with a requestor that is very picky and needs information exactly the way they want it (i.e., if you don't enter everything or miss something, you're automatically disqualified). What attracts me to participate in a particular task is if it is relatively simple, quick, and easy to complete. If the reward is one cent, I'll do it. There's other criteria, as well, but it all depends in how the hit is designed. You can almost always tell if there's going to be too much work to do the hit. On the other hand, if you're really bored, it may be suitable. That's what MTurk is all about!

I do it for the money, and killing time. And some are fun too! I am discouraged by all the "Jump to another Web Site" hits, that you just need to register (ie EMAIL), complete something, then copy something back to MTurk....thats all I need is more Spam....just not worth it. One time Hits (like this one) are usually not worth learning what to do to get paid. So a One time Hit, requiring you to retype War & Peace all for USD.03...Not me. Attractions: The shorter the better. Hits must have some time in case I get busy (at work) and can't finish right away. Should be a group of Hits to learn the requirements and get paid. I like Hits that pay well (not just USD, but rejects and take your work, or 30day time out to get paid)

I do it for some extra cash to buy books etc. I do consider most of them fun. What discourages me is the one's that have you do alot of things for hardly anything.

The tasks are generally interesting. ALthough the rewards are small it is important and pays for books, magazines and goods that I otherwise would not have purchased. Personally I try to choose tasks that are short as my time is limited and I may be called away at any time during a HIT so I would not want to waste my time investment doing a task that I may not complete. It is discouraging when HITs are rejected with no reason given.

i do turking to earn some money from home i am a housewife and i love to turk because i can make money without going out. besides this i also learn some new things and gain knowledge some tasks are very time consuming and reward amount associated with them is very meagre . so this is a great discouraging factor i love to complete tasks that are easy and require less time i dont accept hits that require lot of work and attention

I do it for the money! I don't like .01 to do cent awards.

Started for fun and also for monetary awards.Easy tasks and appropriate or more money attarcts me to participate. Lengthy tasks and very little money discourages me from completing tasks.

Q. Please describe the reasons that motivate you for completing tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk A. I compete tasks on Mturk for the mony and for the interesting nature of the tasks involved. Q. What discourages you from completing tasks? A. Lengthy/complex instructions, inadequate monetary rewards discourage me from attempting certain HITs. Q. What attracts you to participate in a particular task? A. Adequate compensation and the level of interest I have in doing the task.

I do the tasks just to provide a bit of a break from doing other work on the computer and because after a while the money adds up to something not so insignificant. Some of the tasks are interesting, but most are not. I like tasks that ask opinion or to complete a survey or really easy tasks such as the amazon product ID ones. I don't want to complete tasks that take more than a few minutes or ask you to register with another site.

It seems to me an easy way to make some spare money. It's nice to be paid for using your intelligence. Usually I discard tasks that need more than 2-3 minutes to be completed and that rewards less than 5 cents. I think that one would earn in one our at least 3-4 dollars, if this seems to me not possible, i reject the task.

I like many of the tasks. They're fun to do if I have a few extra minutes. The money adds up quickly and I'm trying to pay down credit card debts. I usually pick tasks that are short, easy to finish, and pay at least .02 to .03 cents. Once in a while I do longer tasks like paraphrasing or searching the web.

I complete tasks in MTurk for the money. I try to earn USD3 per day. I now avoid the Amazon "Are These Items Different?" task because it gives too many wrong rejects. I like the transcription tasks because I am a sound technician.

I complete tasks on MTurk for the same reason I pick up a penny off the sidewalk. It doesn't take long and it is some loose change.

I participate on Amazon Mechanical Turk for several reasons: 1) the challenge - I find it interesting to try and create something useable in a finite amount of time 2) monetary - earning some change is a positive way to spend time rather than play couch/internet potatoe 3) I'd rather spend time productively thatn watching TV Discouragement: Some HITs I've work haven't been paid although product was delivered Some HITS are restrictive enough that regardless of effort, product can't be that good Qualifying for types of work that never show up as HITS (need to clean out dead accounts) Few well paying HITS Attractions: I like working on HITS that provide a challenge (writing, translation, data research) HITS that are renumerated well attract best resluts. I define "well" as something that has the potential of at least returning a couple of USD per hour

I complete tasks on Mturk for the money but I only select simple tasks that I can finish while doing something else, e.g., watching TV/surfing. Even if a tasks pays well, if it's too complicated or requires information I don't have offhand, then I will not do it.

I mainly do Mechanical Turk tasks to earn a bit of extra money. I do consider some of the tasks fun depending upon the content. If a task seems lengthy for the money paid, I will usually be discouraged from completing the task. The things that attract me to tasks are familiarity with the subject, money paid and number of tasks available.

It's all about killing time as well as earning some pennies. I Turk especially since most of my downloads take ages to complete. This definitely beats Digging (not unless I can be paid to do that as well).

I complete tasks for the inital purpose of making a few extra bucks here and there. There are some tasks that I enjoy doing , such as reviewing old magazine covers, rewriting sentences, etc. However, most of the "hits" on mturk reek of cheap labor outsourcing and I wouldn't waste my time with them. There are hits in which you are asked to rewrite an essay for 8 cents. Seriously, such hits seem like a joke and I skip right over them as these are types of hits that are discouraging. Further, many hits lack specific instruction, fail to outline an approval process, or flat out propose mere pennies for a task that will obviously take an hour or so to complete. There are tasks that do attract my attention. These are the ones that are well formatted with clear and precise instruction. Generally, the first hit I look at is the one with the most hits available as these are normally the easiest to complete. The oddball hits that show up are often absurd in the fact that there is an hour of work involved for mere pennies.

I became aware of Mechanical Turk through my nephew. He said he enjoyed completing all sorts of tasks and as he was disabled and unable to hold a job, it at least gave him the opportunity to enjoy a little recreational activities from time to and karoke! I picked up on Mechanical Turk when we retired and I, too, needed a little extra cash from time to time. Actually, so far I haven't cashed anything it...may need it for gas money down the road! I enjoy performing the easier tasks. They are fun just to search out...better than wasting my time playing Solitare! I steer away from the tasks that require moving away from Mechanical Turk's site. Bouncing all over the web isn't something that interests me.

I complete mturk tasks for the money, and to kill a little bit of time. Sometimes I enjoy doing mudande tasks like some of the ones presented on Mturk. I skip tasks that pay very little for tons of reading. I choose tasks that can be completely very quickly where bits of information is need from pictures or text.

I do it to keep myself occupied, for fun, to keep my mind sharp, and for the money, even though it is "play money" for me (since I don't live in the US, I can't have it transfered to a bank account, and so I can only spend it on Amazon through the Amazon Gift Account). What discourages me are tasks with high (and often unfair) rejection rates, slow payment, but most of all: HITs that ask you to do a shitload of work for just a few cents. Sometimes I really do wonder: what WAS this requester thinking?! No one is going to do all that for so little reward. What attracts me: simple, fun stuff for cents like the ask500people HITs, but also sometimes the more challenging stuff like Castingwords transcriptions, especially when I've seen something cool on Amazon that I want to buy, because the pay is good (more specifically the expedited transcripts). It just depends on my mood, I guess. Oh, and stuff that has to do with pictures are usually fun (Review user submitted images, for example).

Money. i like free stuff It kills time. i would be sitting around doing nothing I get discouraged if it is lengthy and only for a penny If it's easy and has a nice reward i won't hesitate to do it!

I do it for the money and for fun. I consider them mostly fun. When someone wants you do an enormous amount of work for little payment, its discouraging. I like the surveys the best

I do it for fun, when i'm bored (killing time) and for money sometimes.

I like to do the different tasks on Amazon's mechanical turk for a couple of reasons. the biggest one is killing time, but if by killing time i can earn a little money it is just a bonus. Some of the different things I have done have also been entertaining. I do mostly the same tasks. I have tried to branch out, but some of the descriptions are very vague and hard to follow. I don't like to do tasks that require more than 5 or 10 minutes to do. Searching the internet for hours on end trying to find maps or 150 buisness documents is just something i am willing to do. I am more than happy to rewrite sentences, answer questions or provide stories though.

There are three reasons that motivate me to complete tasks. They are: for the monetary awards. it gives me something to do. they are fun hits. Overall, I only select hits that I enjoy completing. What discourages me from completing tasks is some of the l and 2 cents hits. They are so involved that it takes from 12 to 30 minutes to complete. Although, I will complete these but, only if it takes 1 to 10 minutes to complete and they are fun hits.

All about the money. yes the tasks are fun!!! longer tasks are discouraging. quick money lures me to certain tasks

I do the hits for the money. Some are fun but its depends on the hit. If I get discourage with a hit I will sometimes stop doing it and come back to it before the time runs out. I say that it attracts people two different ways the pay and how hard the hit is. The easier the more people will do them.

monetary awards The simple polls are sometimes fun. I don't complete tasks that are too hard for too little pay. I prefer a simple task for a simple reward. not mutiple question in one task.

I typically complete tasks for the monetary awards and to kill time during slow times at work. Certain tasks are more enjoyable than others. I do get tired of doing some the repetive tasks. However, the tasks that I won't complete are the ones that require a great deal of work (writing stories, essays etc) for only a few cents.

Monetary rewards, pure and simple. If a task is not worth the time, it won't get done.

I do this for fun and monertary gain. I do not do tasks that require too much time or are prone to be rejected. I also avoid tasks that are lots of work for very little money. I like tasks that I can do quickly and pay enough to make them worthwhile. It also helps if the task is somewhat interesting.

I complete tasks in Mechanical Turks for a number of reasons. Since I do not enjoy watching TV, they are a way of killing time and the Monetary awards are nice. Also I enjoy doing the GIS Hits because they enable me to see other locations that I have never seen before. The Unspun tasks are fun to do, and I probably enjoy them the most, but the thing that discourages me about them is getting the same question over and over. A question that I would not have skipped in the first place if I had wanted to answer it. And one more thing that discourages me is some do not give me enough time to complete the task, and do it very carefully. But all in all I appreciate being able to do some of them. Thank you for allowing me to do this.

Monetary award, to be able to buy stuff at Some tasks are fun, others are a pain in the neck. Naturally, the biggest selling point of a HIT is the reward to duration ratio. Then, the time the HIT stays pending. Little HITs that pay too little are generally bad because, even if they end up paying much, we end up with a sore mouse hand.

I enjoy doind MTurk for a variety of reasons. I was first attracted to the site for the monetary rewards. However, the longer I do it, the more I enjoy doing it. I like many of the hits available to me. The tasks for the most part are fun and I have found many other useful websites while performing hits. I do not do the tasks that seem like more work than what the people are paying. One that annoys me to no end is finding maps of other countries. They are nearly impossible to do despite the payment offered. On the other hand, I love doing quizes, tagging pics such as GIS Imaging. I also enjoy finding info for amazon.

I complete tasks for the money. Plus, it is kind of fun. I don't like the tasks that take a long time to complete. I like the quick tasks.

I do enjoy completing tasks on Mechanical Turk, but I also do it for extra money. I won't complete a task with a very low reward if it will take a lot of time. I like to do quick, simple tasks while watching tv in the evening. I also like the gis tagging HITs from geospatial vision -- mainly because the pictures often show places I've visited and I enjoy the nostalgia and occasional nice rural views. I like tasks with a payment level that is not insulting (should be appropriate for the time and effort involved) and tasks that offer bonuses for good work and/or quantity of good work. My favorite HITs are the mathematical problems from Sarsen education. I like being able to write problems and contribute to an educational program. Combining creative writing with math is quite fun, and the bonuses are also attractive.

I am trying to pay off a credit card, so I have set a goal for myself to earn a certain amount of extra money each day on Mturk. I use my Mturk money to make payments above and beyond the minimum. I know that in the long run these small amounts will help me to get out of debt quicker. I mostly Turk during slow periods of my regular work day, but if I don't make my goal I will also Turk in the evenings from home. Sometimes I will sit in front of the TV and Turk just because I have the time, even if I have already met my daily goal. I don't think the tasks are particularly fun, but the extra money is worth it. I try to find tasks that generate the most USD for the least amount of time. It's not worth it to me to spend 10 minutes for three cents when there are many available tasks that will bring in three or more cents per minute.

I'm doing it for the little money I earn at it. I'm trying to see how much money I can accumulate through unconventional means (collecting cans, ppc, m turk, grocery bag rebate at the store) I've turned it into a game. SInce I'm not depending on this income in any way I don't like difficult tasks. Let me take a one click survey, or verify search results. (I've earned USD8 + over the last few months)

I participate in mturk because I actually do enjoy the kinds of tasks that I choose to do. It allows me to keep my skills sharp in certain areas in a fun kind of a way and I get paid a bit to do it as well. It's also kind of an interesting (and, quite possible, weird!) way of sort of keeping abreast of the kinds of things other people are interested in, are doing, find important, etc. You never know who's going to post a HIT, from where, and what it's going to be about. Ive seen some really interesting ones in my time here (about a year or so). What discourages me from doing HITs is if I really don't have any particular skill or knowledge in the area - I won't even accept or attempt it in the first place - or, if I have accepted it, if it turns out to be more difficult and involved than I anticipated or expected and I don't really think my time and energy is worth what I'm being paid for it (or if I really am not going to enjoy doing it even if I'm not getting paid enough), I'll return it. Hope that helps!

All my income goes to bills. Paycheck goes to wife. By turking I can make 50USD - 100USD a week for myself if the tasks are available when I am. I like quick,simple tasks. Tasks that are too involved I do not accept.

For my wife and I, this is strictly a monetary endeavor. We have our Mturk account linked up to a long term savings account and all the money we earn on it goes straight into savings. As such, we make decisions about which tasks to do or not do based on the reward versus the time investment. All things being equal, we will gravitate towards hits that are slightly more enjoyable, but in truth, cold hard cash is the main factor.

I do it for the fun of it plus it does help out on buying grocies for the hous. What discourages me taking on the task and then not being able to do it or understand it . But what really gets me is to a lot of the task and then they don't go though because I put the wrong number in or answer. What attracts me , Can I do the job or it looks like it would be fun just to try and see if I can do it or not.

Mostly killing time and there are some interesting HITs as well. I do not do tasks with overly long instructions, blog/website pimping, etc. I am attracted to any tasks incorporates the spirit of Mechanical Turk, that is, tasks that are easy to do by humans but impossible programmatically.

I complete tasks on amazon Mechanical Turk to kill time and make money while I'm doing it. It really doesn't take a lot of effort or work and I get paid to do it what a deal. What discourages me from complete tasks, there are three reasons: 1) If i have to click on a link to another website 2) If I have to sign up for something 3) If the work is complicated or if there are several steps to complete it. An example of this is diagraming street sighnes. What attracts me to a particular task is: 1) is it easy 2) Are there several HITS available or will there be more available 3)The reward amount

I complete tasks on Mechanical Turk for the monetary rewards. I don't have a regular job, so this really helps to bring in some extra income. What discourages me from completing tasks is when the instructions are too complicated, or you are being asked to do too much for too little, especially when there are simultaneously similarly priced tasks to be completed. I also won't review user submitted images of people's genitalia anymore. What attracts me to a particular task is ease of the task and whether or not it is in great supply.

I complete tasks for monetary reward. If the hit is too long for very little money, I won't complete it. Good money attracts me.

I do it for fun and pocket change. Long directions and multiple steps for really low pay will be skipped by me every time. If the pay matches the task, it's ok by me. I decide if it's worth it by figuring out how much an hour the task would make if there were enough hits for an hour, then asking myself, am i willing to accept (USD3.00 or whatever it works out to be) that amount to sit at home in my PJs and take whatever breaks i want for that pay.

I complete tasks on Mturk for a few reasons. The main reason being it is a great help in earning some extra cash which I desperately need at the moment. Aside from that I do find a lot of the tasks to be fun and interesting and it is also good experience for future jobs I might apply for such as transcription. Usually what attracts me to a task is if the topic really interests me or it is in an area I am trying to improve such as typing. If the task looks to be easy and short I will generally do it no matter how low the payout. What would discourage me though is if it was a task that would take a while and payout was very low. If I think I am going to average any less than USD5 an hour completing any HIT or set of HITS I wont do it.

Nifty way to make money in spare time. What attracts is a nice time to money ratio. HITs in the pennies range should be able to be completed in less then a minute. Some tasks are genuinely fun. What discourages? Anything that results in spamming another site, or forum. HITs that require you to go to another site to complete the task. Also, for transcription based HITs, media software that doesn't let you freely scroll through the content. I shouldn't have to keep listening from the beginging of a video or audio when ever I need to go backwards.

I almost always MTurk for the money. Most of the tasks I do are not fun at all. I only do tasks that take less than a minute. I'm attracted to participate in surveys which require no real work.

motive: For money and even though its not much but since i can learn something from the task given it seems an OK thing to do. Some of the tasks can be fun but some can be very boring too. What discourage me from completing the task are: 1) if i have to download something suspicions 2) if i have to wait for quite some time for a download 3) the instruction given is not clear Attraction to MT: alternative better way to surf the net!

Honestly, I do it for the money. Some of the tasks I find fun but for me it comes down to the monetary compensation. Obviously, the higher the reward the more likely I am to do a task. If a task requires an hour of time but pays less than USD5 then I won't do it. My favorite tasks have been forum posts looking for good deals online then posting them on the forum. I love bargain hunting and I could average 6 or 7 dollars per hour. My other favorite task was rating whether or not photos where appropriate for a website. I felt like I was doing my part to protect my online environment by screening out offensive images. Also, it paid well enough for me to spend time on it.

I enjoy working on the tasks that I select to work on. I find the tasks fun. I prefer quick tasks over lengthy tasks. I consider the money a little bonus for doing things that I already enjoy.

If I have to kill time, I mind as well make a reward for it. Discouraging - HITS that don't work in Safari browser, HITS in NowNow Research question relating to Kindle - which Amazon requests are not to be answered, broken links in HITs within a long string of HITs. Attractive - personal interest in the topic, rewriting or paraphrasing when I can learn something new, things I can do quietly (no audio) from many locations/residences.

I do it to kill time and as a self-competition to see how many hits/money I can do in any given time frame. I am always looking for hits that I can do quickly or may be of interest. I will review a hit and determine whether or not the task fits the reward amount. If a hit has a small reward and I'm asked to perform multiple steps, I'll likely pass. The reward amount and the number of hits available is something that will make me review a task.

I have a lot of downtime at work and this is a way to kill time, and earn a little money doing it. Some of them are kind of fun, I like the surveys and rewriting stuff. I also like to use the money for fun stuff, like getting my nails done, buying a magazine or going to the movies. I don't do a task when it is a lot of work/time for not much money in comparison, or when they want me to write an article. Writing is a craft and people should be paid for their work, not a fraction of a cent per word. I do participate to rewrite sentence or headlines, well-paid blog entries and comments because they are small tasks and generally pay at least .01 per word, which is fair, and who is going to find a freelance writer to rewrite a bunch of random sentences or paragraphs, or to go around and post on blogs?

For me, mturk is my "job". I am a fulltime student and this helps makee a little money. I like taking hits that are interesting and fun. The time limit or diffaculty will be the two main reasons I would not accept a hit. What attracts me most is if the hit has to do with something I know about, or if it is something that gives enough time to complete what the requester is looking for. For the most part, the hits I accept are fun to me, others may concider them boring, but I do hits that I am almost sure will be accepted.

I do it for extra money and sometimes for fun. I do not like tasks that ask you to work five or ten minutes for a penny and so on. I like short articles for a dolllar or high hit numbers that are fast enough to go through so one can make 4 or 5 dollars in an hour. Most tasks on Turk appear to want a lot for very little but it is worth looking into every day.

I Turk to make "mad money", money I don't feel guilty spending on frivolities because it's completely "extra" in my life. Some of the tasks are fun, but it's mostly for the reward. I won't accept tasks that involve signing up outside of Mechanical Turk ("Go post on this forum, go rate this social networking site, etc"). I really like tasks that just require clicking, because I can multi-task better when I don't have to type. I avoid penny HITs unless they are very simple and require very little time.

Motivating: I like the challenge, the money is not really an issue -- more a catalyst. It's like solving puzzles, and I do it while listening to my news podcasts in the evening. Discouraging: Any task where I have to sign up for on another site to carry out the task.

First of all, the foremost reason i work on Mechanical turk is that its legitimacy. I have been into other forms of work over the internet and i can easily say that people and Companies try to scam you in soo many different ways. Its fair and legit. Secondly its all fun, you do things which are normally fun doing like this HIT and in response you get paid. So its simple and easy with fun. However i do it for my family as well, so that i can help my husband towards his monthly salary. i normally dont take those HITs which are veryyyy lengthy and in turn they give you very less reward... since i'm a house wife and i have to do other things at home. I take HITs which are easy and fun and in turn the requester gives worth amount of doing that task. The people who post these tasks should consider the value of time as well. The full and easy to understand (but short) description attracts me towards completing a task. coz it takes a lot of time reading longgggg descriptions. The rewrad that HITs pay also attracts me towards that HIT. Hope this helps Thanks

I look forward to doing the turk so much for I am very sickly so I am stuck in the house by myself quite a lot, A love mechanical turk. It makes me so happy. I am so disappointed one person doesn't want me to work on there turk. I am so sorry, if I did something wrong. I will really really try to do better if you tell me what I did wrong. This is so important to me. Thank you so much for listening to me. I really, really love Amazon Turk. Thank you for letting me participate.

I turk for a number of reasons. First, I have a job that effectively swiss cheeses my free time into small useless periods. Turking is something that isn't completely useless financially that I can do during theses small time intervals. I also find that some of the HITS are interesting, I even learn new things on occasion. Given that I don't have big blocks of time to devote to them, I prefer smaller, quicker hits to the more involved ones. I'm discouraged by tasks that ask too much for too little, or that ask for too long a time commitment.

It provides a distraction from the routine. Some of the tasks are challenging, i.e. rephrasing paragraphs and the like. others are fun i.e. categorizng pictures. These tasks attract me. Some tasks are too time consuming i.e. transcriptions and are not worth the effort. They are more like work....except that I don't get paid for my efforts.

Even though my main motivation is to earn extra cash, I have found that I have learned quite a bit from performing the tasks. I would have stopped a long time ago if it was boring work. I work very long and odd hours at my regular job, so this is perfect because I can work at any time. I do not work on tasks that are too time consuming. I prefer not to get too involved because I am on call a lot. So, I definitely prefer the short, quick hits.

I like to have something to do while my husband and child watch television. That way, I'm in the room with them but am not just "vegging" out! As for rewards and selection of tasks, I enjoy those that challenge me to do or learn new things. my typing speed, for instance, has improved noticeably. I would not say that all the tasks I accept could be called fun, but very boring tasks or those with little reward value put me off.

REASONS THAT MOTIVATE ME INCLUDE: Monetary awards, challenges involved,ease of understanding the task Yes i consider the tasks fun 2. Time allocated to hit is short compared to what is involved in the task and sometimes monetary award is not commensurate to the task 3. Monetary award, time allocated and the challenges involved are what attracts me to a particular task.

I used to spend my free time playing games online. Once I found Amazon Mechanical Turk, I do the hits instead. The fact that you can earn money doing it is a bonus. I consider most of the tasks I do fun and sometimes learn stuff too. If a task is too complicated, I usually avoid it. I enjoy the tasks that are quick to do, however, I will do a time consuming task if the monetary reward is high enough. This is a good way to get a little extra spending money.

I do it mainly for fun, although a decent reward is preferable (nice for the christmas booty being saved up for). I only do tasks I enjoy. This is for fun, not for earning money. I'm encouraged by requesters who give detailed instructions of what they want, and pay promptly. I'm disencouraged by requesters who give poor instructions, reject hits for no good reason, and otherwise upset the community at large. I love any hits to do with human interpretation, basically something a machine can't do - after all, that's what we're here for

I am disabled and have a lot of free time. My daughter is in the same situation and has been doing MT for a while. She encouraged me to try it. I do it because I have a great desire to acquire CD's and other things on Amazon, but don't have much money. It is like playing video games, but more fun and more productive. I am drawn to tasks that I feel I can perform well, or that ask my opinion. I do not complete tasks that I can't do well, make no sense, or are personally offensive. Since I am not a skilled writer, I don't take on too many tasks that require that quality. This leaves my doing the cheapest hits, which I don't mind if they aren't too hard.

I am doing it solely for the monetary awards. Most of the tasks seem to be a waste of time but there are a few that are beneficial. The main reason for not completing tasks is the award price and having to go to other websites to do something. East and fast HITs are what attract me more than anything.

I am completing the task for monetary rewards, honestly. I find some requestors try to exploit the participants.They ask you to write an article with about 500 words, with no grammar and spelling mistakes , original content for a reward of 0.10 usd. This is really miserable.There is no fun in doing these tasks.

The reason why I particapate in Mechanical Turk is for all of the above ( money, killing time, and fun). Yes I consider some of them fun Long amonunt of time spent on a small reward or a large amount of time spent on any task. Speed I want to answer and then turn it in.

I do tasks because I need the money -- I'm a student and my courseload doesn't leave me enough free time to take a real job. So whenever I have free time, I do this. I don't think the tasks are much fun, although I like the mindless tasks (like deciding whether two images are different) and surveys more than the more involved tasks (like writing blog posts). The main things that discourage me from doing a task are unreasonable difficultly and low pay rate (like transcribing extremely poor-quality podcasts, or tasks that I know will take a half-hour but only pay USD0.15). I sometimes give up tasks that strike me as dishonest, like spamming forums with ads or plagarising text, because I feel bad about myself when I do those. I try to find tasks with a high money-to-time ratio: either tasks that pay a lot or that pay a little but take almost no time.

I mostly do it for the monetary rewards. It's a fun way to make a few bucks to supplement my income. I find a lot of the tasks fun, especially surveys. I stay away from tasks that take large amounts of time, even if the reward is higher. Tasks that I can do very quick are my favorite. Though the reward is less, the cents add up fast.

I find Mechanical Turk to be a fun diversion at which I can earn a bit of pocket change. I most like tasks which take a bit of thought, but can be completed in a relatively short period of time. I avoid tasks which require multiple steps to complete for little reward, or which ask for a significant amount of personally-identifiable information.

Money exclusively at this point. When I started it was more about keeping busy - I had just become disabled and was stuck at home bored out of my mind, and the tasks gave me something to do plus let me buy books which gave me more to do. Now I know that I am permanently disabled, so even though I've found other activities to fill the boredom, the money is quite useful and I use it to purchase necessities (i.e. grocery- and convenience-store products, computer cables) rather than frivolities. I am obviously attracted to tasks which pay well for the time they take. For example, I used to do a lot of transcription from CastingWords, until their rate cuts and grading changes made them worth much less per minute. Enrovia was a fantastic source of HITs until they dried up, and Geospatial was very good but don't post enough lately at prices I will work for. The Amazon tasks of Are These Items Different and Find the Best Website/Amazon Product ID are well priced for the amount of time they take and I do tons of them. I also like the 5-Second Poll HITs. However, I will not accept tasks which require me to sign up for anything using my own email address or which are extremely vague in their instructions.

The reason for completing tasks is purely for the monetary awards but there is a fun aspect to it as well. Tough and less paying tasks do discourage me sometimes. But simple, easy and well paying tasks are what i'm here for.

I do it for the money, or to be more precise, for the amazon store credit. I want a pair of really expensive headphones that will cost me a full month of salary (I live in Argentina), so I do horrible, menial tasks for those. I shy away from HITs with significant writing involved as my english writing skills are less than stellar, and writing large chunks of text is very demanding and stressful for me. I like precise, lengthy, non repetitive tasks that are well paid. I avoid repetitive tasks, to ensure my wrists health (already type and click a lot in my main job). Hope this helps. I'll like to know if your survey get published.

Basically for spare change,with the economy like it is every little bit helps.Most are easy and fun to do but some do not pay enough for the job their asking you to do.

I participate only for monetary reasons. It allows one to earn a few dollars without leaving the home or working a second "real" job. That said. I will not participate in tasks that ask an abnormal amount of time to earn a single penny. Just not that hard up. I will however participate in writing exercises such as this one for pennies at times, merely because I enjoy writing and such. So I am discouraged by jobs with long detailed instructions with minimal reward. Encouraged my easy menial turks, or writing jobs because they stimulate my brain.

I complete tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk because its the best way to earn some extra money by doing the work of my choice. Its a good time pass and earning source. Some tasks are so easy that its like a fun. The nature of task attracts me to participate in a particular task, it doestn't matter how much it will pay me but some task are very lengthy and require some particular skills that discourages me to complete the task.

I do it because it keeps my mind active and is enjoyable. It's also fun to rack up a few dollars for doing something you enjoy. I enjoy rewriting paragraphs that are not too lengthy and are interesting topics. I don't enjoy lengthy tasks that require too much time.

I do it, firstly, to earn spare cash. Secondly, I do it for fun, and to feel like I contribute to something. I'm discouraged from completing tasks that are too lengthy because I have a small child and also from tasks that almost necessitate the use of multiple monitors or tons of documents to procure data from. The pay/time ratio has to balance out.

I do complete HITs on Amazon Mechanical turk as it gives monetary award to me that for the work done in the leisure time and also its like a fun to do challenging HITs. Some HITs that ask to go to another linked site and register to comple the HITs discourage me from completing taks and monetory award, funs attract me to do tasks.

I collect vintage roleplaying games and they can be expensive on Amazon, so I Mturk in my spare time, writing reviews and usually hitting up the writing hits when I can. I take that money and I use it on Amazon and apply it to expensive roleplaying books.

Monetary gain is my mainreason to do these tasks. Because even though most of the easier hits are only a few cents, if you just do a few every time you are bored it will start to add up. It's also a great way to kill time. I don't like to do the tasks that require you to sign up on other websites and post there. It takes up too much time. The simple tasks are better.

Yes, I do this for the money (believe it or not), even if they are just pennies, they do add up. I am discouraged most by big, long, time-consuming tasks... thus I'm attracted to short, quick tasks. All said, there is no black and white area and I'm not completed committed to one stance or another (it's all a grey area and I often don't follow the above criteria in deciding whether I do tasks or not). I am not able to do a good enough job on most tasks, so I try to limit myself to the few I feel I can do acceptable work.

I do mturk hit for money. When I spend a lot of time for a hit then reject it, it's very discourge situation.

I do it in part for the money, to entertain myself, to keep my brain active, and for fun. I don't like to complete long tasks that are only worth USD.01. I like to do interesting tasks, or ones that pay well for effort expended.

I started out doing tasks for the menetary award, although they really do not pay a lot. I wanted to see if I could accumulate a little "mad money" to treat myself to a few odds and ends. Since I started (about 2 weeks ago) I find that turking is just so much fun I am more focused on finding challenging and interesting tasks. I prefer short tasks with instructions that are easy to understand and to the point. I like the brief survey tasks and tasks that require me to simply label or tag something. Tasks that have multiple HITS under them also catch my attention. What I find discouraging is opening a task that has lengthy, complicated instructions. Since tasks typically do not pay that well, I do not want to waste a lot of time reading instructions. Also, I am not always interested in tasks that require me to register at another website. I have so many usernames and passwords now, I do not want to accumulate any more.

Do you do this for the monetary awards? Yes For killing time? No but for taking a break from work Do you consider the tasks fun? Yes What discourages you from completing tasks? When they require a lot of work but dont pay well What attracts you to participate in a particular task? easy and quick

I heard about Amazon Mechanical Turk through a few different websites, and I became curious as to how it worked. I thought the best way to learn more about the process and system would be to try a few different HITs. I have only completed a few, so for now, my motivation is curiousity. The monetary awards are nice, but not the primary reason. It is an added benefit if the tasks are fun as opposed to merely killing time. However, I can imagine that I might do it do kill time if I wasn't doing anything else at the time. The biggest discouragement to completing tasks is their difficulty. If a task is too intense, it is not worth my time and effort, but also not worth the money too. As discussed above, my curiousity attracts me to participate in a particular task.

I complete different tasks in Mechanical Turk to kill a little time and make a little extra money. I do the tasks that are quick and easy, I will stay away from the tasks that request you verify this information with that information - as they monetary award is nothing compared to the amount of work that must go into it. the same is said for those tasks requesting XXX number of docs to be found and posted to a website. My time is worth more than that. I participate on an inconsistent basis while taking my online class, to help me break up my mornings of class work.

The reasons are fun, money and to learn new things. What discourage me - offering insultingly low amount for a tedious and mundane job. I like jobs that pay well and fun to do.

Occasionally I'll answer something for fun but primarily I'm here for the cash. What discourages me is ridiculously low payments and too short time limits.

I complete the task for many reasons, obviously earning extra money is one of the reasons. Other reason are I get to learn/know about new things/websites. I am able to share my ideas and opinion. Sometimes I help create a product with my participation and ideas. Killing time is also a reason though not a major. Somethings that discourage me would be where the pay is very less as compared to the task assigned. Or if the instructions are to complicated to understand in one reading. I mostly participate in tasks which need me to do some research so that I increase my knowledge and in opinion polls

I like to do tasks, like this one, which can be done directly on the task without having to navigate to another web page. I fear viruses and cookies. I like tasks that call upon me to write, especially if it is my opinion and I don't have to research about the subject. But I like writing, so I do it to express myself. To earn a little money at it helps me feel like I'm not just wasting my time even though I do it whenever I have time to waste. I would like to know more about tasks I do to understand how my work completes the whole of a project. So much of what we are called on to do is only a tiny part of a whole and I wouldn't mind learning more about it once it is finished. I try never to abandon a task, but sometimes I get timed out.

I found found that compleing taskson Amazon Mechanical Turk has provided some spending money I didn't have before. It definitely does not kill time. Some of the tasks are actually fun. I am discouraged from attempting difficult podcasts because a low score penalizes me, even though the audio is quite difficult to understand. I enjoy transcribing podcasts the most.

I complete hits for fun and money. I am at work, killing time for the most part, and I like to be busy constantly. I turn down tasks that are too complicated. If I can't understand the instructions for the hit within ten seconds, I go on to the next one. I also hate ones that take a long time to load.

I complete tasks in Mechanical Turk for the monetary awards, but also enjoy veiwing products that I would not usually check out. I do consider the tasks to be fun. The only thing that discourages me from completing a task is that I may not be familiar with the particular subject. The thing that attracts me to participate in particular tasks is the monetary value or to learn about something new.

Do you do this for the monetary awards? yes For killing time? yes Do you consider the tasks fun? yes What discourages you from completing tasks? Sufficient or unclear directions. Too little payment for amount of work involved What attracts you to participate in a particular task? can be completed in seconds, and quick payment

I do it for the money. I usually look at how much I will be making per hour if I do a particular task and do the ones that will pay me most per hour. I will stay away from a task if it is too long (my kids might interrupt me and I'll never get to finish) or I won't be making at least USD3 an hour doing it. I like doing clear transcriptions because they're easy and generally pay pretty well since I'm a good typist. I also like paraphrasing and summarizing stuff because I'm an English major and that kind of thing takes little to no effort for me and it pays well if you move fast.

I complete Mechanical Turk tasks on Amazon for monetary rewards and to kill time. I will generally accept hits I find interesting, such as drawing or naming colors, or easy, such as finding addresses of hotels and entering them. I am more likely to accept a hit if I feel I have the skills necessary to complete it (i.e. transcribing is something i can do well) and if the monetary reward is reasonable. I also enjoy doing small, fast and easy hits even if they don't pay much individually--they add up.

Motivating reasons: *For the money that I can conveniently earn in my spare time from a reputable site *For fun as an interesting and monetarily rewarding break *For an easy and non-intimidating way to maintain and practice my skills as a writer *For the ability to say that I'm doing a bit of freelance work in addition to taking classes to learn an additional foreign language while I am in between "real" jobs Discouraging factors for HITS: *Unclear instructions for satisfactorily performing a given HIT *HITS that offer inordinately poor rewards relative to the amount of work/time required *HITS with slow approval turnaround times so that I will have an even harder time trying to guess which specific HITS were approved and which were rejected if I do multiple HITS on the same day for the same HIT requester *Non-self-contained HITS. (i.e. HITS that require a lot of outside research, search queries, or visiting a number of other websites in order to perform comparisons, classifications, or evaluations for relatively low rewards) *HITS that can compromise the privacy of my personal information, phone #, email, etc. (i.e. HITS that require outside website registration, HITS that want me to send a separate email to the HIT requester with an attachment of the completed work instead of simply being able to upload my work as a text file directly into the HIT, or HITS that want me to place phone calls which could end up inviting follow-up telemarketing calls or worse) * HITS that are slow to load up in my web browser Attractors: *Safe tasks with predictable likely rewards *Tasks that are relatively simple and easy to understand (as opposed to tasks with a long rambling laundry list of requirements and instructions) *High dollar tasks that may take me a while, but have clear requirements and do require some skill and effort *Low-paying tasks that are fun, easy, and quick so it's at least not much of a time loss even if it's rejected *Tasks with generous bonuses for exceptional work

I stumbled across this one day and thought it was an interesting site. I accumulate a few small Amazon gift certificates (from doing surveys, etc.) from time to time and sometimes the little amounts I have in my account will help me cover the price of something. The thing that discourages me the most are visiting websites and completing a task there. Most require you to create an account and go from there. Too time consuming. I enjoy the quick ones that require you to choose the correct catagory a certain product would be found. All in all I think it can be a fun way to pass the time!

I do it for the monetary reward. I only complete tasks that can be done quickly. A title that explains the HIT is what attracts me, as compared with the payment.

I complete the task for the money, simply to kill time, and because I actually enjoy some. Long, tedious tasks with little payment discourage me from completing them.

Completing tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk is a source of easy pocket change, while aiding in marketing or thinking tasks. Collective human contributions to seemingly simple tasks can be really interesting when taken in large numbers.

I complete tasks in Mechcanical Turk because they are simple and gives me something to do that I feel is worthwhile other then watching TV. In fact I often watch TV while I do these tasks. The ability to earn a marginal amount of money while doing something I usually do seems worthwhile to me.

Completing tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk is simple. During the day I get bored with what I am doing and need a release. What discourages me from completing tasks is that they are either visual or require me to register at another site.

I complete tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk as I find it a quick, fun and easy way to earn myself some 'treats'. I find some of the tasks to be quite interesting and they're quick to do while I'm doing something else on my computer or watching TV or just to kill a bit of time - as some of the tasks only take a couple of seconds I can fit them in here and there and I find the money adds up really quickly. As I live on a relatively tight budget it's a good way to treat myself as the money I can can be used to buy absolutely anything I like from the Amazon site. I only complete the tasks I know I'm capable of and that aren't too time consuming. tasks that pay a cent for something rather time consuming don't interest me.

I am completing tasks to earn extra money. Having to write long articles or fill out a whole page for not much money discourages me. I am attracted to tasks that I can understand and complete easily, or tasks that pay more than others.

I do it because it gives me a sense of purpose whe nI am sitting here watching TV. While I am wasting time sitting on the couch, I am also helping someone else out. And the cents add up over time so I might buy something fun! Discouraging tasks are tasks that are obviously asking for too little or just plain don't belong on here. I like to participate in easy tasks that only take a few moments of my time so that I don't have to dedicate too much attention to the turk.

I just found this website (mturk) this afternoon. I think the idea of farming out tasks is great. In implementation it seems to be a little less than i was hoping for. I think there are lots of great things that can be done with this. There are tons of books that could use a digital copy and this would be a great place to use people where an ocr program fails. i've been doing anything that looks like it could be done in under a few minutes and doesn't take too much work on my part. so i guess im just bored right now. guess i'm still looking for someone who has really taken advantage of what this site can do and not just using it for blog spam or boosting advert numbers.

I originally went to the site just to earn a little extra money. Now it's just neat to see the different tasks (although definitely not a great money maker). Some of the tasks are fun, some are challenging. I won't do a task if I have to provide any personal information, like an e-mail address. I won't do a task if I don't know anything about the topic or if it is a huge time commitment (more than an hour) for very little/or no money. I like tasks that are a bit of a challenge or are about things that I am interested in or know about. Of course a larger reward is always nice too.

I like completing tasks because some of them are quite interesting, and it is something to do when I have some free time. I also feel like I am contributing to someone's research, which makes me feel helpful. For me, the monetary rewards are nice, but I just like doing quick questions. If a task takes a long time to complete, I am not interested. I really enjoy doing "top 3" quizzes - they are simple, but require you to think. It is a great way to keep your mind somewhat active when you have a few minutes to spare.

I find the tasks a means of fighting boredom and the ability to earn some money while finding some of the tasks informative.

Since I don't really do enough HITs to be paid enough to make any substantial amount of money, I really just do it for fun. It started on Spring Break when I came across a blog posting about it and I was curious to check it out. I'm sort of addicted now. I'm discouraged when a HIT offers only a few cents for what I see as a lot of work. I'm more likely to do something if its quick or easy, or if its something I already find fun like shopping for a particular item online.

I complete tasks because they are easy, I can make some small cash and I have nothing to do at the time. I am discouraged from completing tasks that I think will take more than a minute. I really like multiple choice tasks and tasks where writing is not needed.

I complete various tasks on Amazon Turk, for the fun of it, and to see how many pennies I can earn in my spare time. Some of the tasks can be rather amusing, and others are just funny at times. It is amazing what people are willing to pay for. One of the things that discourages me from completing tasks is when there are way to many stipulations on how it needs to be completed. Sometimes the limit of the time allowed also discourages me. The tasks that really catch my eye are the really super easy ones, like a short survey or product review, they are quick, and I can earn more pennies that way, and I was always taught that pennies really do add up.

I like the opportunity to make money in my free time and the freedom to accept the hits that interest me. I choose some tasks because they are fun. I choose other tasks because they are easy for me. I am discouraged by tasks that are very complicated or require multiple pieces of information to verify completion. I am also discouraged by tasks that do not pay very much for the time required to complete.

I complete tasks on Amazon Turk primarily to kill time and for the monetary awards. I only do the tasks which I consider fun, or which will only take me a few minutes. I found out about the Mechanical Turk from a video about an artist who put together a piece of art based on everyone drawing a sheep facing the left. It was amazing! Too many steps in a given task will discourage me from completing the task. I am most attracted to creative tasks...drawing something, etc.

The reasons that motivate me to complete tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk is purely for the cash. If not for the cash, i won't be here at all. The tasks are boring and it's like a gruelling process to complete it. But for the sake of the cash, i'll be more than willing to do it. What discourages me from completing the tasks are that there are a lot a lot of words explaining what to do when the reward given is only a few cents. What for read a whole bunch of junk for a pathetic few cents? What attracts me to participate in a particular task is that they are simple instructions listed out and of course, a lot of money are involved.

My principal reason is for making money--I realise MechTurk is never going to make me rich, but a few extra dollars to spend on Amazon is always a good thing! Right now I'm saving up for a birthday present for my husband. I'm a stay-at-home mother-to-be at present, and anything which can scrape together a few extra cents is great! I complete tasks largely based on reward and interest. A 300-word article for ten cents is unlikely to grab my interest. nor is something I consider very boring or unfairly time-consuming. I rarely do transcription. Anything which involves the English language, such as paraphrasing, tends to appeal to me!

The systematic process of inviting solutions to tasks and the objectivity of the tasks is a major motivational factor for me to log on to MTurk and attempt tasks. As I said the objectivity of a given task is a major attraction for me to attempt a task. If a task is tedious and subjective in nature, I get discouraged and usually ignore it. Objective tasks take less time though are financially not that productive as subjective tasks.

Even though there are fun tasks and tasks that gives us a better perception of where Artificial intelligence and semantic web is headed to.I must admit I am doing this for monetary awards. There is no particular thing that discourages,after all, one can always return a task or not accept in the first place. In my case,those tasks that enables me discover web pages are more attractive.This is because,I am info mining on multiple topics,and running multiple tasks.such as.International companies looking for an distributor in my region,financial partners,internet and affiliate marketing,social media optimization,web development and Joomla.

To increase the income merely, also does not think wastes the time, simply does not have the pleasure to be possible saying that the language is puzzles me to complete the task only the reason, Qian Shuzui is attractive

I complete tasks at Mechanical Turk only for earning money and I hope there are no other way of earning clean and honest money for my dedicated work. There are few things which discourages me to accept certain HITs like - Rate of returning a HIT, Not understanding properly a HIT, Rejection without proper reason, Long descriptive type HITs, A fear due to unknown about rejection rate, etc. A task which has been accepted and I have clear understanding of completing that particular task. Also attraction is for some good evaluator's HITs.

I do these tasks because i found it interesting at first but later on awards also became my motivation. Thing that discourage me most is,you are asked to write a review or blog article for 0.01USD.Thats too less a money for job Interesting tasks attract me most like finding a thing or researching for something!

I like completing the mturk tasks to make some extra money. It is easy for me to do with my 2 yr old up and around. Also, I complete tasks while wathcing tv or on the phone. Some of the tasks are interesting and fun. I do the pretty easy ones for now and I am doing pretty well making some cash. I do not tackle the tasks which would require me to think much. I have too many other things on my mind right now to venture to those tasks. My favorite task is the "5 second poll". It is easy and available alot.

I do Amazon Mechanical Turking for the monetary awards. I know its not much but it is more then I had before. I think most of the tasks are fun. Sometimes I get discouraged from tasks because they do not interest me. I think Some of them are also to hard for the amount of monetary award that is offered. I think what attracts me to a particular task is when it interest me I look into it.

I began using Mechanical Turk to earn money to apply towards purchases on Amazon. However, I found that many of the tasks were interesting and educational and that motivates me to do even more. I stay away from tasks that require me to divulge personal information, subscribe to a website or write blogs. Also, extremely techinical tasks are avoided because I don't have the knowledge to effectively complete these. Of course, I love the easy tasks - who wouldn't?! Answer a silly little question and earn a penny - you can earn lots of money with no effort.,

I will also be updating this blog with more responses as they come through. I am also running a more detailed, more structured study as well and I will post the results in the next few days. I hope that these studies will answer some of the frequent questions about Mechanical Turk and will encourage more researchers to use the service.

Liveblogging from Dagstuhl: Day 4 (March 13)

  • Stefan Klinger: PathfinderFT (full text) and how to propagate scores in the engine. Based on the XML2relational XQuery Pathfinder engine.
  • Martin Theobald: TopX 2.0. Object store for top-k query processing. Supports BM25 for full text, and employs many IR optimization techniques for speeding up query execution. The 2.0 version implements inverted indexes for XML and various optimizations.
  • Ralf Schenkel: Extended the discussion about TopX
  • Mariano Consens: Why retrieval effectiveness measures matter. In DB we measure efficiency, scalability, simplicity, elegance, but rarely effectiveness (yours truly begs to differ, but I was not even classified in DB to start with :-). In INEX you need to retrieve a ranked list of *non-overlapping* elements. Therefore, in the results it makes sense to eliminate overlaps. Since we assign a "monotonic" measure of relevance in the atomic elements the parent, container models will have a relevance that depends on the relevance of the leaf items.
  • Harold Schoning: Discussion on implementing full text search on Tamino and other interesting topics. Need to check in more detail.
  • Pierre Senellart: Using CRF's for generating automatically wrappers for hidden web databases. Using a tree-based probabilistic model to model dependencies between annotations and assumes conditional independence. Using an iterative approach for enriching the description of the wrappers. Identifies types of important entities, learns how they are connected and constructs a wrapper.
  • Ihab Ilyas: Uncertainty-aware top-K. Generate possible worlds for the instantiation of each relation, and compute the probability of each world. For example, in an information extraction scenario, we can define probability of existence for each tuple, and define the possible "world instantiations" of the relation, together with some "world probability". Now when we want to generate the most probable world, we can take either a Maximum Likelihood approach and return the most probable world, or take a Bayesian approach and integrate across worlds. One issue is how to do the integration efficiently and the presented research describes a few algorithms under different scenarios.
  • Thomas Rolleke: Describe the different retrieval layers in a set of abstractions. How to built a probabilistic system. Nice overview of literature for probabilistic approaches in DB and IR communities, plus overview of approaches that try to connect the two. Discussion on how to implement all the different retrieval models or IR (log-likelihood, vector space, language models, etc) in SQL.
  • Ingo Frommholz: The POLAR framework. How to use annotations in a principled, probabilistic manner.
  • Yours truly: How to structure and rank opinions using econometrics. Essentially, instead of relying on semantics, just associate opinion phrases with some measurable economic variable and discover correlations. Most of the time you need the correct econometric model (aka correct statistical techniques) to get proper results.
  • Ranking Wikipedia using the structural (graph) connections. Personalized PageRank applied for Wikipedia retrieval.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The "Good Movie" Talk and the "Anytime" Talk

One of the great things of being in Dagstuhl is the fact that every evening the only thing that we can do is to gather together over cheese and wine and talk. As part of one of these wine conversations, Gerhard Weikum told us about the definition of the "anytime" talk: a talk that can be interrupted at any minute and still allow the attendants to get the main message of the talk. (For the non-initiated: an "anytime algorithm" is an algorithm that can be stopped at any point and return the best possible outcome that would be possible to get within the time limit.) This is in contrast to the "good movie" talk, which, as in a good movie, is intriguing throughout but makes sense only at the very end :-)

I think that I naturally prefer the "anytime" talk, but (a) it needs much more preparation, and (b) may be bad for job candidates (how good can it be if you can explain the solution in 2 minutes). Furthermore, I do not know how well it will work for teaching. It does work great for research talks when interaction is expected and encouraged. The "good movie" talk works best when the time allocation is prespecified, and there is no interaction with the audience. For example, TED talks tend to be "good movie" talks, where the message comes across strongly at the end of each talk.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Liveblogging from Dagstuhl: Day 2 (Mar 11)

  • Holger Bast: The CompleteSearch Engine IR vs DB: IR index is compressible and high locality of access, ranks well, not even simple selects. DB vs IR: can query nicely, no locality of access. CompleteSearch: Performs prefix search and range search on the IR search. Ability to perform joins using a keyword search interface. Locality of reference claimed to be the main advantage of using IR-based indexes instead of "traditional" database indexes. The whole architecture seems similar (in terms of benefits) to the column-store database systems.
  • Arjen de Vries: Flexible and Efficient IR using Array Databases. Many standalone retrieval prototypes, no clean separation of the different aspects of the experiments, and things are typically monolithic and tied to specific datasets. Goal is to have flexibility and efficiency. The idea is to specify the type of documents, as a set of matrices (make sure to compress them). Then define a set of metrics using the matrix data. Then combine the metrics and matrices inro database queries and be able to have an engine to run experiments efficiently in a data-independent manner. (So that we do not have to reinvent the wheel every time that we want to do something new.)
  • Yosi Mass: Adaptive XML Retrieval System. Given a query in free text, retrieve XML components that satisfy the query. One approach is first to retrieve documents and then score the fragments within. Second approach: index only XML leaves (need to perform aggregations for retrieving more complex elements) Third approach: index every possible subtree (overlapping of items, an issue when computing frequencies). Solution: split elements into multiple indexes, making sure that we have complete coverage and no overlap of elements within the same index. (Comments indicate that is good idea when the number of tags is small, to group all similar tags to the same index, instead of mixing apples and organges, or "chapter" and "section" tags. This becomes a problem with Wikipedia, when we start having too many tags, and is not possible to generate that many indexes --- what about grouping tags together to populate)
  • Djoerd Hiemstra: Sound Ranking Algorithms for XML Search. Pathfinder: XQuery->Relational compiler. Tijah=XML search system for NEXI (Narrow Extended Path). NEXI is being used as sublanguage to XQuery. Need to devise metrics that will allow consistent rankings
  • Amelie Marian: Filesystem seach. Keyword search for ranking, and filters on metadata. Pure IR model not sufficient, due to the need for "fuzzy predicates" (e.g., "get me my proposals from around March 2006). Needs to accomodate approximate predicates naturally, going beyond "binary" in the features. Proposed a multidimensional approach, scoring each "field" independently, and aggregating the scores afterwards. Contributions in query processing: multiple indexes and DAG-based approaches. Used relaxation hierarchies for allowing relaxation of predicates (day to month to year...).
  • Kostas Stefanidis: Get best results based on contextual user preferences. Give the best contextual results by inferring the context from the query itself. Implementation: use of a profile tree. Relaxation using hierarchies.
  • Irini Fundulaki: Personalized XML (Pimento). XML queries are both on structure and content. Therefore customize query content with this in mind, and customize the results appropriately. Add scoping rules in the user profiles (for what the query should contain -- with some relaxation) and ordering rules on how the results should be preferably ordered. Described how to achieve efficiently and effectively the relaxation. Deriving rules from narratives.
  • Maarten Marx: Talked about the use of named entity recognizers to create a graph that can help in various tasks, plus makes possible to generate concise summaries of a topic.
  • Benny Kimelfeld: Keyword proximity on XML graphs
  • Emiran Curtmola: XML Distributed Retrieval. When we have XML documents distributed and we want to run queries over them, we can have one centralized model where a central server gets the queries and asks for all documents to be aggregated in a single location. Emiran describes a distributed system using an overlay network.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Liveblogging from Dagstuhl: Day 1 (Mar 10)

For some strange reason I was invited to Dagstuhl for a seminar on "Ranked XML Querying". Why strange? Because I have done nothing on ranked XML querying, or XML at all. I have done some work in ranking (the Economining project is all about economically-induced ranking at its very core) but why worrying? You cannot say no to an invitation!

So, after a very very bumpy flight from New York to Paris, a train tip from Paris to Saarbrucken, and a cab ride from Saarbrucken to Dagstuhl, here I am. Dagstuhl is a very interesting place, everything based on an honor system (you keep track yourself of the snacks, beers, wines, etc that you consume), and the rooms do not even have keys.

We started today, with a set of tutorials and short 5-minute introductions of the research that each one of us is doing. There were 3 sets: the "database" people, the "IR" people, and the "web" people. I was classified in the "web" track. :-)

The "database" people.
  • Ihab Ilyas: RankSQL, uncertain databases, especially interesting a bullet on "probabilistic data cleaning" that uses model lineage.
  • David Toman: Description logics and query combination. Description logic for physical design. How to create a query optimizer using fine-grained information about physical design.
  • Harald Schöning: Talked about Tamino, "the first native XML database" and applications for police information systems, airport logistics, financial derivatives fleet management, and newsroom system.
  • Peter Apers: Described early 1990's efforts to bring together database and IR communities. In retrospect, he considered a problem the fact that as database community we forgot about the hierarchical and network models, and now we need to talk to IR and web that really use such models for information representation.
  • Benny Kimelfeld: Keyword search over structured databases and how to do flexible and inexact queries over structured databases and how to query probabilistic data
  • Emiran Curtmola: Optimization of XML queries and XQFT (XML full text) queries. How to rank and evaluate the quality of search results; how to summarize such results.
  • Stefan Klinger: Graph theory and XML schema validation. Started working on the Pathfinder compiler that converts XML to relational expressions; extends the PathFinder compliler to full-text.
  • Kostas Stefanidis: Personalized systems with application in personalized search, how to manage context-dependent preferences, database selection based on contextual preferences.
  • Irini Foundoulaki: Personalized XML full text search and experiments with INEX data. XML Access control and how to formalize the semantics and apply them; security for provenance data.
  • Amelie Marian: Data corroboration: large amount of low-quality data, and use of corroboration can improve the quality; Understanding user reviewing patterns (structure and query reviews); Multi-dimensional search for file systems.
  • Gerhard Weikum: How to turn the web into a semantic database: Harvest and combine data (a) hand-crafted data, (b) automatic knowledge extraction, (c) social networks and human computing. The Yago system, NAGA queries. Plus: p2p search, personalized search, social search, time-travel search on web archives.
  • Ralf Schenkel: TopX, bridging the DB and IR gap. XML query languages for real users.

Ranked XML Quyerying: The DB Tutorial (Weikum)
Started with a quadrant: (structured vs unstructured, search & data):

  • Both structured: Databases
  • Both unstructured: IR
  • Structured search, unstructured data: information extraction and text mining workflows.
  • Unstructured search, structured data: keyword search over relational and XML data.
  • Motivation 1: Text matching: Add keyword search for searching relational and XML data. We need the (principled) ranking approaches for result ranking. We also need probabilistic integration of different relations. Question: what defines a ranking function as "principled"? Answer: tf.idf is not "principled" but adhoc performs well, language models, BM25, and so on, are built on theoretical models and can be reused in different contexts. XML and searching: XPath and similar languages add multiple predicates. Typically we cannot satisfy them all (plus, they are difficult to write them in a semantically correct manner). Therefore we need relaxation.
  • Motivation 2: Too-many-answers. We resort to "top-K" or skyline (Pareto optimal). Probabilistic ranking for SQL and how to adopt the likelihood model for SQL ranking. How to fit together deterministic predicates with "soft" predicates.
  • Motivation 3: Schema relaxation. We can relax not only content queries but schema as well.
  • Motivation 4: Information Extraction and Entity Search. We can extract our data and built (uncertain) tables from the data. How can we extract and query, and rank such results in an efficient and effective manner? If we take a graph-based approach, with multiple link types, how can we effectively exploit the generated network? We can rank by confidence, by informativeness, or even by compactness (Steiner tree).
Lunch: We were sitting in prearranged tables with our names assigned to prespecified seats, randomly assigned, to encourage/force interaction.

The "IR" people.

We continued with the introduction of the IR people.
  • Holger Bast: All data is text (In the beginning was the word...). All text is semi-structured. MAke fancy searches fast and easy to use. Demo of CompleteSearch of DBLP (impressive!) and of FacetedDBLP.
  • Maarten Marx: NEXI query language, doing XML retrieval IR-first.
  • Martin Theobald: Probabilistic databases (uncertainty and lineage, Trio project). Efficient XML-IR. TopX system, plus call for INEX.
  • Djoerd Hiemstra: IR language models, multimedia and XML& Entity Search. PathFinder/Tijah.
  • Yosi Mass: XML Query and XML fragments. Vector space model for XML ranking and relevance feedback for XML. Desktop search and UIMA annotations.
  • Arjen de Vries: Improve search system engineering efficiency. Given a declarative specification of the collection, background, context, and of a retrieval model, generate a "Parameterized Search System" (PSS).
  • Thomas Rölleke: Seamless DB+IR, HySpirit retrieval engine.
  • Ingo Frommholz: Annotations and meta-annotations (annotations on annotations). Searching documents with annotations, or doing discussion search (finding documents that get positive comments(?)).
IR Tutorial by Djoerd Hiemstra: History of IR developments: STAIRS, introduction of GML (separation of content from formatting), Codd's relational model,... Discussion of INEX plus some experimental results. Discussion of LM, BM25, etc.

The "Web" people.
  • Sihem Amer-Yahia: Her story from monolithic to atheist to agnostic, all in terms of data management. Serving socially relevant content to users (e.g., what I enjoy to watch, depending on the company). She plagiarized the "show me the money" slogan!
  • Pierre Senellart: Research on the hidden web. Discovery of web services, probing and wrapper induction.
  • Sebastian Michel: P2P web search, distributed indexing, social search.
  • Debora Donato: NLP applied to IR, Usage and Link Analysis. Mining social networks, web spam, reputation management.
  • Panos Ipeirotis: Yours truly. SQoUT, EconoMining, Noisy multilabeling, faceted interfaces etc.
Tutorial from Sihem: Making DB&IR socially meaningful. Talked about recommendations: why, when, dealing with long tails, time-awareness, diversity-awareness.