Amazon.com sent out an email about Mechanical Turk this morning, which they describe as "a great way to earn extra money during your free time"...
You can select from a variety of tasks and work whenever and wherever it's convenient. Most tasks are very simple to complete and require no prior training. And, best of all, the money you earn can be paid directly to your bank account (or into an Amazon.com gift certificate balance).
As you can see from the screenshot below, its a freelance marketplace where you can either accept jobs or post jobs that you need done...
I put a feeler out on Twitter to get some feedback, and got two responses:
"Get paid $3 per hour average = Cheap Labor :)" from JD
"I found lots and lots of work for pennies. Felt like my time was more valuable somewhere else." from Gary Sorensen
Interestingly, no one commented on MTurk from the perspective of "Requester" (posting jobs/tasks), but I would assume from this feedback that its a great place to outsource simple work. With that assumption, I searched the blogosphere for more feedback. This is what I found:
"Note to self, use Turks for insanely simple tasks rather than those that require thinking. Still though in term of getting things done I’d consider using the Turks in the future (again, for very, very, simple tasks only)."
source: Crowdsoucing Rocks! (err maybe)
"Mechanical Turk (in its present state) is fairly reliable, meaning that about 80% of the work you get will be useful. People generally mean well. However, workers won’t read complicated instructions and follow them to the letter."
source: Working with Mechanical Turk
Anyone have personal experience from either angle?
P.S. I found this video on YouTube from an MTurk user:
(I'm thinking he could clean the kitchen maybe... 😉 lol)