Thursday, March 17, 2011

How to get the best hits on M Turk

The best M Turk hits are what all of us M Turk workers are after, of course, whenever we visit mturk.com!  Although to some extent there’s a subjective element involved with getting the best hits, we all seek certain things.  For example, we all want the M Turk requesters that we work for to be honest and pay on time, the M Turk hits to pay us a decent/good rate, and we also want there to be an abundance of the best hits to be available once we’ve found a source on mturk.com, not just a one-off hit - finding good M Turk hits is like discovering gold, once you’ve found a vein, you want there to be plenty more hits of the same type that you can mine.  In my experience, the four main ways to get the best M Turk hits are:

1.  Get the M Turk Turkopticon toolbar.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this Turkopticon toolbar is the best thing going, as far as working at mturk.com goes.  It’s free, so I’m not getting paid to sing its praises, I just think it’s the best invention ever for M Turk workers everywhere.  Basically, once installed, you can point to any request on mturk.com and it tell you how previous m turk workers have graded the requester in terms of paying on time, honesty, how communicative they are etc.  Some M Turk workers write reviews of requesters on there too.  You’ll need to be using a Chrome or Firefox browser though, I don’t think there’s an MTurk Turkopticon toolbar for Internet Explorer.  It’s well worth installing Chrome or Firefox just for the toolbar, if you’re an M Turk worker.

2.  When you find a good hit, stick with it, because if you go away and don’t come back for a time, there’s a good chance that others will use all the hits up while you are gone!  I don’t wish to insult my fellow M Turk workers, but sometimes they behave like piranhas - if they spot one of the best hits, they’ll strip it down to the bone before you can count to three.


3.  Improve your search technique on mturk.com.  M Turk doesn’t give you a great deal of options, though.  I wish it was possible to search for specific requesters on mturk.com, or to be able to save certain searches or settings without mturk.com putting everything back to the default settings.  It’s not always easy to navigate through the 80,000+ M Turk hits you normally find on mturk.com.  All you’ve essentially got is the ability to search for certain keywords such as “survey” or “youtube”, and then the ability to sort them into an order by value of hit, age, etc.

4.  Read the forums, such as MTurk Forum and Turker Nation for the latest news and gossip.

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