Monday, April 18, 2011

Finding MTurk good hits

Finding MTurk good hits can be a very frustrating business.   The main difficulty is that there are usually many thousands of MTurk hits posted and it can take forever sifting through them.  If you are not careful, you end up spending half your time browsing for good hits, which is time that you could have spent earning.  Browsing time = wasted earning time, in my opinion!

One of the difficulties of searching for good hits on MTurk is that the search facilities are pretty basic.  There is no ‘Advanced Search’ option.  You can only search using critiera such as how much the hit pays and what words are included in the title of a hit, which means there’s a lot of guesswork involved.  You can’t search for specific requesters (though it’s true that you can click on their name once you’ve found one of their hits to see all the rest of them).  You can’t save your searches if you want to do a similar search later on.

Another problem is that once you’ve found a source of good hits, they can either dry up, or your requester disappears, often quite suddenly.  You are then left wondering whether the requester is going to return in a few hours, a few days, or never again.  If you are like me, you can waste time searching for them over and over again!


There aren’t any easy solutions to either problem.  Of course, it would probably be useful if MTurk split hits into categories rather like Microworkers does.  It would also be useful to have more advanced search options and the ability to save searches, so that you can use them again.  This is in the hands of Amazon MTurk, however.

With regard to keeping abreast generally on what’s happening, there are ways of communicating with the MTurk worker community that I’ve mentioned before – namely, the two main forums, Turker Nation and MTurk Forum.  Also the Turkopticon Toolbar has many comments on specific requesters that MTurk workers have written, such as how reliable they are and how communicative they are.

Not all MTurk workers are willing to give specific details of their favorite requesters and good hits, however, for fear of creating increased competition!


  1. Searcher by requester is actually possible since a few weeks (just enter the name into the search bar).
    Then there is where you can request an e-mail notification once a HIT by your favorite requester is posted.
    And gives you a list of all requesters that a currently active.
    If you like specific types of work (e.g. surveys), you can also search for those since most requester tag their HITs.
    Other than that, I totally agree that the worker view of MTurk is complete crap.

  2. Thanks for the heads up, Thimo, I will try out what you suggested!