My favorite Mechanical Turk requester was Content Galore. For a period of time they were paying $1.80 for 150 word encyclopedia style articles on MTurk. They would give you a name or a theme, such as “Burt Reynolds” or “Orlando, Florida”, you went away and did some basic research (looked it up in Wikipedia or another reputable source), wrote a summary of the information in your own words and submitted it. The articles were checked by other turkers and pretty much always accepted (at least in the experiences of my wife and I).
It was a great way of making money from home. Although there was the odd sparse period here and there, generally there was plenty of work to do. Content Galore were quick payers too – you would usually have your work accepted within a couple of hours, often almost instantly. The HITs would take me just over 10 minutes to complete, meaning that I could earn 20 dollars or more in just a couple of hours or so, which is pretty good by general MTurk standards. My wife could complete them even faster than me, often doing them in half the time that I could! Content Galore were great and I came to rely upon them, usually ignoring other MTurk HITs during that period.
But then something went wrong. My favorite MTurk requester disappeared for a long time, which wasn’t entirely unusual for them, but when they returned, something had changed. My wife noticed it first, she did three HITs for them straightaway, but to her shock had all three of them rejected! The pattern was repeated, with Content Galore disappearing again and returning, only to reject the HITs of my wife and I. It was bizarre, as we followed all the instructions and had done countless HITs for them previously without a single rejection. It resulted in our HIT approval ratings getting damaged and our time being wasted with no money in return.
The rumor was that unscrupulous turkers had been trying to cheat the system, including submitting work that had been spun (generated by special software, which turns out work that reads well to a computer but looks terrible to a native English speaker). Content Galore had responded by introducing their own software to check work in an attempt to spot the spinners and cheaters – but the software was overzealous and rejecting work from honest turkers as well as the cheats.
Content Galore disappeared and reappeared again and again. Every time that they returned, my wife or I would try doing a ‘test HIT’ to see if Content Galore had resolved their problems, but each time we did, the test HIT was rejected. My wife had one HIT rejected on the grounds that she had completed it faster than was humanly possible. Well, I was with her at the time and can vouch that she did the HIT according to all the instructions and produced a great piece of work, which was researched, read well and had been spell checked too, so I don’t know what was going on.
So nowadays, if I happen to come across a Content Galore HIT, I will ignore it. But working for them was good while it lasted.