Sustaining an MTurk blog isn’t always easy. Like most turkers, I suspect, my enthusiasm for MTurk ebbs and flows. There are periods where I do a lot of turking, periods where I do just a little each day, and periods where I do no turking at all. The reasons for this are varied. Sometimes there are HITs on MTurk that I enjoy and pay reasonably well, so I spend more time on MTurk to exploit them. Sometimes I am forced to spend more time on MTurk purely because I need some extra money. Other times, I have other things happening in my life and I haven’t the time, need, or motivation to be on MTurk.
I have been looking at other blogs recently, principally ones that are written by turkers and aimed at other MTurk workers - there aren’t actually that many active ones around, it seems. The official Amazon MTurk blog, for instance, tends to focus more on the needs of requesters and programmers, than the requirements of turkers.
Judging by some of the other MTurk blogs out there that I have managed to find, many turkers start out with the notion that they can make enough regular money off MTurk to sustain themselves for a long period of time. Then they gradually become disillusioned if this doesn’t happen and some get angry with being poorly treated, or at the quality of some of the HITs. Some of the most entertaining and informative writing comes from disillusioned turkers, although their blogs are often short-lived.
“Mechanical Turk Blog” was clearly motivated to write an MTurk blog in order to highlight what he saw as the scams and injustices of MTurk, of which there are many. I think it is a continual source of disappointment to all of us that Amazon can appear unwilling, or unable, to police the posted HITs better when they are clearly aimed at gathering workers’ contact details for spamming purposes, or worse still, are aimed at collecting personal info to be used for identity theft. These sort of HITs appear regularly on MTurk, sometimes masquerading as a “survey” or a “website test”. Other times, turkers are being asked to perform tasks that are of questionable ethics, and/or legality.
Having made his point, “Mechanical Turk Blog” now seems to have melted back into cyberspace.
Turk Lurker’s blog has some entertaining and informative reads in it! He has a dry sense of humor, referring to Mechanical Turk as the “Slave Yard” and giving his blog the url: “MTurkey”. Strange that his posts suddenly stop in 2007 and then suddenly reappear in 2011, but these things happen, I guess – maybe his wife had a baby or something?
Eric Cranston wrote an interesting turker blog, but unfortunately it petered out in 2007 after 2 years of posts.
There are many blogs by people on how to make money from home which refer to MTurk in passing, but it they generally just write a single article and they often don’t give you much more information or insight than a general introduction to MTurk for beginners.
Anybody know of any more interesting MTurk blogs?