by Glenn Meyer
(San Francisco, CA, USA)
The money is definitely not the primary motivator. It’s not great, especially given where I live. But the tasks are interesting, and the variety is cool, and makes it worth accepting less money than I might make otherwise.
I’ve never tried to stay in touch with a human requester because a HIT was lucrative, but at least two websites so far have had provided the option to ‘upgrade’ from HITs to logging in directly to get work. I’m not sure how Amazon feels about that, but I’ve taken them up on it.
I did consider contacting the requester of one HIT, who incidentally appeared to be someone I’d get along with and lived in my area, but ultimately decided it would be a bit too weird. In general, the most lucrative HITs – not counting the endemic scams that one guy seems to post over and over at the top of the range – tend to be one-offs.
For example, one offered $3 to post 5 designs to Zazzle. I already had CafePress designs I’d been meaning to put on Zazzle anyway, so that was probably 15 minutes of work. Lucrative is pretty relative; the highest rate I can typically get is about $6/hr.
Mostly I do surveys, which tend to pay $3-6/hr if I do them quickly. That’s basically discounting overhead, though – I try to do one right after another, but often it takes too long to find another HIT that isn’t a scam, or already taken, or something I’m not qualified to do. I actually don’t know much about regular outsourcing.
Mostly I use Mechanical Turk because it’s kind of entertaining and I can do it from my bedroom. I’m not sure how outsourcing compares, but I’d be interested in doing similarly easy tasks for low but reasonable pay, if I could keep doing them at home whenever I feel like it. I wouldn’t really know how to start doing something like that.