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Working for Amazon Mechanical Turk and Making Money Online
My interest was recently piqued by a blog I that I read in the HubPages Learning Center about earning money rating hubs through the Amazon Mechanical Turk program. Now maybe I've been in the Dark Ages about all the ways to earn money on the Internet, but up until 2 weeks ago I had never even heard of the Amazon Mechanical Turk program.
Just the name "mechanical turk" sounded weird to me, and I wasn't sure what I was getting into. But - curious little being that I am - I had to at least check it out, especially when I heard that it was hard to pass the test to be a quality hub rater for HubPages.
Call me a glutton for punishment, but I love challenges and this was one that I decided to take on - pass or fail.
What is the Amazon Mechanical Turk Program?
In a nutshell, the Amazon Mechanical Turk program is a program that pays humans for tasks that are too smart for computers.
Yes, you heard that right, computers are not that smart after all, because there are some things that it takes plain ole human thinking to work out. These tasks, called "HITS" (Human Intelligence Tasks) are various tasks that software developers and businesses use the Turk program for, like answering short surveys, writing brief summaries, tagging hard to tag images that a computer would have a hard time sorting out - and - also rating hubs for HubPages.
In more technical terms, the program is described as this: "Amazon Mechanical Turk is a web service application program interface (API) that allows developers to integrate human intelligence into remote procedure calls (RPC)"
According to your qualifications as a Turk worker, you can choose from these different tasks (you will not be qualified for all of them when you first start) and you can choose the "HITS" available to you. Some pay a penny, some 5 cents, some up to and over a $1.00 for each task completed
Suffice it to say, you are not going to get rich completing HITS for the Turk program, but there are other benefits however, which I will mention later.
So that's the Amazon Mechanical Turk program in a very brief nutshell: If you work as a qualified Mechanical Turk worker, will get paid to complete tasks (HITS) that require human intelligence (us)
Webpage for Amazon Mechanical Turk
Signing up for the Amazon Mechanical Turk Program
So, the first step to becoming an Amazon Mechanical Turk worker is you have to sign up for it. You can do this here: Sign up to be an Amazon Mechanical Turk worker
It took about a day or less for me to be approved as a worker, and I felt like a little ant that had just been added to an assembly line of little factory workers in the vast web of Internetdom. As a Turk worker, I would get a little glimpse into the human work behind the science of the Internet.
I liked the idea of being "smarter" than a computer by giving real life answers to real life questions. Many of these "tasks" are geared towards those with some writing chops, and/or excellent proof-reading skills.
Sign up to be a hub rater with the Amazon Mechanical Turk program
So after I was approved to be a Turk worker, I was ready to go and jump on that assembly line. I felt like a little kid in a candy store, except I was going to get paid to make choices! So right away I got to work and probably made a whopping $1 the first hour, copying text from business cards.That's OK I thought, I'm just in learning mode, wait till I get really good at this!
When I finally became confident I that I now understood the program a little better, I was ready to sign up to be a hub rater for HubPages (after all, this was the real reason I had even signed up to the Amazon Mechanical Turk program in the first place)
So I signed up to rate hubs and was directed to a take a special qualifications test, rating 20 hubs at a rate of .25 cents per hub with a bonus of $10.00 if I passed the test. I read through the instructions carefully (for those that want to do this, make sure you read and re-read those instructions, because this can make you sink or swim in your test)
I was approved to take the test and dove in. I rated the 20 hubs per the instructions, then waited for the final outcome.
Doncha just love tests? I felt like I was back in school again... waiting to see if I would be deemed worthy to be a qualified "hub-rater".
The benefits of rating hubs for HubPages
After a day, or maybe less, I got the word - I had passed the hub quality rater test! Whoo-hoo - I was worthy!
So now the real fun began and I got to work rating hubs.
That was 2 weeks ago and I have about an 80% rating accuracy right now (you can't drop below 70%) - and I am getting better and better at rating hubs as the days go by. I look for grammar mistakes, sentence structure, supporting media in a hub, the content and substance of a hub, the organization and other various other things that are important in the writing of a hub.
Some of the hubs are creative writing, and they have slightly different rating methods (authors voice, poetry form, etc) As of last night, I was close to $40 in earnings. Not bad for something that I do in my free time while sitting on my couch! Besides a little bit of spending cash, there are other benefits to rating hubs for HubPages through the Amazon Mechanical Turk Program:
- I am learning to be an even better online writer. By rating others hubs, I see things that I want to emulate and watch for things that I don't want to be doing in my own hubs.
- I am contributing to the quality of HubPages by helping keep an eye on the quality of the hubs that are being produced by writers here at HP. By being an active participant, I am contributing to HP's continued success and commitment to offering high quality informative hubs, ones that should be featured prominently when they are of high caliber. Hubs with very poor grammar, spun content and abysmal organization will sink to the bottom of the pile, where they rightfully belong.
- I am "earning while I'm learning". No, I'm not going to get rich doing this, but it's interesting and nice to get paid even just a little for reading and rating!
- I get to read hubs about everything from how to wrap your horse with a polo wrap to meeting a soul-mate even though you are married, to stories about people like the Scottsdale Boys. My brain is becoming a veritable encyclopedia (not that I necessarily NEED all this knowledge but I do run across some extremely interesting information) I am also uncovering some very good writers and new people that I would like to read more from.
I also rate "hits" from other companies that use Amazon Mechanical Turk for their projects. Some are simple things like copying text from business cards, tagging photos and other tasks.
More reading about the Amazon Mechanical Turk program and how to be a quality hub rater at the HubPages Learning Center.