Earning Online: Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

This one you have to actually do stuff, not just click.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

The idea is that there are tasks a human can do better than a computer can. The name comes from the story of a man who toured Europe in the late 18th century. He had a “mechanical Turk,” a supposed automaton (robot) dressed in a robe and turban. He claimed that the Turk was a machine that could play chess. Ben Franklin played against the Turk while he was in Paris. What no one knew until later was that inside the mechanical shell was a small real man, who was an excellent chess player. The tasks on http://www.mturk-.com/mturk/welcome are called HITs, Human Intelligence Tasks.

Turk has many different tasks. It can take some time and browsing to find the ones that suit you. When I first started out, I made a dollar or two in a day. Once I had a track record, the site started letting me do more. Slowly I found the ones that suited me best. I wrote down the names of the tasks that worked for me so I could find them again. I also looked around in general, because new types of HITS can come up at any time.

You can get started by searching the tasks for “survey.” The surveys are one-time jobs, they rarely require a certain rating, and they pay fairly well. You can look at the tasks without accepting it, so see whether you want to do that one.

None of the Mechanical Turk tasks pays well. Each HIT may pay just a penny or two or three. On the other hand, it’s not like there was something else I needed to be doing. Each day it was $1 to $15 that I didn’t have before.



Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.


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