Ever thought about working as a “Mechanical Turk”?

Yeah, the first thing you’re asking (I did too!), is what is a Mechanical Turk?

"Some day, your boss could be a faceless Mechanical Turk who doles out tasks over the Internet. For nearly a year, Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk has paid amounts ranging from one cent to several dollars for tasks that take a few seconds to a few minutes to complete. The jobs include taking surveys, contributing to a restaurant guide, transcribing audio clips, and looking at photos on the Web to identify colors, street addresses, or human faces.


"Chuck Freiman, a paralegal in Charlotte, N.C., spends two or three hours a week on the Turk. To him it’s a hobby, not a job. ‘It’s not like I have to get dressed up and go to work or anything,’ says Mr. Freiman, who brought in about $25 last month. As long as he can make a little money, he says, ‘I’ll be doing it.’

"The Mechanical Turk has given a 21st-century twist to the centuries-old concepts of ‘cottage industry’ and ‘piece work.’ People work in their homes and are paid based on how much they produce instead of an hourly wage, using the Internet connections that have become a standard feature in most homes.


"The Mechanical Turk is just one form of what has been called ‘crowdsourcing,’ the ability of the Web to harness amateurs to use their spare time to create content or solve problems. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia created by volunteers, and YouTube, the website that serves up homemade videos, are two prominent examples of online content created by amateurs working from their own computers."

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