18 March 2008

The Turk

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This year there is a March Madness basketball tournament for our customers. Here are the rules to follow:

1. The link below to the bracket will be posted on the blog today and tomorrow. Print this bracket out and fill it in with your selected teams.

3. Write your name and your phone number on the bracket sheet.

4. Turn in your selections no later than 8 PM on Wednesday evening.

What you get:

1. Everyone that turns in a bracket will get a free small yogurt. (Available only at the time that you turn the bracket in to us.)

2. The first place winner will get a 20 dollar gift card to Sugarless deLite. The second place winner will get a 15 dollar gift card to Sugarless deLite. The last place loser will get a 10 dollar gift card to Sugarless deLite.


I read an article a few days ago about the Mechanical Turk service offered by Amazon.com. I'm not quite sure what got into me, but I decided that, for as boring as the whole thing sounded, it was something that was worth a look. Mind you, I didn't plan on making a lot of money. However, I was interested in seeing what kind of work was involved. Was it as boring as the article said? Were there any decent paying jobs?

After two nights and about an hour and a half later, I can say that the jobs are, on average, about as boring as watching paint dry. I've made about 30 cents for my endevor. Granted, there are some higher paying HITs (read: jobs) on the site that I have not ventured a try, but these are few and far between. Most of the jobs consist of a payment of 1 to 5 cents for leaving blog comments, taking short surveys, generating questions, and identifying objects in photos. I have refused to sign up for anything that requests personal information.

While it would be sad to think that anyone might want to make a living doing this, it proved to be an interesting experience. Yes, a mind numbing time on the computer can be worthwhile if you spend the time trying to find the angles. Unfortunately, most of the angles appears to be corporations or individuals trying to pay as little as possible for the output of those who are building or improving their systems. It would be a very depressing job indeed.

Puzzler Answer: Epilog

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