Alternatives to MTurk?
October 6, 2006 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Are there any alternatives to Amazon's MTurk?

Basically, I'm looking for a way to make a couple extra bucks in my free time. MTurk interested me due to its bounty system and slightly technical nature. However, getting paid 56 cents for an hour's work is pointless. Are there other such bounty services that actually pay decently? I'm familiar with rentacoder, but I'd rather find something not stricly for programming.
posted by backseatpilot to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Mow lawns? Paper route? With the advent of the internet, there is still no get rich schemes that work.
posted by SirStan at 11:47 AM on October 6, 2006

I must admit, I'm surprised there isn't some hugely popular scheme like MTurk that has decent rates. I'm sure there are people who'd pay $4-$8 per hour for all sorts of online tasks on an ad-hoc basis. I think I would, but they'd be so ad-hoc that I'd need an MTurk style system in place to keep it under control.
posted by wackybrit at 11:58 AM on October 6, 2006

Response by poster: I'm not looking to get rich. I have a day job and get paid more than enough to keep me comfortable. My thinking was that, if I'm spending my free time on my computer or on the internet, I might be able to make a buck off of it. Basically, looking for something mildly entertaining that requires a little brain power.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:58 AM on October 6, 2006

If you have some sort of marketable intellectual skill that can be used for less intense purposes, that's your best bet. Low cost webpage design for low budget groups, freelance translations if you know any other languages. None of it would pay very well compared to a focused business, but perhaps earn a bit more respectable amount of money for something requiring a bit more brainpower than point-and-click.

I mean, I've had tasks I'd have paid a modest sum to have done, but in order to do so at a reasonable pace, it'd have required familiarity in certain areas of knowledge, although it'd hardly be considered difficult in the least with that knowledge.

Things like MTurk will rarely pay a "good" amount of money, because there's always someone out there willing to work for less than you, especially in a worldwide environment like the Internet. Make use of an unusual skill you have, and even if the money is insignificant, you get practice in something you know and possibly enjoy.
posted by Saydur at 12:22 PM on October 6, 2006

Google is hiring parti time telecommuter help. I've been doing this for about 6 months. The work is relatively easy, mostly page analysis. If you like to read and can understand somewhat complex classification systems, it's fun. Pay is very reasonable for part time. Application process can be time consuming, but it's worth it. There is a test involved.
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:43 PM on October 6, 2006 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: That's a good point, Saydur, that there are always people willing to work for peanuts. I suppose if people refused to accept the pittances offered on MTurk the rates would be raised.

My father makes Excel workbooks that perform chemical engineering calculations. He says me makes about five grand a year selling his software, which I would consider pretty successful for a part-time endeavor. Further proof that you should listen to your parents when they have good ideas.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:36 PM on October 6, 2006

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