The New Turker Experience

Loren

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Is this like a 12-step program? "Hi, I'm Loren, I'm a Turker."

Okay, me in a nutshell:

I'm 52. I have an AS in Electronics and used to be an electronics tech. I spent 8 years in the USAF. I've also done IT, database admin, and website design/programming. When the economy tanked in my area (West coast of FL) due to the gulf oil spill, I lost my web design job. Tried to start my own web design company, but found no business. (see: "tanked economy") Since then, I've become rather adept at being what I call a "professional slacker".

I did some temp work and hated it. 8 hours of data entry for 6 months sucks! And then I got a job as a driving instructor, which is something I'd done very part time years ago. After a couple years, ended up opening a driving school with a friend of mine. Now, I work 3 days per week doing that, and it provides half of my income. The other half comes from another business that I own with the same partner, which is an autocross club... we put on small motorsports events about 2x per month, and that's the other half of my income.

UNTIL... the stupid virus lockdown happened. Can't being riding around with driving students in a car during a pandemic! Can't be gathering 100+ car guys together for competition during a pandemic! My income instantly went to zero about the second week of March! Fortunately, my wife has a "real job", and makes plenty of money (and she's been WFH since early March), and my house is paid off, and I have VERY low expenses. So, I'm not hurting. But, I'm not happy about having zero income... and after sitting on my butt for 6 weeks, I started looking for low-impact ways to make some money and at least keep myself busy!

One of the 4 cars in my driveway/garage is a 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, so I looked at driving jobs. I looked into Uber. Yeah, I'm one of those "introverts". Not gonna Uber. Too people-y. I have a friend who has VERY successfully been working for Shipt. ($800-$1,000 is an easy week for him) It works for him and his outgoing personality, he's learned to work the system efficiently, and gets GREAT tips. But, again... introvert. Don't wanna shop. Even less want to deal with the customers. Restaurant delivery hit me about the same way, and after reading the Uber Eats horror stories on Reddit about how a lot of the restaurant pick-up areas are cramped with a bunch of unmasked coughing delivery drivers waiting... no thanks.

Mechanical Turk... Oh, I'd looked at it before, back when I was unemployed. But, never very seriously because what I wanted back then was a solid $15 per hour. My situation has changed (house is paid for!) and I don't need as much money now. This time, I did my homework, and opted to dive in with the goal of making $1000-1300 per month. That's enough to make up for at least one of my two income streams, and that's okay for now.

Hmm... okay, I just spent way too much time drafting this long post that happens to have some links in it. Forum won't let me post it (I get it, I'm a forum admin on a couple forums). But, I know how to get around it...
 
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Loren

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So, I got approved quicker than I thought I would, and now I'm 8 days in. With the help of this forum, a lot of threads on Reddit (I'm not a poster there, just read stuff), one particularly good blog post and the MTurk Guide I think I'm off to a good start.

Before even looking for my first hit, I installed MTurk Suite on my Chrome browser. It took a few minutes (hours... the better part of a day and a half) to figure out how to really used it, as the documentation is sparse. But, I figured it out.

I've looked at the "daily hits" thread here, and to be honest, with MY workflow, keeping up with a forum thread while I'm trying to work just isn't going to happen. In reviewing it, though... I found that much of what was there was things that I was already finding on my own, which gave me a small sense of validation. (now that I'm a registered user, maybe I'll find those hidden "spoiler" qualification hits useful?) Last night, I found Hit Notifier, which is a neat and tidy aggregator of the "good hits" posted here and a few other places. I found it much easier to glance at that from time to time throughout the day whenever I checked the Hit Finder. Thanks to those who take the time to post! Maybe if I reach the point where I feel like I'm not chasing my tail, I might contribute.

My initial goal was to try to reach 25 hits and $25 per day. That proved to be fairly easy to do. Now my goal is to max out my 100 hits per day and get as much over $25 as I can per day. I'd like to hit 500 hits before my 10 day probation period is up. Currently, I'm at 388 hits (172 approved), one reject (boooo! 99.42%). Today was my best day, and I maxed out my 100 by 9:30pm (hence my time available to post here) with almost $44.

I've settled into two modes of operation:
1) Use Hit Finder/Catcher to grab mostly surveys that pay at least $1. (paying attention to the time vs. $$ ratio) If there's not a lot going on, I might lower that to as much as 30 cents just to try to get numbers. I generally only look at items that HC marks in green. If it's orange, I'll give it a look if the price is right. If I'm desperate I'll look at a red... as long as it's not red for rejects, I might take it. I keep my refresh times at around 800ms, sometimes 600, and I've gone as low as 400 on occasion. Still working that out.
2) Use the regular MTurk hit search and look at EVERYTHING and try to pick out some repetitive stuff that will build numbers, and either pay something, or at least be absurdly quick and easy. I've gotten qualified to do some image bounding box stuff, and enjoy that. Also been doing a bunch of the "is this text safe" hits at 33 cents a pop. (doing those in about a minute to 1:20 is a decent hourly rate, and it's super-easy) Last night, I maxed out my 100 doing stupid receipt transcription stuff at 2am.

When there's not much available to work on, I go through the hit search and look at stuff I'm not qualified for. If there are qualifications that I can request or tests that I can take, I do. And I also search hits for "qual" and occasionally find a qualification hit to do. The other thing I've been doing in that down time is more research into how things work, finding answers to questions, finding new resources... like this forum.

I'm sure more will open up to me as I hit the 500 and 1000 hit milestones. So far, I'm enjoying the variety of work, and I'm meeting my personal goals.

Oh, I can't say how many hours I'm working for sure. I've reverted to my natural night-owl tendencies, so I'm up until 3-4am, and sleep until around noon. From about 1-5pm I'm more or less "available", but I'm also catching up on news and Facebook... which probably eats up 2 hours. Then from about 6-9 I'm back at it... but, there's usually not a ton to do, so I'm also back on FB, playing games, whatever. I might do some stuff while my wife is watching TV (I'm not a very attentive TV watcher usually) from around 9-11. And then from 11-3am I might watch a movie or something... or I might work.

So, my number of hours... Idunno, realistically, probably no more than 8 or 9. Probably more like 6-7 of actual work. But, I do have an abundance of time, and I'd almost rather just take it slow and easy and not feel rushed. Sure, I could crank out a bunch of work by working hard for 6 hours straight. Or... I can do the same work in 20-minute spurts over 10-12 hours. Did I mention that I'm a professional slacker? :)

Today, I worked between 1pm and 9:30pm. Subtract 3 hours for goofing off and an hour for dinner... maybe I worked 5.5 hours? About $8 per hour, but I was doing a lot of "numbers hits", surveys that didn't pay enough, etc. I'd like to get that up over $12/hour, but as long as I can get $50 per day, I think I'll be happy.

Sorry for the ramble. Just wanted to say thanks for providing a great resource to the Turker community at large. Tons of great info here!
 
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savvy

goin' down to the yee-haw
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So, I got approved quicker than I thought I would, and now I'm 8 days in. With the help of this forum, a lot of threads on Reddit (I'm not a poster there, just read stuff), one particularly good blog post and the MTurk Guide I think I'm off to a good start.

Before even looking for my first hit, I installed MTurk Suite on my Chrome browser. It took a few minutes (hours... the better part of a day and a half) to figure out how to really used it, as the documentation is sparse. But, I figured it out.

I've looked at the "daily hits" thread here, and to be honest, with MY workflow, keeping up with a forum thread while I'm trying to work just isn't going to happen. In reviewing it, though... I found that much of what was there was things that I was already finding on my own, which gave me a small sense of validation. (now that I'm a registered user, maybe I'll find those hidden "spoiler" qualification hits useful?) Last night, I found Hit Notifier, which is a neat and tidy aggregator of the "good hits" posted here and a few other places. I found it much easier to glance at that from time to time throughout the day whenever I checked the Hit Finder. Thanks to those who take the time to post! Maybe if I reach the point where I feel like I'm not chasing my tail, I might contribute.

My initial goal was to try to reach 25 hits and $25 per day. That proved to be fairly easy to do. Now my goal is to max out my 100 hits per day and get as much over $25 as I can per day. I'd like to hit 500 hits before my 10 day probation period is up. Currently, I'm at 388 hits (172 approved), one reject (boooo! 99.42%). Today was my best day, and I maxed out my 100 by 9:30pm (hence my time available to post here) with almost $44.

I've settled into two modes of operation:
1) Use Hit Finder/Catcher to grab mostly surveys that pay at least $1. (paying attention to the time vs. $$ ratio) If there's not a lot going on, I might lower that to as much as 30 cents just to try to get numbers. I generally only look at items that HC marks in green. If it's orange, I'll give it a look if the price is right. If I'm desperate I'll look at a red... as long as it's not red for rejects, I might take it. I keep my refresh times at around 800ms, sometimes 600, and I've gone as low as 400 on occasion. Still working that out.
2) Use the regular MTurk hit search and look at EVERYTHING and try to pick out some repetitive stuff that will build numbers, and either pay something, or at least be absurdly quick and easy. I've gotten qualified to do some image bounding box stuff, and enjoy that. Also been doing a bunch of the "is this text safe" hits at 33 cents a pop. (doing those in about a minute to 1:20 is a decent hourly rate, and it's super-easy) Last night, I maxed out my 100 doing stupid receipt transcription stuff at 2am.

When there's not much available to work on, I go through the hit search and look at stuff I'm not qualified for. If there are qualifications that I can request or tests that I can take, I do. And I also search hits for "qual" and occasionally find a qualification hit to do. The other thing I've been doing in that down time is more research into how things work, finding answers to questions, finding new resources... like this forum.

I'm sure more will open up to me as I hit the 500 and 1000 hit milestones. So far, I'm enjoying the variety of work, and I'm meeting my personal goals.

Oh, I can't say how many hours I'm working for sure. I've reverted to my natural night-owl tendencies, so I'm up until 3-4am, and sleep until around noon. From about 1-5pm I'm more or less "available", but I'm also catching up on news and Facebook... which probably eats up 2 hours. Then from about 6-9 I'm back at it... but, there's usually not a ton to do, so I'm also back on FB, playing games, whatever. I might do some stuff while my wife is watching TV (I'm not a very attentive TV watcher usually) from around 9-11. And then from 11-3am I might watch a movie or something... or I might work.

So, my number of hours... Idunno, realistically, probably no more than 8 or 9. Probably more like 6-7 of actual work. But, I do have an abundance of time, and I'd almost rather just take it slow and easy and not feel rushed. Sure, I could crank out a bunch of work by working hard for 6 hours straight. Or... I can do the same work in 20-minute spurts over 10-12 hours. Did I mention that I'm a professional slacker? :)

Today, I worked between 1pm and 9:30pm. Subtract 3 hours for goofing off and an hour for dinner... maybe I worked 5.5 hours? About $8 per hour, but I was doing a lot of "numbers hits", surveys that didn't pay enough, etc. I'd like to get that up over $12/hour, but as long as I can get $50 per day, I think I'll be happy.

Sorry for the ramble. Just wanted to say thanks for providing a great resource to the Turker community at large. Tons of great info here!
Sounds like turking is the perfect thing for you! I am glad you found us and always ask for help in the main forum, we will do our best to help.
 

Loren

New Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
48
Points
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Age
52
Gender
Male
WOOT! Day 9 = best day yet!

Pulled over $70 in just 78 hits! Had a really slow afternoon, I think I had $14 before dinner. Then I got back to it from around 8pm until 3am with the initial goal of hitting $50, and then after that I was trying to max out my 100 hits. I never found anything super-quick to do to fill out my 100 hits, so I stuck with the 33 cent "unsafe language" hits that take about 1.5 minutes each and basically earn me about $13/hour.

268 approved
191 pending

I'll break 500 Friday. Should have 500 approved within the next few days.

I'm starting to get the hang of this.
 
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