Any MechTurk users here?

My friend just told me about Mechanical Turk the other day, and since I was already a member of Amazon I decided to give it a try. I did a few of the easy survey questions and then moved on to a 22-minute transcription (which was worth $3.50) It’s a challenge but after a while it flowed much more naturally, and I got it done in half the allotted time.

Does anyone else use this service?

Not yet but there will undoubtably be some soon. First time I’ve heard of it/

I used it awhile back but I haven’t been back recently. There wasn’t much work to be done, so I sort of got bored and forgot about it.

Used it last night. For an hour.
Made about… 37 cents, if I did everything right.
Considering the transcription service.

I hope this thread isn’t too old to be resurrected…

I read about mturk about three weeks ago in a computer magazine and signed up; I only made a couple of dollars in the first couple of weeks, but my balance rocketed in the last week; I’m now up to $52.26.

My secrets (not secret any more, obviously):

-Unless you’re an experienced professional typist forget transcription of podcasts; it will take you at least five hours to transcribe a one-hour recording (because of all the rewinding).

-Look out for big batches of HITs that are going for 3 cents (or 2 or 1 even) - some of these can be performed really quickly with just a glance - for example, there was a huge batch of ‘color normalization’ tasks last week; look at a picture/product description and pick a radio button that best describes the colour.
When I got into the swing of it, I could do ten or more of these per minute (10 x 2c x 60mins)= $12 per hour (actually, knock off 20%, because some were inexplicably rejected - I guess someone else thought ‘bone’ was best classified as white or beige, rather than my selection of ivory).

-Click the ‘automatically accept next HIT’ checkbox - this saves a few seconds of decision/loading, and prevents all that wasted time when someone else takes the HIT while you’e thinking about it.

-Don’t spend ages puzzling over a HIT, or researching it on Google; just skip/return it and move on to the next one, which will probably be easier.
The only problem that now faces me is that I have an Amazon Gift Certificate balance that I am having trouble using (because I live in the UK, but the credit is on Amazon.com - the US site) - I can’t use it to buy ebooks or software downloads (not permitted); I have to buy tangible goods; shipping to the UK on these is expensive and I will be hit with import charges for anything totalling more than $18.

So… if any doper of good standing wishes they could spend their existing PayPal balance at Amazon, I believe I have a solution (in which case, please email me privately to sort out the logistics).

Oops… I thought this thread was in IMHO or MPSIMS… sorry.