Monday 12 January 2009

Joining the massed ranks of Virtual PieceWorkers (VPWs)

Blog Pictures | acobox.comAre you a Mechanical Turk? I am. This picture of a keyboard has come from a web service called - a copyright free image hosting service. Acobox were offering any takers via Mechanical Turk $1 if they were prepared to host one of their images on their blog*. Well, here it is and I've done what was asked. I wasn't obliged to write anything nice about Acobox or anything about them at all in fact. I just had to use a photo. But, as it happens, it seems like a really simple and useful service for a blogger like me. A copyright free hosting source for photos of all varieties? I'm signing up.

Actually, this was part of an investigation I'm conducting into digital piece work (which sounds exploitative), or crowdsourcing (which sounds like an amazing social experiment) on, my anti-credit crunch blog. Amazon's crowdsourcing site, Mechanical Turk, has literally thousands of micro-jobs that can be completed by anyone with a broadband connection and a desire to "earn" micro-money.

That's 171 words and with these final words included - that's 228 in total - my assignment is complete. (Acobox wanted me to write a minimum of 150 words). Visit in a few days for an assessment of the whole experience of me becoming one of the growing millions of VPWs (Virtual PieceWorkers).

*Sponsored Post

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