Are you Turkin"?

Maybe I'm a bit out of touch, but I just heard about Amazon's Mechanical Turk. It's probably been around for several years but I found the concept intriguing. In case you aren't familiar with it (like I was) they offer a place where employers post tedious, menial type jobs and "Turkers" can choose from the jobs listed and take the "HIT" (Human Intelligence Task) for pay.

Curiosity got the best of me, so I signed up as a Turk. I wanted to see the types of jobs that were offered and I did some Turkin' for 3 days. Here are a few of the Hits I accepted:

-Went to the listed website and found the email addy of the person in charge. Copied and pasted the addy into the form. (Pay 1 cent per Hit - But this person had over 12,000 hits available for this task!)
-Compared pictures to see if they were acceptable to the requester's standards (2 cents a hit)
-Reviewed words as to if they made sense or no sense to me (nonsensible-pay 1 cent a hit)
-Rewrote a sentence with the exact same meaning, but used different words (2 cents)

In short, if you have a few minutes to waste and want to help someone on a huge, daunting task, the program is a great thing. On the email Hits, it went from over 12,000 to 8,000 in just a couple of hours. There must of been hundreds of people helping this poor soul out. Pay is lousy and Amazon doesn't payout until you have at least $20 in your Amazon equivalent of Pay pal. On the upside, it is quite interesting to see the types of jobs listed and when you take a hit, you get this feeling that you are helping someone out.