[Note: First of all, we are redesigning the format of Blue Bugle. We have not been active for more than a month now. In August, we did not have even one post going. There have been quite a number of technological advancements in that month. We covered none of them, but none of our regular readers missed us still. The reason being, there are no regular readers; probably! We have been trying hard to develop readership by posting honest reviews of products and good advice to smartphone and tablet buyers that you can get nowhere else. Not even on professional technology blogs. Still, we are not gaining readership, because we have been posting only what people feel they can find elsewhere. If they do, there is absolutely no need for Blue Bugle to exist.
Hence, we are changing. From now on, you will get blatant entries on what we really think and know. We are going to be ruthless to anybody that rips you off. We are going to show you what you need to do. We are restructuring the posts. No longer will there be product reviews. No longer introductions, news stories that you find elsewhere, or how-to content that you just don’t need. We will be coming up with things that you can discuss near water coolers. Okay?]
A little while back, Amazon, the online retailer-turned-technology company has come up with an idea of fulfilling the chores of people through crowdsourcing. That startup is called Mechanical Turk. It’s still operational. In this service, you can find all kinds of jobs that any average person can do. The payment you can get from the HIT you complete (HIT is a job, expanded as Human Intelligence Task) can be anything from a cent to 23 dollars.
What you see is a screenshot of the Mechanical Turk HITs list, for the day. The highest payment offered today is for an audio transcription service, and that is 23 dollars. And yet, in the home page of Amazon Mechanical Turk, there is this slogan floating about, “Make Money (by working on HITs)”.
The payment for each job is undeniably puny and ludicrous, even for a person from the third world. I have no idea who works on these jobs and “makes money”. As one might surmise, the middleman always profits without risk; Amazon does exactly that. What about the job poster and the worker that gets paid? Well, it’s an entirely different story there.
When a person like you or I try to find a work, we look at the options available in the market. Job market is so competitive, and there never is a shortage of competency. There are people who are willing to work for less, but essentially, their skills may not be all that productive. I know of several American small business startups that outsourced most of their work to the inept workers from other countries to save money and get there quickly. Their tactics have more often than not backfired.
In essence, a job is done well when the worker is knowledgeable and experienced. A knowledgeable and experienced worker has to be paid appropriately for his services.
You know well how more important quality is than quantity. Once, there was this US entrepreneur, who started up a small business about coaching higher executives. The entrepreneur then hired an inexperienced person to build links into his website. The payment was far less than usual, and the worker was as inept as anyone. He simply built links from Blogspot blogs and all of those links turned out to be of absolutely no value to the entrepreneur. In the end, his website simply remained there, without achieving any traffic. All he did was lose some money albeit very little money to a worker half the world away.
If you want good quality services, come out and pay well for them. Hire experienced people from good sources of work.
Shun Amazon Mechanical Turk.
If you are a skilled worker, shun Amazon Mechanical Turk, or at least the lowest paying tasks over there.
Sooquini & TaskRabbit
came into existence in London in 2012. This is a tasks marketplace where you can post your tasks and the payment involved. Also, people can offer various tasks and the price for each. Although it is available only in the UK currently, it may be rolled out to other parts of the world soon.
TaskRabbit is a perfect American counterpart of Sooqini. The service is active in these parts of the
US: Atlanta, GA; Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, TX; Boston, MS; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco Bay Area, CA; NYC; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, ME; Seattle, WA; and Washington DC.
Both of these services are for completing errands—dog walking, cooking, gardening, researching, fixing your AC, etc. Workers can commute online as well. As many other online job systems, these services offer certification for workers, and also allow you to set your own payment terms. Since it is better regulated than some others like mTurk, both the job poster and the worker can get better deals over here.
Things to Consider
When you take up a job with any online service, here are the important things to consider. When you try to hire people online to reduce business costs, here are some of the important things to consider.
- Do not work for less than minimum wage if you are qualified enough to command what you want.
- Small business owners, if you would like to survive, hire people with experience or the people who know what they are talking about. You can really get good deals with them too at affordable rates.
- Workers with experience, show off your work and abilities by starting a blog or a website to showcase your talent. You can get more information about starting websites from CreatingSites.org.
- If you are just in there to make some quick bucks, don’t spam the Internet.
- Use the social media to your advantage. For business owners and professionals, it’s LinkedIn I am talking about. Twitter doesn’t hurt either.
- Small business owners, depend only on professional services from professional companies at affordable rates, rather than hiring inept workers from third world thereby saving a ton of your money. Also, be prepared to pay what it takes to bring in talent.
- Always look for testimonials from your clients. Take in feedback, and display the feedback on your website. If it’s a negative feedback, find what you did wrong and rectify it.
- Middlemen, create opportunities that are good for both the workers and the job posters. Amazon, close down Mechanical Turk.
As said above, it is much better for you to find tasks if they pay well. As the minimum wage goes up, if you are a good worker and you know it, you should know that you can command the regular salary. Nobody should have to work for less than minimum wage just because of the competition. It only helps the skilled experienced and non-experienced workers if you command good salaries.
Also, the small business owners, the Internet will be so much better and spam-free if you stop hiring inept people.