Forums » Ideas » Create a worker-run platform like mTurk which is equally as flexible, allows international users, and more.

Some things I think should happen:
- it should allow any work (not be a niche site)
- it should allow workers and employers from anywhere
- should pay in currency (bitcoin? cash? gold bars?)
- there needs to be a push to have the same kind of volume mturk has as far as work always being available
- more rigorous testing for workers (language proficiency, talent at specific tasks, etc.) and employers (not a scammer)
- more help documentation for both sides
- an easy to use GUI and API for both sides
- flexible search functionality (including exclusion of some employers, etc.)
- ability to send task requests to a specific worker? we can discuss that
- makes communication between worker and employer EASY
- dispute resolution services

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I’d like to see some comprehensive requirements for tasks that are posted. Requesters need more guidance when setting up tasks but at the same time, the information needs to be accessible and not overwhelming. I’d also like a new platform to ensure that tasks posted are not illegal, deceptive, or scams. In addition, pay must be fair. Maybe this means a table or guidelines about what fair pay would look like for various tasks.

On the other side, workers need comprehensive documentation about how to use the system, how to be a good worker, and how to handle common problems that arise. This information also needs to be presented in a welcoming, searchable, and useful way so that a new worker isn’t lost in endless pages of documents to read.

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dark_bird_of_paradise and light_dragonfly

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I would like to see this happening and would volunteer time and effort to help make it happen. I have been extremely disappointed in the Mturk platform and the opaque and careless way that it is run. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it could be run much, much better to everyone’s benefit.

One problem I see: I only tried out mturk because of Amazon’s name and reputation. If it hadn’t had Amazon attached to it I would have assumed that it was an internet scam. I think that this won’t be a problem initially, since the people signing up will be us. But going forward, how do we recruit the number of workers desired? Accept that the growth will be slow until we build a reputation?

I’m so glad that you are considering all types of work. There is so much of the work that many of our chatbuddies do that I won’t do. Vice versa, probably. That’s the only negative thought that races through my head when I think about an alternative turking platform, ahhhh! I hope I can still find enough of my kind of work!

Let me know what needs to be done. I’m here.

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dark_bird_of_paradise and light_dragonfly

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@careful_owl: Requester guidance & vetting of work before it’s posted & creation of comprehensive and continually updated documentation (welcoming, searchable, useful presentation) - agreed, and if we’re the ones doing it, we need to be compensated for our time

What is a “good” worker? - I think this is a point to be discussed further - as far as documentation: how to be professional? how to ensure high quality results? how to market your work/the platform? how to be efficient/make more money? how to handle common problems like a pro?

Fair pay - table, guidelines, minimum payments, or worker interactions with employers to instruct them on what adequate pay would be - at the same time, we have to be mindful of individual cost of living & time valuation and be fair in that an extremely simple task might not pay a huge amount, but that someone in a place where cost of living is low is a) willing to do that work for less, and b) has a right to work as much as we do; sticky situation, this needs more discussion for sure… thoughts?

@homely_yeti:

What about pairing with a non-profit or similar organization who is also trusted? One which cares about labour issues in some way. Or a company which is considered as trustworthy as Amazon?

Recruitment is something to think about… do we start with a small group and only recruit as we have too much work to do? That would ensure no one “goes hungry”.

As to not having enough work, I think 10% of worker time should be spent considering how to “market” the platform and doing so. That is an investment in stability of work, and also increases our flexibility in what we choose to do, when we choose to work, etc. instead of having no work available and therefore no flexibility at all.

Great thoughts, let’s keep talking!

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light_dragonfly

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This is a very thoughtful and thought provoking post. I think it lays it out very well.

Now we need to find the do-ers. I am willing to contribute both labor and $$ but am not technologically proficient enough to even contemplate beginning this. I kinda know what HTML is, but that’s as far as I go. ;)

Perhaps start with a finite group of workers and a requester or two, get it rolling and expand from there.

Damn! I wish I knew more, I don’t even have any idea about server costs, hosting yada, yada. I can do text generation, i.e. rules, regulations, instructions and also testing, discussion, and coordination but we need someone with tech savvy to take care of the uhhh, thingys.

I’m serious about this. And even though my life is very busy now I will eke out some time to dedicate to a start up.

HY

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dark_bird_of_paradise

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We have a team of Turkers who are going to contribute to the bigger project: https://medium.com/@msbernst/join-stanfords-crowdsourced-crowdsourcing-research-team-e194f3c7c81d

We’d love to have you join us! Since there is no way to contact each other privately here, you can email me at newstudyemail@gmail.com.

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