How Being a Member at OHS Has Aided my mTurk Career
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Hi, I'm CrazyCatLady! I joined mTurk in late 2011, but I only really became active in 2017. Like most folks who Turk, in 2017 I really needed something that would help put food on the table and make sure our bills got paid. Since then, I've been lucky enough to go back to a "day job" part time. I still Turk in the afternoons and weekends though. I'm lucky enough to live out on the left coast, and I need the money to help pay for all this good weather!
When I first started looking at mTurk seriously in 2017, I didn't really know much about it. All I knew was that I was looking at micro-work: super small jobs for super small pay. I was working a few hours a day, refreshing the mTurk page and basically hoping for the best. When I found my first worker board, I was basically feeling pretty good about netting about $25/week. Finding a community of co-workers combined with putting in the man-hours made my earnings go up - pretty much immediately. There were some people who would post their weekly earnings. Seeing the figures in the hundreds of dollars made me realize that I needed to put the work in to get the money out.
Once I joined Our Hit Stop, I found my "mTurk home." It quickly became part of my daily routine: log into worker.mturk.com, turn on Hit Finder, and login to ourhitstop.com. One of the most important things about finding this home is building camaraderie with others. We honestly help each other meet our collective goal: making money.
So, what do I like so much about OHS?
Well, the people of course! We're all pretty laid back and welcoming. I appreciate that when one person shares something that is happening in their personal life, everyone rallies around and supports them. One of the most important things is this feeling that we're all working together. When you're working at home alone, you realize pretty quickly that you're missing out on a feeling of community. The isolation can be tough, and making sure that you're plugged into people on a regular basis can simply ensure your sanity.
Also, for newbies, the people at OHS take the time to share information! I have seen people who come on board pretty darn new to mTurk. The group shares information and helps them understand things: who the safer requesters are when you're just starting out, how to power through those first 5k hits so you can see better, higher paying hits, and so on. And, of course we also share experiences with requesters that everyone can benefit from.
What are my favorite features of OHS?
Daily Hit Thread (aka DHT)
For day-to-day camaraderie and updates, I recommend the Daily Hit Thread (Today's DHT). Things move so fast on mTurk, it's hard to keep up with it all. Invariably, someone will post a hit that you missed in the moment and you might even catch it with a Panda later! It also gives you a great “clue-in” to what type of hits are out there that you may not be qualified for yet.
Not only do the listed hits come in handy, but I appreciate the chatter even more. People are so giving of their information and experience - this requester is really great. - That requester gave someone a bunch of rejections. People sharing information about their experiences helps to guide and hone your own working style.
Currently, the only way you can take most qualification tests from requesters is to happen to catch them as they go by. There's no directory of qualification tests on the worker site! If you watch the DHT closely, you’ll see a lot of hits that you can’t do, and start to ask yourself why...and the answer is that you just don’t have the qualifications yet. In the Quals section, you can find a list of requesters and links to the qualifications they have. This has come in handy countless times, especially since no one can be online 24/7 to catch everything!
If you spend any time at all on mTurk without a script, you soon find yourself wondering why you can't catch something, or why there isn't a better way of doing this. Luckily, there are several people out there who have developed some pretty darn helpful scripts. This area on Our Hit Stop lists the ones most of us use. This isn't to say that you should go and put any old script on your computer! But if you stick with the ones listed here, you're bound to do well. The community at OHS is always ready to help you choose which scripts are best for you, and how to use them effectively. We're also here to help you figure out which script manager to use.
Videos are a relatively new addition to Our Hit Stop, thanks to the efforts of our fearless leader, otherwise known as Fisherman. For people who learn better by watching, this is a great way to jump into how things like scripts work. And, for that awesome time of year, there is even help for taxes!
Unlike many online boards, this area is really well fleshed out. Not only will you find answers to questions about how the board works, you'll also find that we post information about communicating with requesters. As you work on mTurk, you'll inevitably find an issue here or there. Have you found a hit you enjoy and want to know if there's more work coming? Do you need to help a requester overturn a rejection? Information here can really help.
So, Stop By and Say "Hi"
Our Hit Stop really is a blend of community and tools for helping people earn money on mTurk. We collaborate with each other and with requesters as well. I know that It can be tough to put yourself "out there" into an existing group, but we really embrace all of our community members. There's no commitment to stop by and see if it feels like home for you!