Spamgirl speaks! An interview (part 3 of 3)

continued from part 2

Personal Stuff

*How old are you? (definitely skip that one. rude!)
I'm in my 30s :)

*Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Toronto, born and bred.

*Do you have a college degree?
Ish... I have a certification in Web Design from a college, but I hate web design so it's expensive paper.

*Are you married?
Yups :)

*Does your family know about your Turking? What do they think about it?
ROFL! How could they not :) They've been bitter about it for years, but understand it's what brings in the cheddar. My husband had to buy a new cell phone 2 days ago after his got smushed by a tractor (*sigh*) and I said GREAT! THAT'S WHAT, A WEEK OF TURKING? He had no response.

*What have you purchased with your Turking earnings?
Uhm, other than the naughty stuff? LOL Everything from an Xbox 360 to garbage bags to clothing to bath stuff. I've spent thousands in my years, and I have a house full of Turkin' profits to show for it :)

*How would you describe the economic role of your Turking: lama skins - spa trips - ipads - restaurant dinners - credit card bills - electricity bills - food?
At the moment it's the only thing keeping us afloat. My husband lost his job in April and I haven't had a "real" job in a year (yesterday! Happy anniversary, Spamgirl, again.) I have medical issues that prevent me from working outside my home, so without mTurk... we'd be foreclosed and homeless. Before my husband lost his job it was a way to buy gifts and necessities and even treats (Coach handbag! Wut!)

Big Questions

What do you think about the role of crowdsourcing in the future of employment?
I see it as fairly insignificant. I don't think most work can be done this way, and I think the work that can be completed is, for the most part, too cheap for most to bother wanting to do it.

Is crowdsourcing fair?
Is life fair? No job is fair, IMHO. It is fairer than others in that you're free to do what you want, when you want, or nothing at all. Quitting a job can be detrimental to your reputation and difficult to do.

Is crowdsourcing a 'good thing' for workers?
As above.

What responsibilities does Amazon have to the task posters and task workers? Is Amazon meeting them?
Amazon, mTurk, seems to hold the belief that they will build the system and that's the extent of what they'll do. They've built a requester area which has a forum, so requesters receive some help and some documentation, but they complain it isn't enough. mTurk can't hold everyone's hand, I understand that, but the problems seem to repeat themselves and could probably be solved with a little effort (bad workers, no communication, how do I email a worker, how do I create a qualification test easily, etc.)

mTurk has little responsibility when it comes to workers. They just don't have the funds or time to put into creating a communication system, but they do what they can - they even post on the forum as necessary. I can't say I EXPECT more from them, but more could certainly be done.

How have you seen crowdsourcing change since it hit the scene in the middle of last decade?
I only know how it's changed at mTurk, as I don't visit elsewhere. In the beginning it was the wild frontier - few workers, lots of work, and experimentation. All the HITs were valid, even if the requesters were greedy baddies. Since then it's become rife with black hats and scammers who post on forums about how to screw us. It has also been inundated with non-English speakers who think their English is good enough to do writing HITs, which is a major complaint by requesters.

In ten years, what do you think you'll be doing in relation to Mechanical Turk?
Praise God, may I not even remember the place by then! :) If I'm still kickin' in 10 years, I'll have won the lottery and moved on :) I love mTurk, and I love the work I do, and I appreciate everything they have done for me, but I have to work so hard to make enough just to EAT... I can't wait until the debt is paid off, hubby gets a job, and I can spend some time with my family. I'm a little burnt out.

That's it!  thank Spamgirl for her dedicated service and leave a comment or stop by the Turker Nation forum to let her know whatever you're thinking.  Maybe she'll field follow up questions here, so leave 'em if you got 'em.