November 13, 2005

Amazon starts a Task Market

Amazon have started what looks like a task market with an unusual name - the Amazon Mechanical Turk. Pointed to by C Walsh.

This could be successful if only for its two cool features: the cool name and the incorporation of webservices. The core idea itself has been around for yonks and even well before I presented on task markets at FC97.

What is curious is that instead of going for the geek in everyone, they've actually listed very small low value tasks. They truely are targetting the brains of the net, not the geeks. Here's such a task:

You are presented with the name and address of a business as well as a set of photos taken along the street where the business is supposed to be located. Your task is to identify the best photo of the business that is listed.

For that task you will be paid 3 cents into your Amazon account!

Posted by iang at November 13, 2005 10:48 AM | TrackBack

Capture by trap building put a little cheese in the trap and bingo a mouse will appear. The Nazis recruited folks in such a fashion.

Posted by: Trapped In My Own Cheese at November 13, 2005 11:14 AM

Let's see if they allow for re-sale! In order to boost efficiency, one could open another task market with a different currency, where amazon's tasks are also listed. People performing amazon's tasks will get paid in this currency, while amazon pays to the issuer. Thus, the issuer's currency can be used to buy from Amazon, but is not limited to it. Unfortunately, many on-line businesses (including Amazon) are very adverse to on-line re-sellers, because they perceive it as someone eating their lunch, which is not justified, IMHO, since if they offer goods X for price Y, they should be happy to get customers willing to pay Y for X, no matter who those customers are and what they do with X after the purchase.

Posted by: Daniel A. Nagy at November 14, 2005 07:31 PM
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