Microtasking is a new form of crowdsourcing. It means to outsource work to a crowd of people, mostly on the internet.
Microtasking means to split up a large task into many tiny tasks which can be done by everybody within an hour. These tasks have to be well defined by the company, business or private person, so that the crowd is able to fulfill the job. This method is used when human intelligence is needed for successful results and can't be automated.
On various websites you have the possibility to have translated your text up to .. words by native speakers. You give them precise information about your requirements like the text length, the quality or if you want to have included keywords. Then the job is offered online to the crowd. After the translation every text is checked and corrected by another qualified worker. These system leads to high quality and best results.
Basically the microworker has to digitize handwritten papers. To avoid data privacy problems the documents are split up into small fragments which are edited separately by various operators.
Placing your product in the right category is important for fast results because they can be find easier by different search engines. The right Keywords tagged to the merchandise or the offered services guaranty a high recall factor. Besides your customers will appreciate a well structured offer on your website within they can navigate simply and quickly. Also the search application which is needed on websites can be optimized by microtasking. Furthermore the classification of pictures by tagging or logical description can be split up in tiny tasks that can be done by an online crowd of people.
Every information like addresses of companies , E-Mail, contact data of entrepreneurs,mangers and others can be evaluated by online microworkers. This category can be useful for survey departments but also database. If you are on the other hand interested in your competitors and need disclosure about prizes, customer services, terms and conditions but you don't have the time or workforce to get these data by yourself outsourcing it will solve your problem.
As business or private person you have many possibilities to use this sector. If you need a description of your range of products or a destination, a glossary for your website, categorization texts or even a high standard profile for your company.
Benefits & Risks
The benefit of microtasking in all categories is of course the efficiency and timesaving system. By splitting up a big tasks into many tiny ones the work can be done by various people – the crowd – at the same time. It is very flexible to apply for both sides: the microtasker who is able to choose his working time and the customer who has the possibility to order a task at any time. Furthermore the quality increases when the order is done by more than one person at a time and in addition is corrected by another qualified one.
The risks on the other hand lie mainly with the so called ”Clickworkers”. They have to create an online account and profile which gives the customers a clue about their skills. Besides the “Clickworkers” data is actualized and collected permanently. It opens another online source for information about your person. Furthermore as a ”Clickworker” you only get the hourly payment without any securities like insurance. In addition the hourly wage can drop down to 3€ when you choose tasks that are not completely in your field of knowledge, like researched by Susanna Gebauer.
- permanently collected data
- no securities
Projects & Examples
The most popular websites which offer microtasking are AMT (Amazon Mechanical Turk), microtask, clickworker an pybossa. On the website “Clickworker” there are registered over 700.000 people from 136 different countries. At the beginning, after the registration, they have to give information about their skills so that the platform can assign them to a specific working category. Afterwords the clickworkers are tested if they are really qualified for the job they are interested in and moreover have to absolve trainings to get better. The customers have the possibility to rate the jobs done by the clickworkers and if they were satisfied with the results. These constant ratings make a contribution to the status and profile of the worker. It leads to an hierarchy from the beginners to the experts. Businesses like “Groupon”, “Honda”, “T-Mobile”, “Paypal” and others use “Clickworker” as clients.
- cities at night (NASA and others)
The main aim of this project is fighting air pollution which affects us in many ways. Therefore pictures that were taken by astronauts are now accessible online. Everybody may locate cities and places and in this way helps to complete the task. The project has came about volunteers of various cities and organizations.