Transcription work through Mechanical Turk, an online crowdsourcing platform owned by Amazon.com, took its place among life experiences under the category “didn’t work out.”
By completing assessments, I qualified for audio and video transcription work. I was excited and optimistic that I’d found permanent work that I thought I’d really be good at — especially because, ideologically, I am firmly committed to accurate program captioning.
From 2:45 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 2, I transcribed a 27-minute audio recording, for which the company posting the “hit” offered $6.80.
I took my time, transcribing my way with a stop-and-start listening to the audio. I then read along during a second listen-through, making subtle corrections to my transcript.
But divided by the time taken to finish the assignment, my compensation through Mechanical Turk worked out to $1.81 per hour. During my next attempt, the “hit” timed-out and I lost all my work.
I simply couldn’t invest my time for so poor a return. And as much as I am committed to accurate program captioning, I also believe that the importance of this work be reflected by professional compensation.
Subject Classifications (Partial list, via Dewey Decimal System)
- 006.754-Social Media
- 020-Library and Information Science
- 020.92-Cynthia M. Parkhill (Biographical)
- 023.3-Library Workers
- 025.04-Internet Access
- 027.473-Public Libraries
- 027.663-Libraries and people with disabilities
- 027.8-School Libraries
- 028.52-Children's Literature
- 028.535-Young Adult Literature
- 028.7-Information Literacy
- 158.2-Social Intelligence
- 323.30-People with disabilities--Civil rights
- 658.812-Customer Service
- 659.2-Public Relations
- 686.22-Graphic Design
- 809-Literature--Critical Appraisal