Who’s inside that Mechanical Turk?

by Mathew on November 21, 2008 · 5 comments

Andy Baio, otherwise known as Waxy (I don’t know why) is an independent journalist and programmer who lives in Oregon, and in addition to maintaining one of the most interesting link blogs on the planet he periodically takes on research projects — including an exhaustive investigation of all 300 or so samples used in the new Girl Talk album. In order to compile that data, he used Amazon’s “crowd-sourcing” engine known as the Mechanical Turk, and became fascinated by the idea that hundreds of people were spending their time doing small research jobs for him anonymously through the service. So he posted a request that Turkers take a photo of themselves holding a piece of paper, with the reason why they like to Turk. The results? Photos of 30 people, 10 women and 20 men, mostly young and white. Some Turk for the money, some for the “lulz” (or laughs), some just because they are bored. Thanks, Waxy.

  • http://waxy.org/ Andy Baio

    Thanks for the link! Here's the origin story of Waxy.org, documented on my user page at Metafilter.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Thanks, Andy. I thought it might have something to do with records. Great research on the Girl Talk stuff, by the way. If I had any pull at my newspaper I would hire you to just do projects like that all day long.

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  • http://wweapons.blogspot.com brennan

    thanks for turning me on to waxy.org. interesting site. I had also never heard of the turk thing. thanks

  • http://wweapons.blogspot.com brennan

    thanks for turning me on to waxy.org. interesting site. I had also never heard of the turk thing. thanks

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