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Author Topic: Are there any sites like Amazon's Mechanical Turk using bitcoins?  (Read 5702 times)
unfinishe
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May 02, 2011, 11:24:17 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Mechanical_Turk basically allows people to pay others to complete tasks requiring human intelligence from simple tasks like tagging pictures to more complex ones like transcription. Currently Amazon charges a 10% fee, a fair portion of which I assume goes to cover the cost of distributing funds. If bitcoins were used instead, I would think that you could charge a much more competitive fee. So are there any other sites like this? And if not, do you think it would be a good idea to make one?

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kiba
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May 02, 2011, 11:59:53 PM
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No.


Go build it.

ripper234
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May 03, 2011, 01:51:59 AM
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As I posted once before in this forum, I'm working on one.

https://docs.google.com/a/google.com/document/d/15m0bU76dSmNNbk0nK_vBZhFWUZR8SSfJad8CKAA4Hlo/edit?authkey=CKj8mosF&hl=en#

Open source (although my employer might own the copyright, I'm negotiating this right now).

This doesn't bother me much though, because I believe that anyone that values bitcoin enough to invest his time on such a project, should just purchase any decent amount of bitcoins now, and will be rich when their value increases X1000 fold in next year.

Will be happy to cooperate.

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unfinishe
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May 03, 2011, 09:14:23 AM
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I'm glad to know that I'm not the first to wonder about this. Unfortunately, I'm brand new to bitcoins and making a site of my own seems quite daunting to a novice programmer like me. I'll definitely think about it though. Thanks!

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ripper234
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Ron Gross


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May 03, 2011, 11:51:18 AM
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Still, you can look at the mockup/vision documents I linked to and tell me your opinion - no programming experience required, and I'd love the feedback!

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May 03, 2011, 12:28:04 PM
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You can find a similar script already done. All you have to do is change the payment options.

Search for "microworkers clone script" in google.
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May 03, 2011, 03:32:56 PM
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Yes, this is a very nice idea.

I started working on a site like this about half a year ago, but progress has been slow.

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stakhanov
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May 03, 2011, 05:26:17 PM
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Just wanted to say, a well-implemented site like mechanical turk would be both very useful and a great application for bitcoins.
ripper234
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Ron Gross


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May 03, 2011, 06:12:29 PM
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If anyone is interested in joining the project, ping me.
I have the coding effort underway, and could always use more hands.

I'm using Java/SpringMVC/mysql if that matters.

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August 04, 2011, 06:48:18 PM
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Hello guys,

Once I heard about Amazon mechanical turk, I immediately thought of bitcoins and how it would perfectly fit for such a web service. I searched the forum and there you are!
I live in Europe and the crowdsourcing thing has not really started here, so I'm really looking forward the feasability of such a service.

I read ripper's gdoc and here are a few thoughts:

I think that the idea is good by itself without relying entirely on the bitcoin system. Why not allow other payments methods between users such as paypal, or other virtual currencies?

I think you should also check if everything is legal with this idea, in your country at least. There is probably a good reason why Amazon is talking about rewards and not wages. Check if government fees apply, etc. Maybe you (we?) should ask a lawyer.

How do you think you will resolve the disputes? Let's say I offered 1btc for a graphic design/ a logo, etc.. Somebody sends me a few files, I claim they are crap, pay nothing and use the logos anyway. Do you need moderators, a review system so that you know if you're dealing with a trustworthy requester, etc? You may also have illegal questions popping out. Again, do we need a "flag as illegal" button? Do you intend to ask users for ID informations when they sign-in?

I'm not a coder, but I'll be glad to review your ideas, that's a very exciting project!
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August 04, 2011, 08:19:19 PM
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How do you think you will resolve the disputes? Let's say I offered 1btc for a graphic design/ a logo, etc..
Small note: mechanical turk only does "human microtasks" such as classification, recognition or small translation tasks. Logos and such bigger projects are more the domain of sites such as ODesk and Freelancer.com.

Dispute resolution is a good point. How it works with Amazon is that the person offering the task can accept/reject a MT result. There is no dispute resolution, which means workers complain sometimes that they did a task correctly but it was still rejected so that they did it for free... after that, they can stop working with him, but the solution is far from perfect.

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I think that the idea is good by itself without relying entirely on the bitcoin system. Why not allow other payments methods between users such as paypal, or other virtual currencies?
That would make things far more complex. A user could end up with 1000 WoW gold, 3 bitcoins and $5 PP after a few jobs Smiley

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ripper234
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Ron Gross


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August 05, 2011, 04:33:46 AM
 #12

Hello guys,

Once I heard about Amazon mechanical turk, I immediately thought of bitcoins and how it would perfectly fit for such a web service. I searched the forum and there you are!
I live in Europe and the crowdsourcing thing has not really started here, so I'm really looking forward the feasability of such a service.

I read ripper's gdoc and here are a few thoughts:

I think that the idea is good by itself without relying entirely on the bitcoin system. Why not allow other payments methods between users such as paypal, or other virtual currencies?

I think you should also check if everything is legal with this idea, in your country at least. There is probably a good reason why Amazon is talking about rewards and not wages. Check if government fees apply, etc. Maybe you (we?) should ask a lawyer.

How do you think you will resolve the disputes? Let's say I offered 1btc for a graphic design/ a logo, etc.. Somebody sends me a few files, I claim they are crap, pay nothing and use the logos anyway. Do you need moderators, a review system so that you know if you're dealing with a trustworthy requester, etc? You may also have illegal questions popping out. Again, do we need a "flag as illegal" button? Do you intend to ask users for ID informations when they sign-in?

I'm not a coder, but I'll be glad to review your ideas, that's a very exciting project!

Thanks for the feedback. Right now the project is pretty much frozen, I don't have the bandwidth to handle it.
As for the points you raised:

1. I did plan to enable other payment methods, they could be exchanged for bitcoins (the site could act as a small exchange as well).
2. I believe I did describe an initial concept for dispute resolution in the spec document (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zMJaUQg7vCHtwHo_a7g08Smj5AwGhj37V1KUv7hyEjg/edit?hl=en#). It's not fully chewed at this point, just a concept - we will invite other people to vote on disputes and earn a small amount of bitcoin for the act of dispute resolution.

I'm not sure about legal issues, but if someone were to take this project seriously, this is definitely something that has to be determined. I certainly wouldn't ask users for ID when they sign in, I think this would kill the site.

Thanks again for your ideas!

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benkebab
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August 05, 2011, 12:20:32 PM
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Quote
I think that the idea is good by itself without relying entirely on the bitcoin system. Why not allow other payments methods between users such as paypal, or other virtual currencies?
That would make things far more complex. A user could end up with 1000 WoW gold, 3 bitcoins and $5 PP after a few jobs Smiley

Sure, I was rather thinking about an internal money system (e.g. bit4stuffCoins for ripper's system, or whateverCoins  Cheesy) so that all bounties/rewards are displayed with the same currency and not in $pp, wow gold or bitcoins like you said.  Cheesy

Then you would only have an exchange interface (from you coins system to paypal, bitcoins, etc.) only when paying for the task requested, according to whatever system the user and requester chose in common (bitcoins, paypal, etc.)

What do you think?
benkebab
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August 05, 2011, 12:27:07 PM
 #14

I certainly wouldn't ask users for ID when they sign in, I think this would kill the site.

Thanks again for your ideas!

You're more than welcome!

I was only asking about the ID stuff beacause apparently that is the purpose of some new laws in the US for pre-paid systems and tehre was rumors about this applying to bitcoin web services. And also the E-gold trial and its only way to become legal: ask users for identification info: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/e-gold/
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August 05, 2011, 12:34:52 PM
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I'm not sure about legal issues, but if someone were to take this project seriously, this is definitely something that has to be determined.
Legal issues? Yes, if you call it 'work' or 'a job' you get tons of those in various countries.

Just call it a MMORPG game in which you do actually useful tasks for each other in exchange for virtual items instead of killing virtual monsters! :-)

Quote
I certainly wouldn't ask users for ID when they sign in, I think this would kill the site.
Yes it would. Even ODesk and friends don't ask for ID.

Sure, I was rather thinking about an internal money system (e.g. bit4stuffCoins for ripper's system, or whateverCoins  Cheesy) so that all bounties/rewards are displayed with the same currency and not in $pp, wow gold or bitcoins like you said.  Cheesy

Then you would only have an exchange interface (from you coins system to paypal, bitcoins, etc.) only when paying for the task requested, according to whatever system the user and requester chose in common (bitcoins, paypal, etc.)

What do you think?
Good points. IMO it'd be best to at least start with just Bitcoins. People can use other sites to exchange the Bitcoins for other goodies or currencies. 

Eventually you could integrate MTGOX and other exchanges using their APIs to combine the functionality and offer other payment methods.

But I think it's most important at this stage to just get a site up and running. Let's focus on the main functionality, otherwise I think we'll dig up this thread again in two years and wonder why there is still no MT for Bitcoin Smiley

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August 05, 2011, 12:44:00 PM
 #16

Yes it would. Even ODesk and friends don't ask for ID.

I totally agree that it would kill the site. See my concerns above though.


But I think it's most important at this stage to just get a site up and running. Let's focus on the main functionality, otherwise I think we'll dig up this thread again in two years and wonder why there is still no MT for Bitcoin Smiley

Point taken. Since I have no coding skills, I tend to be overwhelmend by ideas!  Wink

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August 05, 2011, 12:44:14 PM
 #17

I was thinking of doing something similar, but I can't program much.

I'm looking around for some open source stuff to modify to make it work the way I want.

Set up the same thing..
http://bit.ly/btcrefs
Get more bitcoins.
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August 05, 2011, 05:56:27 PM
 #18

I'd be interested to see a functioning "Auto-Bounty" type of service. Keep us posted!

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