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Thread: Scripts, Add Ons, Searches, And Requesters - A Comprehensive Guide to mTurk

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    A Space Man lotkrotan's Avatar
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    Default Scripts, Add Ons, Searches, And Requesters - A Comprehensive Guide to mTurk

    This is going to be quite thorough, so you may want to come back to it when you have some free time. It will take you some time to go through all the steps below, but will be very worth it.

    The first thing you will want to do is install some scripts and add-ons to help you out. All links are to the sites of the add on which may or may not offer versions for Firefox as well, but will definitely have the add-on for Chrome. The descriptions below were created for Chrome, and may not be fully accurate in Firefox. You may already have some of these installed, but if not, you should consider installing the following:


    Tampermonkey (Chrome) or Greasemonkey (Firefox)
    -This allows you to install custom scripts which will be gone over in the next section.

    ChromeReload (Chrome) or other Page Reloader (Firefox)
    -This allows you to auto-refresh a page. It is very useful for grabbing extra HITs in batches that tend to disappear quickly and sometimes getting HITs even when it says "0 available." To make the most use of this, look at the URL when you are previewing a HIT. Where the URL says "preview?..." change it to "previewandaccept?..." and set the reloader to refresh every 5 seconds. Make sure you are not accepting more than you can complete before they expire. Also note that some requesters like Crowdsource and Crowdflower will not let you accept more than 1 HIT at a time.

    Context Menu Search (Chrome) not sure if available for Firefox
    This script allows you to highlight text, right click it, and provides a "search (highlighted text) in google" option. This saves you from opening a new tab, going to Google, and typing in the terms for search HITs. It does not work on HITs like Crowdsource where you can't highlight the text, but is useful for a variety of HITs and general web browsing.

    Page Monitor (Chrome) or Check4Change (Firefox)
    This extension allows you to keep track of when a web page changes, allowing you to access HITs quickly and easily. A complete guide for Page Monitor can be found here:

    Remove Google Redirects
    This extension is very handy for mTurk and general web browsing. Have you ever noticed that when you click a link through Google and get a long url instead of the page URL? This removes the Google redirect so you go immediately to the target page. This makes it so that in search HITs, you can just right click the search result and choose "copy link address" and you will get the actual site address instead of the Google search link.

    Turkopticon (TO)(Firefox and Chrome)
    This is likely the most important add-on available. It provides you with reviews left by other turkers for each requester right in your search results. You will see a small triangle to the left of the requester name. Hover your pointer over it to get a quick overview of the ratings and click on the link that says "scores based on x reviews" to be brought to the TO site to view all ratings (you need to sign up with an email address, but it is safe.) When searching for HITs, this can help you tell the good from the bad, and the new from the well established. Just because a requester has no TO reviews doesn't mean you should skip the HIT.


    Note that you need to have tampermonkey or greasemonkey installed for these scripts to work.

    Block Requesters
    This script allows you to block certain requesters from your search results, useful to filter certain known bad requesters out of your search results.

    Block Individual HITs
    Allows you to block individual groups of HITs from your search results. Used in order to get certain HITs out of results without blocking all of the HITs a requester might post.

    Discover Fake Availabilities
    Have you ever clicked a link to a HIT only to get the "no more HITs available" message? This helps solve that issue (something that amazon could fix by improving their search function.)

    MTurk Expanded Header
    This script adds your account balance and worker ID to the top of every page on mTurk. It is very handy for copying your worker ID without going to your home page and it is nice to know how much is in your account at all times.

    HIT Database
    This is probably the most useful script you will find. Not only will it add pending earnings and the option to set a daily goal, but it keeps track of all the HITs you've done and allows you to search through them, helping you prevent repeats. Make sure you click "update database" at least once a day (this will take a long time your first time doing it.) Click "requester overview" for a list of requesters you've worked for, then Ctrl+F to bring up a search box, type in the requester name, and click the arrow to the left to bring up all the HITs you've done for the requester.

    Status Page Chart
    Mostly cosmetic, but useful. Places some graphs on your daily totals page of your earnings and HITs done.

    To find your graph after this is installed, go to your dashboard and click "view more" at the bottom right of the "Your Hit Status" section with your daily totals.

    MTurk Great HIT Export for vBulliten
    Have you noticed the nicely formatted links to HITs with all of the information already in the post that many users post on the thread? Ever wondered how to do this? This script is the answer. If you find a good HIT and feel like sharing it, install this script. Next to your search results, you'll see a little box to the right of the title that says "vB." Click it, and a box with all the information pops up, nicely coded for posting to the forum. Copy the contents of the box, click on the box to make it go away, then paste it in the thread and you are done!

    General Searching Techniques

    I don't know how much you rely on the forum, but being able to find good HITs on your own will help tremendously. My method for searching for HITs is as follows:

    Set "that pay at least" to .20
    Check "for which you qualify"
    Keep the "HITs containing..." field blank so it brings up all HITs.
    Sort by "creation date (newest first)
    Browse through the first few pages or so, checking the TO of the HITs and making sure the link is blue (purple means you've clicked it before.)

    If the TO is iffy, click on the number of reviews to go the TO page for that requester. The reviews could be old, and the requester could have changed the format or increased the pay of a HIT to make it more worth it.

    Like I mentioned before, don't be afraid to take risks with new requesters. That's what building your numbers is for (I'll get to that in a minute.)

    On busy days, the search terms listed above will constantly have new things popping up for you to do. However if it gets slow, I tend to drop the pay to .10 or even .05 and search for lower hanging fruit (5-19 cent hits that take less than a minute or two to do.)
    Last edited by Cowfin; 08-22-2013 at 05:42 PM.

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    A Space Man lotkrotan's Avatar
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    Another thing to do is search for the words "qual" "qualify" "qualifying" or "qualification" when it is slow to find HITs that are qualifiers for future studies or batches. Getting some good qualifications has led to me making some serious money from certain requesters.

    Also keep an eye on the daily Great HITs thread for people posting about qualifying hits or batches. You can even go through the qualifications by searching for all of them and taking as many tests as you can. Some power users swear by this method.

    Getting up your numbers

    Do not neglect to do easy, low paying HITs when it's slow to build up your numbers.This has two benefits. First, once you get to 1000, 2500, 5000, and 10000, more HITs open up for you. Secondly, if you build a good "cushion" of approved HITs, you can take risks with new requesters and afford to risk a reject or two.

    Note on new requesters
    When it comes to batch HITs or high paying surveys/tasks, I always follow up my submission with an email welcoming them to mTurk, asking if my work was acceptable, and stating that I'll leave them their first positive review on TO as soon as they approve the HITs. I've had some requesters respond immediately with ways I can improve my work for them and make it easier on myself, while at the same time approving my older work that wasn't exactly right just because I was willing to communicate and ask for feedback. I've also gotten some quals this way.

    Requesters/HITs to watch for

    NOTE: This list was last updated on 4/12/2013. Requesters may change over time, and this list will be updated periodically to reflect that.

    Add some of these to page monitor/check4change and get working for them immediately. I've made this list over the past three months and it comes from the requester list in the HIT Database meaning these are either the requesters I've made the most money from, or have been able to do a lot of HITs for in a short period of time. The first list is a money makers list, the second list is for number building.

    Money Makers

    R H - can also find by searching CCMath, requires qual, not sure when they're going to give it out again
    Christopher Malon - posts .30 batches of "write questions to a sentence." Seem hard at first, but are really easy once you get the hang of them. Take me a minute or less a piece now
    CrowdFlower - more specifically, search "crowdflower speech" for their comparing two audio clips HITs. It's a batch posted almost daily that pays decent despite their other HITs.
    Behavioral Lab - posts surveys that most always pay more than .10/minute
    Mary Pyc - I've done 2 $10 HITs that took 20 minutes or less from her in the past month, not sure if she'll be posting more, but worth keeping an eye out for
    Andrew Carman - posts food sorting batches that pay .15 for less than 30 seconds of work.
    heather walters - Posts $9-$10 HITs that take about 30-45 minutes every now and then. If you haven't worked for her, keep an eye out for her qualifying HIT.
    Gabe - Posts surveys, almost always more than .10 a minute
    SMT Inc. New requester, did some "find the facebook, twitter, etc page for this person" HITs for them the other day. Did 34 in less than two hours at .50 a piece for a total of $17. I hope they post again in the future.
    Tyler Quick Posts writing HITs that are easy to do
    Crowdsource - Not only are their search HITs good when it's low, but their "Judge the Sentiment" HITs pay really well and are easy to do. Search terms for this should be "crowdsource sentiment"
    Acme Data Collection - record words for them, pays really well
    Project Endor - Another recording HIT, they also have smartphone specific HITs that pay really well
    Yale Cognition & Development Lab - Another requester that posts consistently good surveys
    Agent Agent - Posts very quick icon testing surveys for .30 a piece
    Pick Fu - Posts single questions surveys almost everyday for .04 a piece
    Jaime Arguello Search engine HITs that are very easy and pay very well. I've been cut off from them for months though (was able to do about 50 for him)

    For Numbers

    DataJam LLC - Sorting through twitter photos, very easy
    Venue Quality - Tell if two locations are the same, easy qual test
    Homezoo - describe pictures of houses, they go quick
    Redwood - Specifically their "review a short transcript >10sec" HITs. Search terms: Redwood review transcript"
    GoGo - Similar to Venue Quality, but .02 a HIT and posts bigger batches (up to 200 at a time)
    Readabl - Once you get to 2500 HITs approved, you can do these. I've done over 700 with only 3 rejects, although other people have been less lucky with them. You get the address off from mail and it takes seconds.
    lang_labs (lang_labs)

    I hope this helps and you're able to increase your earnings with this information! If you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to ask (if it's about a script or add on, check the appropriate section of the forum first though!)

    Take care and happy turking! =]
    Last edited by Cowfin; 04-12-2013 at 08:18 PM.

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