Well, I'm up to a grand total of $2.86 that I've earned through Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk program.
Yeah, I know. Not a lot of money. But there are some things that I'm enjoying about the program:
It's a great time-waster. More accurately, it's a great way to be at least a little productive when you have time to waste. For example, it's Saturday night and you have plans for you and your spouse to meet friends at a restaurant. It's now 7:30; you're completely ready to go. Showered, shaved, even got on a little cologne. Your wife, on the other hand, is rushing about like she's gone suddenly mad, yelling at you to get out of the way even as she hops past you with a towel on her head and her mascara in one hand and her stocking in the other.
What do you do while you wait? Stand around impatiently and look at your watch with every ounce of amateur dramatics you have in you? Or go sit at the computer and answer a few questions to put money into your account for that completely unnecessary Star Wars toy you've been wanting? Exactly.
So, from that point of view, the MT is a great idea. And they're beginning to get work orders from other companies and vendors, some of which are willing to pay far more than one cent per task.
In fact, the only real downside is that the amount paid for most of the tasks is still insignificant. Granted, the work is not taxing, but, at the current pay rates, one would have to work for years to make even a significant discount on a large item. Hell, my stated goal of $100 is set to take me close to the next ten years at my current rate of progress, so I'm not sure what the point is. There are just better, faster ways to make money.
I plan to continue to keep tabs on this idea, especially now that there are some tasks that pay out in dollars, but Amazon is going to have to pony up a bit more money if they really want more of my time.