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Thread: The truth about penny HITs

  1. #1

    Flame The truth about penny HITs

    We all know I like math so I decided to do some.

    The long and short of it: The maximum the majority of people can ever hope to make with a penny HIT per hour is $4.37. This value assumes a HIT per minute value of 7.5 with a CAPTCHA every 35 HITs which lowers the HIT potential per hour from 450 to 437.14. and assumes a few things:

    • Page loading times — When you load a HIT, you need to load two resources: the HIT inside the frame (which comes from literally anywhere on the web, but for requesters who use the GUI from mturkcontent.com) and mTurk itself. Most of mTurk should be cached, but the timer and HIT details are not, which requires a page request. I put 3 seconds into page loading time. This is based on the average US internet speed (6.7Mbps), a data transfer tool which I calculated a guesstimate of 2MB, JavaScript run times (set up the timer, set up within the HIT, depending on your processor or browser these will be slower and quicker) and server response time. Obviously this can never be done perfectly, but I think 3 seconds is more than fair for the majority of internet connections.
    • Complexity of HIT — The HIT is very simple and can be done in one click, and that click submits the HIT. I figured 5 seconds for the time of HIT, giving us our HITs per minute value of 450.
    • The Masters difference — Next I thought about the Masters qualification, and since every non-Master worker needs to do a CAPTCHA every 35 HITs, this means they need to do roughly 13 CAPTCHA's per hour, giving us our 437 maximum potential.
    • You work a full hour — this is the ridiculous one, but this is another assumption of mine. Can you really work a full hour doing penny HITs? It's possible, but after that, can you work two? Therefore the hourly paradigm actually doesn't make sense, as you'll overwork yourself and potentially miss other work that doesn't pay slave wages.


    This is my speed test, which is 94% faster than the rest of the US, which makes me able to do penny HITs in five seconds, and yet I still reject all penny HITs as that's $7.20/hr, not even minimum wage.

    My conclusion is, for even the most basic tasks, your minimum should always be 2ยข/HIT.
    When the wind of change blows some build walls while others build windmills.

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  3. #2
    Moderator dack's Avatar
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    Good job, frb.

    There are some reasons for a worker to do penny hits, especially new workers. It gets your stats up which allows you to do better work faster. A nice fat buffer built up early on also protects you from potential mass rejections. One could also argue, I suppose, that doing good work on some penny hits could lead to better paying work from the same requester in the future.

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  5. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by dack View Post
    Good job, frb.

    There are some reasons for a worker to do penny hits, especially new workers. It gets your stats up which allows you to do better work faster. A nice fat buffer built up early on also protects you from potential mass rejections. One could also argue, I suppose, that doing good work on some penny hits could lead to better paying work from the same requester in the future.
    Yes, but one thing I'm noticing lately is a lot of experienced workers chasing after penny HITs. New workers and those building scores after a mass rejection should do what they have to but I just wanted to address the maximum possible pay.
    Last edited by frb; 11-17-2012 at 07:32 PM.
    When the wind of change blows some build walls while others build windmills.

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  7. #4
    Moderator dack's Avatar
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    Of course, but we all have our weaknesses. I've chewed through more than a few [Edited by a mod: Per the description on Mturk General, please don't share requester or hits in this section.] penny and two cent hits in between bigger work projects. It's not something I spend hours doing, more like just hitting a few quick here and there during the down times.

    Of course, their expired security certificate means I can't do any of their hits through Firefox.

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  9. #5
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    I am not sure about that. I did a ton of [Edited by a mod: Per the descritption on Mturk General, please don't share requester or hits in this section.] penny hits in the past and I was doing at least $5 an hour with those. Not the best work but they were steady and easy.

  10. #6
    Community Manager spamgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emm View Post
    I am not sure about that. I did a ton of [Edited by a mod: Per the descritption on Mturk General, please don't share requester or hits in this section.] penny hits in the past and I was doing at least $5 an hour with those. Not the best work but they were steady and easy.
    And you told every last requester on mTurk that $5 is okay. So then the requesters who do pay fair wages see that and say gee, look! This one is willing to work for $5 per hour! Let's lower OUR rates.

    I have seen dozens of requesters increase their pay because workers wouldn't do their HITs. In fact, one requester posted on a requester's forum stating they'd increased their pay to as much as FIFTEEN DOLLARS AN HOUR just to get people to do the work.

    If you do work which doesn't pay enough, you're telling the requester you're not really worth more than that, so it's okay to pay so little.

    So you know, I make a living on mTurk. I have refused to work for less than $20/hour for the last 2 years. I was told last week that I'm the top earner on mTurk. Why? Because I don't settle for $5/hour. I've made it clear that I'm worth more, and I hold out for more, AND I GET MORE!

    By accepting a low "personal" minimum wage, you are setting yourself up to make less money. If you want to make more money, you have to set your goals higher and stick to them.
    It's all good.

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  12. #7
    "I was told last week that I'm the top earner on mTurk."

    Congratulations!

    "By accepting a low "personal" minimum wage, you are setting yourself up to make less money. If you want to make more money, you have to set your goals higher and stick to them."

    You are so so right. I am a convert. It makes a difference. You will never convince everyone in a free market system like mturk, but every good worker that goes over to the 'taint' side helps the ecosystem.
    It all adds up! Yet, it adds up faster when you are selective. Choose your work and requesters with care.

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  14. #8
    Member Jackie's Avatar
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    Thank you frb. I've been too lazy to sit down and do the math but you've confirmed what my gut has been telling me all along. I did a bunch of penny HITS to get over that 1000 HIT mark but haven't done any since. I can't bring myself to even look at anything for less than 10 cents and then it has to be a batch of HITS I can fly through.

    I don't have a lot of time to turk so what time I do spend doing it needs to be worth my while. I realize it may take longer to get to 5000 HITS if I'm picky about what I do but I work full time and turk for extra spending money so I can afford to be picky. If I miss out on a bunch of good paying HITS by not being able to turk during the day and can only find 6 or 7 HITS to my liking that evening then so be it.
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.

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  16. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by spamgirl View Post
    So you know, I make a living on mTurk. I have refused to work for less than $20/hour for the last 2 years. I was told last week that I'm the top earner on mTurk. Why? Because I don't settle for $5/hour. I've made it clear that I'm worth more, and I hold out for more, AND I GET MORE!
    Wow! First off congrats and second off would you like to share where these $20/hr jobs are because I can hardly find $10/hr let alone enough $20/hr. And when I do there are not enough to get myself even close to some of the peoples earnings I have seen on here. Are all of the good jobs for Canadians? Maybe I should move.

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  18. #10
    Member honeyed's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, I've not done penny hits in a long time, but since coming back from hiatus, I was going to consider it. Now I know it's not really worth it.
    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." Albert Camus

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