Have you heard of Amazon MTurk? It's this thing set up by Amazon (obviously) where people post tasks they want done that can be completed on a computer (data looked at, links clicked, surveys taken, etc.), and then other people find them and do them. For money. Very little money.
I read an article on the Wall Street Journal website that some guy made $10,000 doing this to supplement his income, and how he thought it was a fun way to goof off. A couple hours ago, I signed up. I don't need the extra money, but it sounded intriguing.
[Keep in mind, by the way, that if you include my commute I worked a thirteen-hour day today. Before signing up with MTurk.]
So there were all these little jobs posted, all for just ten cents or fifty cents or whatever, but they were quick and trivial. I took surveys about environmentalism, I searched Google's Australian site for a dress shop, I wrote a few sentences about my last trip to the grocery store... Nearly two hours passed by without notice (except for pain in my right hand. I need a more ergonomic computer setup). I racked up points for doing almost 20 jobs, points that, once approved, will turn into money.
How much money? Drum roll... $3.49. Enough to buy the latest episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia on iTunes and still have change leftover for a gumball.
For comparison, when I first finished grad school, I tutored high schoolers in physics for $30 an hour. An hourly rate SEVENTEEN times greater.
How did someone make $10,000 at this? Is he just a rotten liar? If so, I'm sure there are some fascinating psychological surveys he should take.
Anyway, I have no idea why this felt enjoyable and semi-addictive, and now my hand hurts... But I kind of want to see if there are any new jobs posted. Maybe I could earn another buck.