Long time user of crowdsourcing marketplace Mechanical Turk Andy Baio decided he wanted to know more about the people using the service. In particular, he wanted to answer two questions: what do these people look like, and how much does it cost for someone to reveal their face?

Baio submitted the request and for a maximum price of 50 US cents he got a number of responses which he displayed in the image above. He says:

I started the task at $.05, but only two people responded in the first 24 hours. (And one of those was Joshua Schachter, who I’d told about the project.) Clearly, that was too low, so I increased it to $.25, receiving only eight submissions in 48 hours. (For reference, all 500 of my Girl Talk tasks were done in about an hour.) Increasing it to $.50 got me 20 more submissions in about 48 hours, after which it started to drop off quickly. I wasn’t about to give dollar bills to random people for their photos, so I ended the experiment there. People aren’t willing to give up their anonymity for cheap.

This content is available for Basic Members.
Already a member, log in