Outsourcing For Cheap: My Crowdsourcing Experiments

Hey folks, it’s been a while since I’ve not updated this place but I’m here to day to talk about outsourcing. That actually whay I wasn’t here, I tried to look for some cool places, and if you remember I shared with you some micro jobs sites few weeks ago.

So as you may know, crowdsourcing is a type of outsourcing that get you taks done by many persons instead of just one. For example, if you want an article to be rewritten, instead of having one person to rewrite te whole article, you can have one person for each sentence.

The article can thus be rewritten very fast, the rewriter doesn’t really have to think about a complete angle for the article, he/she just focus on one sentence and that’s it.

Now this would be beautiful if some people can just understand instructions, which are very basic. I’m not unhappy for poor english, I have nothing against non english native persons, I’m not myself. But when you give clear instructions, you expect tese are respected.

Now of course with those sites, when you’re not satisfied, you’re can reject the work and you get your money back. Yes, but it wastes time. And outsourcing is supposed to save you time. Here’s an experiment I just had, I mean ended in the last 5 minutes.


It was with MicroWorkers.com

There is something with them I don’t like and that’s you have to assign the task to 30 persons minimum. For some tasks like digging a website, increasing views, that’s okay.It can be a total waste for other tasks I’m going to tell you about later.

Yesterday I asked for an article to be rewritten. So of course I must pay for 30 rewrites, even though I would just need 10. In my instructions I clearly say I want the content to be totally unique, to not just change a word here and there or turn sentences from active to passive mode. I wanted new wordings, same meanings. I required fluent english, correct grammar and syntax.

I choose Philipines workers as I know they can do a good job, at least I already worked with some in the paste and was extremely satisfied.

Well today 3 rewrites were already done… One was acceptable, with 80% uniqueness. That’s good, though I still had to fix few things, it was expected.

The 2 others were really useless. One provided me 15% uniqueness, and the other… less than 4%! That’s right over 96% duplicate content. He or she clearly just changed a few words here and there and that’s it.

At the time I wrote my instructions I remember I said that the worker must know what article rewriting is. This part has been removed during the review process but still the part for “totally unique and original” was kept. So yeah, I’m disappointed with this. I guess I should give a link for an example of total rewrite but I’m not even sure some people will make the effort of checking what I really want.

Anyway I stopped this campaign to not waste more time.

There are some jobs that you should use them for, but as I said for some other tasks it’s really not worth it. For Yahoo! Answers that’s useless. I mean the task you can assign for Yahoo! Answers in the employer interface is “Answer + Link in resource box”.

So basically, you will have 30 people answering the same thing or almost close to it and give the same link to your website. That looks totally unnatural to me. When you vote for a best answer, it’s to get the answer and your link considered as better than others, and of course get good traffic.

For that sole purpose you don’t need 30 answers, one is sufficient. There are other places you can get your job done by just one person if that’s just what you need.

So what I think is of course you can ask for te answer and maybe stop the campaign as soon as you got what you wanted. If you got 3 persons do the tasks it will not be really fair to reject all 29 that you didn’t want.


I don’t know about mTurk by Amazon since it’s open to US residents only.

But ShortTask is one I use. Now one advice you MUST be very clear in your instructions as some really don’t do a good job. You can reject the work too. But to not waste your time be specific.

With ShortTask.com there is something you must do too if you don’t want some “smart” people to abuse your money. And that’s to tick the box that says you want the job done only ONCE per worker.

It depends of the job of course. But last month, I forgot to tick that box for a URL to submit to digg. I just wanted 10 diggs for a test. The same guy filled the 10 positions, of course since he got just one digg account I just had one digg. You have to keep in mind some workers don’t know how internet marketing works.

Also, for tracking purpose I shortened a URL that I wanted to bookmark on reddit. So I used bit.ly. I asked the workers to open the url in their browser, and the new and now expanded url should be copied and pasted to reddit. Well, gues which URL I got bookmarked on reddit? The bit.ly one.

Again be specific, though I think on this one I was, it may show that you got what you pay for. So now I don’t hide my URL and just provide it as is to prevent that mistake to happen again.

My conclusion

You must be careful in the instructions you give, you must choose the right tasks to outsource there. The simplest will be the best to send there. You will have to test and tweak yourself to learn how things work and get the best results. It can be a really good help for your business.

I’m still going to use these sites, but I will also create more systems to help me. I’ll tell you about these later.

Now another place I’ve just started to use yesterday is Fiverr. I know it’s been around for a while but never gave it a shot. So now it’s time and you can find awesome deals that are just awesome. I’ve seen the same jobs done offered on various forums for upto 6 times more. (This should give you an idea of middleman business ;))

Okay have a great week end and see you next time.

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