Mechanical Turk’s requester site http://requester.mturk.com now offers an interactive Ask-A-Question HIT Builder and a new HIT management area. Of course, this completely obviates my AskAQuestion freeware, but who cares? The new capabilities rock and are a great sign of things to come.
So what is this and what does it mean? If you’re willing to set up an Amazon Web Services account and fund it with your bank account (I recommend you create a new free checking account, separate from your normal personal finances), you can start creating Mechanical Turk requests.
I decided to give it a spin. The new Create HITs tab offers two approaches: a Basic HIT and an Advanced one. The basic approach presents a question and asks for a freeform text reply. I asked 5 workers to submit their opinions about the future and health of Mechanical Turk. Unfortunately, I could not get the creation pages to work with Safari, so I ended up creating the HIT in Firefox.
Workers quickly (and I mean quickly!) accepted the new assignment and I was able to track the pending assignments on the requester site, review the response and approve and reject the work.
This new MTurk interactive website deserves a complete how-to, and I’ll try to write one up if time allows.