I second the opinion of tim.
What is cheaper than all labor force in the world?
Pay 10,000 “turkers” a cent for a ridiculous “micro-task” that insults the human brain! Just make a “game” out of it, promise rewards or bonuses (which doesn’t necessarily need to exist) for good work and rake in the added value. Just wrap “at most one idiot gets paid a bit” or “mass-exploitation” into euphemistic jabber about “competition” and “community” and noone will hear the shot.
But I don’t care if bored housewives spend their whole day comparing images of products for a cent. What makes crowdsourcing really evil is the devaluation of work beyond the already dramatic negative effects of outsourcing, the devaluation of knowledge, expertise and education. They break into the translation and transcription business, marketing research and consulting business… everything that can be done via the internet and everything that has to do with brainwork is threatened to be devaluated to a few cent. What a luck that brain-surgery can’t be done @home. (“Is this brain convolution needed or not? Click ‘no’ to remove it”)
But this is only one half of the mess, the other half is that enough people are sufficiently brain-damaged to offer their manpower, knowledge and skills to be exploited, not for charity, not for other good reasons but for a few bucks of which Amazon gets even its share back because most turkers order stuff off Amazon.com for their money. A transfer to a bank account costs $4 and many have to work a whole week to earn that much.
Is MT a failure? If you see it from a idealistic viewpoint characterized by the above mentioned jabber, yes. If you see it from the viewpoint of Amazon.com, surely not.
It’s capitalist’s dream of a global galley on which everybody rows voluntarily and shares bread and water with the owner of the galley. Tim, you’re invited to join them when they ruined your business explains why they are so wonderfully brainless: If you ever plan to visit Seattle, Toronto or Kirkland (wherever that might be), don’t check the “I love Seattle/I Love Toronto” etc. blogs for restaurant or hotel recommendations. At least most of the euphoric comments on the menu or the rooms on these blogs are not real and have been written by people who doesn’t even know where Seattle is or who write things like “Canada is a Wonderfull city”. One of the poor guys who was lurked to lie on these blogs by “Data Services” could not completely overcome his honesty and called himself “Michael Turk”…