Google's Prizes.org - social contest platform

Saw this new social contest platform created by Google:

Google’s Prizes.org

It is still in beta phase. Sign up is using Twitter, Facebook or email.

Highlights from its FAQ,

  • One credit costs $1.00 USD, buy using credit card or PayPal.
  • Minimum of 5 credits to cash out.
  • Submission editable.
  • Contest creators (Buyers) pick winners when contests end; if not, winners will be chosen by popular vote.
  • Two prizes for each contest: winner chosen by contest creator gets the amount; winner chosen by popular votes gets badge.
  • Contest extendable for free (7 days) if less than 5 entries.
  • No obligation to pick winner if less than 5 entries.
  • IP matters: winner gives control of the winning IP to Prizes.org, who in turn grants those rights to the contest creator (buyer). Non-winning entrants retain the IP.

In a way, this platform is more like a Question-and-Answer sites with monetary reward such as the previous Mahalo Answers, instead of a microtask platform since the “Answers” are open for all to see.

The monetary reward is in the range of $10 to $50 mostly and this is lucrative for a Q&A site.

CloudFactory is a cloud labor platform where businesses get instant access to virtual workers for tedious and repetitive tasks. We help businesses create virtual assembly lines that are staffed by our “cloud workers” from around the world. As a social enterprise we are working to connect 1 million people in the developing world to basic computer work while raising them up as leaders to address poverty in their own communities.

Founded by entrepreneur Mark Sears, CloudFactory is based out of Nepal, the landlocked South Asian sovereign state. So what does CloudFactory do, exactly? Well, a big clue is in its name, but let’s take a closer look.

I think CloudFactory..

Microtask: Networks and Nodes

As a class we were asked to record our social networking activity in a single day and visualize our network. The following is what resulted.

Above is the visualization of my social networking activity from a single day (9/21/12) created using NodeXL software.

Because my roommates are physically close to me (in the same living space) communication is more assured. However, I interact the most with people with whom I have strongly established interpersonal relationships. These individuals (my mom and my boyfriend, Jeremy) are not connected without communication through me since they have not connected through their own networks. Because I am the most common element between them, it is easier for them to communicate through me rather than establish a connection directly.

Group socializing, which occurs with my roommates, happens more naturally as Alyssa, Paige, Katie and I are all connected to one another in our networks. Communication with a group who are interconnected comes more easily then establishing communication with people who are outside your network.

I am beginning to expand my network through forming new lines of communication with class mates. These connections are fragile since (seemingly) the only thing connecting us within the network is a class commonality. To strengthen network ties, I must be able to form stronger bonds of friendship and increase communication to prevent someone from leaving the network.

Friends (252)

I think the visual is rather interesting in comparison to my Facebook, which reports I have 252 friends (as I am writing this). Many say that the internet and technology have changed our concept of social networking. My visual would prove they actually have not as my network still is rather small, consisting of closer bonds which move beyond the digital realm.

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Finnish Crowdsourcing Games

Finnish Crowdsourcing Games

You know how much I love projects incorporating games with digitization? So very much that I am sharing this RWW article on the National Library of Finland.

Feast your eyes on their clever Digitalkoot (digital volunteers) project. In conjunction with Microtask, a company dedicated to distributed work via the internet, the National Library of Finland dreamed up two games - Mole Bridge and Mole Hunt - both focused on correcting errors in OCR. Players write and identify words that presented issues during the normal computer OCR process, increasing accuracy and enabling greater access to Finland’s cultural heritage.

Did I mention how brilliant this is?

You Have to Spend Money to Make Money (is Bullshit).

Seriously. Where did that saying even come from? What people should be saying is ‘you have to make money to save money.’ It seems obvious, but at least that one makes sense.

 

This whole train of thought, by the way, is inspired by the extra earning opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to have presented to me this past week. It’s kind of a big deal on my end, because I’ve been looking for ways to make some side income since I started working again. When I first got my job, I spent far more time than I should have looking into paid-to-lick sites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk before deciding that microtasking for a microwage really isn’t for me. It was a similar story with freelance writing - I’d love to get into it, but my credentials are…bad. (Which was also partially responsible for my starting this blog, as it turns out freelance writing is a blog/article game.)

 

What I was really looking for was something relatively painless that would make me a few hundred extra dollars every month. Luckily, it’s looking like I’ll be able to make that happen. Part of that won’t be from any side jobs - there have been overtime hours at work (both voluntary and mandatory) that, at time and a half with an hourly stipend to boot, will net me about three hundred dollars in overtime pay this month. And really, with the absolute nothing I have going on in my life right now, there’s zero reason for me not to put in a fifty hour work week.

 

This past week I also had one of my professors from last semester offer to outsource some of his grading my way, to the tune of one-hundred dollars per test. (He also offered to pay for me to miss work and come do a guest lecture for his social research class, which is less-income related, but way more exciting for me personally). He does tests every month, so that should be an extra hundred dollars from October through at least December - maybe more if he offers the same deal when the new semester starts in January. I’m still a little confused as to why he’ll be paying me when he has two teaching assistants for that course, but I’m sure not going to ask too many questions about that one.

 

I’ll admit that my initial reaction to the extra income was to get all excited that I’d be able to go buy some of the nifty things I’ve had my eye on, but after a long internal debate I have managed to reach a more responsible agreement with myself. Everything extra I make is going to get split between debt (I still have a small balance on my credit card) and my graduate school fund (those applications are fucking expensive). Once I have those two things covered, I’ll start diverting some of it to savings and put some towards my student loans. I’m hoping that eventually making progress on my debt will feel just good as a shiny new purchase (though I’ll admit I have my doubts there). 

//Bluh.  Still frustrated with my existence, so I’m gonna go coo at Soba for a little bit and then go to bed.

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