Clickworker tasks: Moving beyond just clicking

10.08.2010

When many people think of crowdsourcing they often think of the look-and-click tasks that were some of the first documented examples of crowdsourcing in the 1990’s. For example, between November 2000 and September 2001, volunteer clickworkers helped NASA identify craters in photos from Mars. And in 2007 Michael Jackson’s white glove in the video of “Billie Jean” was marked by clickworkers 125,000 times in 72 hours during the White Glove Tracking project.

first computer mouse
The first computer mouse

And here at clickworker.com some of our first projects also consisted of analyzing photos. Our clickworkers labeled many thousands of newspaper archive photos with their date. But since then we have practically reinvented photo analysis. One of our recent tasks was to analyze individual still photos from a video and mark specific objects and surfaces. This project was for a learning program from the automobile industry. Quick look-and-click tasks have evolved into more complex jobs such as tracing the road surface down to the nearest pixel.

But there are many, many other tasks that can be done by clickworkers besides analyzing images. Tasks such as gathering data, setting up databases, researching addresses, and categorizing or researching articles according to specific themes are all well suited for our clickworkers.

Text writing is a task that requires more than a simple click. Our clickworkers have written a myriad of texts, some with and without research. They have also authored SEO optimized texts, blog articles and even promotional or marketing copy.

In fact, clickworkers can do just about any sort of text-related task. They can gather data from texts, proofread and correct texts, write brief summaries, rewrite texts, tag keywords, translate and even synchronize texts or text modules. Even creative writing is possible. If provided with specific directions that would serve as a framework, clickworkers could write a novel in which each clickworker contributes only a small portion of the text.

Clickworkers can also process and create audio files. They can listen to a recording and label the background noises or transcribe the corresponding text.

Other tasks are more unique and individual in nature. For example, clickworkers can report on their experiences on a theme ranging from their thoughts on a certain internet site to answering specific questions about certain topics such as health, travel, entertainment, or from submitting a low calorie recipe to helping schedule events. Clickworkers have certainly come a very long way from just simply looking-and-clicking and their possibilities really are endless!

Image by Flickr-User Marcin Wichary


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