Today I Learned…

…about Amazon Mechanical Turk. AMT is an online marketplace seeking to match workers and requesters for mini-tasks called HITs (human intelligence tasks) — typically short online activities like commenting on blog posts or reviewing content. Once a worker has fulfilled the task to the requester’s specification, they are paid a small amount of money, ranging from a few cents to several dollars depending on the length and difficulty of the task.

This is really where the market has evolved itself into. More and more people are taking themselves out of the normal workforce and attempting to make a living freelancing. What’s more, there are more and more of these opportunities springing up as the economy goes to the shitter — I found this site linked to on a blog post on a similar site describing how to create an income following a job loss. I myself am registered with two free survey sites to make a little extra money (very little, but hey). It’s remarkable how the (American) economy has rejiggered itself into one where less and less actual physical product is produced anywhere.  An economy of ideas indeed.

Today I Learned…

…about a very handy website for Jeopardy! buffs like me.  It’s called TrackMyTrivia, and I found it from a comment on The Jeopardy Project, which you can find on my blogroll.  It’s simply a javascript applet which allows you to keep track of how you are doing as you watch a game of Jeopardy! and play along.  What comes out in the end is basically your “Coryat Score” — your score for the game disregarding wagering.  Much easier to use and more compact than the scorecards I’ve been mocking up for my practice.