|Japanese writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Most likely I just don't get it. Crowdsourcing. The new business model everybody is fretting about.
From what I have seen or been offered, I think there is no other way of calling this but slavery.
Unless, of course, I am missing some very important points.
Let me name a few examples. And since the companies involved actually DO advertise this worldwide and WANT to be seen ... there cannot be much of an objection to me citiing their names.
1) Today (7/20) from a "job offer" on Proz.com ->
"Appen Butler Hill is excited to announce ... crowdsourcing solutions for multiple annotation projects.
Crowdsourcing allows researchers to collect lots of interesting data points from a wide variety of individuals ...
We would like to invite you to participate in this extra task and EARN SOME CASH ... These Human Intelligence Tasks, called HIT’s, are used in a wide variety of applications – data annotation, multimedia, sentiment analysis, and search engine result evaluation.
How will I get paid for this task?
• Each task is assigned a rate per HIT. This rate varies by complexity of the task, but typically ranges from $0.01 - $0.10 per HIT submitted."
Let me get this straight. You, me, everybody participating in this "exciting opportunity" performs some "HIT".
Which appears to be some form information search.
Trying to paint a rosy picture, assume you can complete one HIT job in 5 minutes. You get paid 0.01 - 0.10 USD. Make it an average of 0.05 USD.
Then your hourly payment would be 0.05x12=0.6 USD/hour. Or 0.6 x 8 x 5 x 4 = 96 USD/month for a full time job!
At the same time I do suspect, that our friend Appen Butler Hill WILL actually make (a lot?) of money.
Another example. 2-3 days ago I received a "job offer" from one of those crowdsourcing sites. I registered there just for the fun of it.
"Greetings from Translia.com. The following job is posted on Translia.com, which matches your languages.
Job ID: Job xxx
Source language: Japanese
Target language(s): English
Total words: 80
Translator rate (points/word): 7.3
Translation fee (points): 580
(one point is valued USD0.01)"
That is 580 x 0.01 = 5.8 USD.
Also not a rate I would jump up and turn the computer on for.
Finally. The other day I went to some sort of "job fair" in Tokyo. There too was a company trying to go into this crowdsourcing business.
The company calls itself "anydoor", based on a Japanese comic.
Its pamphlet said:
"Would you like to earn money?" .. and on the backside：
Get paid for your work via PayPal account.
Start translating and earn money now!"
Yet, their calculation and offer include following:
a standard job of about 720 Japanese characters (about 2 pages translation) will be paid 2 USD, or 0.02 USD/character -> about 1/50th of the usual rate.
Assume you can translate 2 pages in 40 minutes (often it will take longer), you get an hourly payment of about 3 USD/hour, which would mean a monthly salary/income for full-time work of about 500 USD/month.
To the best of my knowledge it is simply impossible to survice (not to speak of "live") on that money in Japan.
If this crowdsourcing is a new "smart business solution", I am sure some smart people will get very rich from sucking the intellectual blood of the "population at large". Not to mention that they a complete fool out of those old-fashioned translators, who still believe their job is a "craft" .....