You Cannot Have a Community Without Communication

I realize that the title of this article may sound a bit corny to some but I have been thinking about this a lot lately. In my opinion, it rings very true!

When AMT was launched in 2005, even though there were thousands (possibly more) who began working on the platform, workers did not have contact with each other. There were no training modules, no way to communicate on the AMT platform, and people were left to figure it all out on their own.

It did not take long for individual workers to become a community, however. Workers began organizing on forums and social media. Groups were formed on Facebook and became a place workers could not only ask for help but they could “meet” each other as well. The various forums allowed for this as well. 

Over the years it has been us, the workers, who have organized, helped each other, and taught one another. Turkers have built a massive virtual infrastructure which has transformed turking into full and part-time jobs for so many. 

While we may be spread out across the world, one thing has allowed us to build this infrastructure: Communication.  Think about it for a moment. We have not worked together in person yet we have stronger tools at our disposal than many brick and mortar companies because we have communicated our needs to each other, built what we needed, and continued to improve upon it as we encounter changes with requesters and AMT in general as a community.

On a personal note, this community has led to some amazing friendships for me. We send care packages back and forth, chat often about life, and share photos of our families. These people know if I am having a bad day by how I communicate online. Likewise, I can tell when my friends are having rough days for the same reasons. 

I think it bears repeating that we cannot have a community without communication. Fellow turkers, I would say our communication skills are among the strongest I have seen during my twenty-five years in the workforce. I am thankful for the turker community and proud to be a member of it. I am excited to see where our collective skills lead us in the future as we continue to build a better AMT experience for all of us.

by Krystal Kauffman

Published by admin

Turkopticon helps the people in the 'crowd' of crowdsourcing watch out for each other—because nobody else seems to be! Almost half of the Mechanical Turk workers who wrote their Bill of Rights demanded protection from employers who take their work without paying. Turkopticon lets you REPORT and AVOID shady employers.