Progress

It has been about a week and my HITs are currently being deployed. There are a few members of Amazon’s elastic workforce who have been especially fruitful in this process. I didn’t know what to expect when posting so many HITs for videos. Here’s what’s happening now:

1. First, there are the two boys who keep shooting videos in one of their bedrooms. They are silly and fun, and I like their work, so this isn’t so much a problem but…if they “accept” a HIT, then no one else can accept it. That’s just how Amazon’s machine works for right now. Obtaining a diverse set of performers is going to take a few rounds of hiring. I think this is normal in the workforce, even though I have very little managerial experience.

2. At first I had the HITs available for one week and when a worker accepted the HIT she/he could take the whole week to finish the job. This was a mistake. People would accept a HIT then forget about it, or lose interest, and the thing would be returned with no work. I’m thinking to myself, “Good thing I started this a few weeks in advance.” (I think things like this to myself, also, because I have such little managerial experience). Now they’re available for 5 – 7 days, but once someone accepts a HIT, she/he has only 24 hours to complete it. I like this a lot – I can see when HITs are accepted and I know to look again within a day to see the results.

3. There have been some truly inspired videos and I have encouraged those workers to submit additional entries, hopefully with a change of location or using different performers. I’m hoping that this will produce a mix of smart and entertaining works along with the silly videos.

4. And then there was the biggest problem – some of the workers who were paid for their hamburgers on Tuesday took down the links to their videos on Wednesday (admittedly, this is a backwards usage on the Wimpy reference, but you get what I mean, right?). Woops. So I lost a few videos already. Of course, I emailed and asked for the videos to remain active on YouTube until the end of August but I realize now that this is out of my control. The solution, you ask? Snapz. I now have a collection of videos on my hard drive. If those pesky workers subvert my efforts again, well I’ll just post my copies of their videos to YouTube. {Insert an evil managerial laugh track here, or whacked George Bush reference to fooling me once}

At this point, I am really happy with the progress of this project. I even had a response with a worker’s submitted URL that said, “This was fun to make.” Precisely.