Mechanical Turk vs Upwork
Last updated: August 25, 2016
Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace that enables individuals or businesses to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that computers are currently unable to do. It is one of the sites of Amazon Web Services. The Requesters are able to post tasks known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), such as choosing the best among several photographs of a store-front, writing product descriptions, or identifying performers on music CDs.
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Mechanical Turk vs Upwork in our news:
2016 - JIRA gets Upwork integration
Project management service JIRA is getting a new feature that will let you easily convert JIRA tickets into job postings on Upwork freelance marketplace. With this new integration, Jira users can now click a button and get a pre-populated form to submit to Upwork’s marketplace. This feature will likely appeal to small businesses that often have a backlog of feature requests and bug fixes they never get to. This is not the first time Atlassian and Upwork have partnered around JIRA. Upwork clients can already link their JIRA tickets to an Upwork account to allow freelancers to track their time, for example. Clients can also use Upwork’s messaging feature to receive updates when a freelancer checks in code to Bitbucket, for example, or update a JIRA ticket.
2015 - Elance-oDesk rebrands as Upwork. Mechanical Turk keeps calm
More than a year after the two competitors Elance and oDesk merged to form one freelancer powerhouse, it is finally rebranding under a new name, Upwork. And with the new name comes a new platform, which adds a new mobile app, new search algorithms, faster processing and a real-time chat service — a completely free product that Upwork’s new CEO Stephane Kasriel describes as a “Slack killer.” Upwork is making its collaboration and chat platform completely free to use, and also available to anyone who wants it — not just those people posting jobs on Upwork or those looking for work. As with Slack, Upwork is looking to add more features to the service, such as integrations with GitHub, Google Drive, Jira and video functionality later this year. The online job search market is full of competition, with Indeed.com, Monster, CarreerBuilder, LinkedIn and many more also playing strong in the permanent jobs space.
2013 - Elance and oDesk want to create Amazon for freelance to win over Freelancer.com
(From left to right: Gary Swart, oDesk and Fabio Rosati, Elance)
Elance and Odesk, two largest online marketplaces for freelancers, today announced their intention to merge. At first the platforms will continue to operate independently under their separate brands but it's interesting to imagine what would happen if one giant marketplace will monopolize freelance, like Amazon monopolized retail. The obvious advantage is that there will be only one place to search contractors. You won't have to register on several sites and learn how to use its interfaces. You'll submit a project once - and all potential contractors will see it. But, like with any monopoly, there is a drawback - the lack of competition. So this giant marketplace will establish own rules and won't have an incentive to develop.
However, Gary Swart (oDesk CEO) and Fabio Rosati (Elance CEO) are confident that they'll have this incentive. Because they will compete not with each other but against the traditional recruitment system.
Indeed, today's work freelance marketplaces are still far from ideal. Companies cobble together a low balled job description which has been cobbled together using previous job descriptions from other companies. Contractors send out equally cobbled together job responses because they have no idea what the company is really wanting – and they are forced to lower their standards because of the competition. The ones who get the jobs are the ones who spent half an hour replying to the job proposal, and even then they might not get noticed because there are so many unqualified applications to sift through. Because the company wanted such a low price, the contractor feels that they don’t have to offer quality – after all, quality costs money. Company and contractor struggle back and forth to produce the product, and hope that neither party will screw the other. Nobody is particularly happy, but they are willing to accept the ‘good enough’ situation as it is because they don’t want to go through the dance of bidding and selection again.
ODesk and Elance leaders promise that after the merger they will be able to make significant investments in technology, including tools for more effective online hiring, seamless virtual collaboration, improved mobile accessibility and job skills development. So it will be interesting to see what they invent.