Getting Started with Using Scripts on AMT

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So you’ve decided to try out Amazon Mechanical Turk (if you haven’t yet, go find out why it’s great!) and you’re interested in the awesome script I mentioned. These little programs will help increase your earnings. Before I started using scripts, I was making about $10 in 8 hours–crazy, right? But I needed the money, so I did it. When I found out about scripts, my earnings jumped to about $8 per hour. This is at least a 540% increase, and puts my monthly earnings at around $320. All while sitting at home on my couch with my son playing next to me.

Installing Tampermonkey and Your First Script

Your first step is installing the browser extension Tampermonkey. This extension will manage all of your scripts. It’s pretty straightforward, and once you have it installed, you can officially get started!

Installing your first script can be a bit confusing, so I’m going to walk you through it using a script called Turkmaster. This is the first script I ever used, and I highly recommend it. You can add specific HITs or requesters to it and set them on a timer. If you set the timer for, say, five seconds, then every five seconds it’s going to scan the HITs on AMT and will sound an alarm if it finds what it’s looking for. If it’s a specific HIT, it can even automatically accept it for you. This means that if there’s a particular set of HITs–called a batch–that you really like doing, you can set Turkmaster to let you know when there are some available.

After you set up Tampermonkey, the first thing you need to do is find the script you want. If you’re going to install Turkmaster, you can go here. If you aren’t, then you can check out Greasy Fork, which is a good website to find scripts on.

The first thing you need to do is copy the code for the script. On the main Turkmaster page on Greasy Fork, there are several tabs at the top–Info, Code, History, Feedback, and Stats. The Info tab will tell you who made the script and what it’s used for. The Feedback tab has ratings and reviews from real users, and the Code tab (unsurprisingly) has the code for the script.

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Under the Code tab, there is also a large button to ‘Install this script’. This may work in other browsers, but in Google Chrome it is no longer functional. If you’re using Google Chrome (and possibly other browsers), you need to copy everything in the code box.

Next, open your Tampermonkey extension by clicking the ‘dashboard’ link on the extension’s menu. This will take you to a page that looks something like this:

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Keep in mind that all of the scripts on the above list will not show up on your Tampermonkey; those are the scripts I already have installed. To install a script, you need to click the first tab on the right, next to the ‘Installed userscripts’ tab. This will take you to a page with a box for code. Remove everything from this box and paste in your TurkMaster (or other) script code. Then click the save button, which is the second on the left:

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And that’s it! You have officially installed your first script. Now, if you go back to your AMT dashboard, it’s going to look like this:

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Using Turkmaster

The new box on the left is your Turkmaster. This is where any HITs or requesters you have saved will show up. The first symbol starting from the left will make Turkmaster start searching for all of the HITs and requesters you have saved. The second symbol will make it start searching for only certain ones that you have marked. The third symbol stops all searching.

If you click the gear icon on the right, it will show you Turkmaster’s settings. Here, you can turn on an alarm that will go off if Turkmaster finds anything you’re searching for. You can also turn on desktop notifications, a Captcha alart, change your font size, make Turkmaster hideable if your mouse isn’t on it, and import and export settings.

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Now let’s say that you find a batch of HITs you want to work on. You’ve seen these HITs in the search results periodically, but every time you click on it you get a message that there are no more available. What the heck?! Well, this is because there are other AMT workers grabbing the HITs before you get to them. If this is the case, Turkmaster will help you out! If you have Turkmaster installed, when you get that annoying little message about none being available, there will also be a handy new button:

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If you click ‘Watch this HIT’, a new box will pop up:

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This is where you can give a name to it (something that you will remember and recognize), set a timer for how often you want it to scan (if it’s something that comes up fairly often, every 10 seconds is good; if you only see it twice an hour or so, set it for a minute or more). You can also set it to auto-accept the HIT when it finds it or to auto-accept more than one if there are multiple ones available (if you only want it to accept one, click the ‘stop on accept’ box). You can also set it to sound an alert when it finds or auto-accepts the HIT.

One important note before you start adding HITs: when you’re first adding a HIT or requester to Turkmaster, your dashboard has to be open, with Turkmaster enabled, in a new tab. If it isn’t, the HIT or requester will not be saved.

If you’re just getting started on AMT, a good resource to check for HITs to add to Turkmaster that you will be qualified for is MTurk Crowd’s Cheap Numbers HITs. These will be low-paying, but will help you get started.

Coming soon: Check out my guide on using another script, Hitscraper!

 

 

 

 

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  1. Pingback: What is Amazon Mechanical Turk and Why Should I Care? – Striving Momma

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