More on the “10 Per Cent”: MTurk workers who complete majority of work

This recent study examined crowd sourcing for science, and is really interesting. Sauermann and Franzoni investigated what is known as the ‘80/10’ concept—the idea that 80 per cent of crowd source tasks are completed by about ten percent of the workers. The authorrs recognize that analyses in crowd-based settings such as Wikipedia show that this distribution has occurred in numerous crowd-based projects. However, the inequality is not consistently at the 80/10 level. They also offer insights on why this occurs. They suggest that top contributors work faster than others, and they also commit to working for multiple days. Many users sample a crowd source project and then abandon it: according to the authors, the range is from 60-83% of first day visitors not returning. They stress the need for constant attraction of new users as well as re-energization of existing users. They argue that the “10%” are highly intrinsically motivated to do good work.

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