2016 Update

 

As indicated below, CloudCrowd is no more since its acquisition by Crowdsource, which now goes by the OneSpace name. Of the work I've done on the new platform, I've find it generally pleasant with only a minimal number of narky comments from reviewers. Clickworker, however, continues to operate in its original form.

 

CloudCrowd

 

Update: CloudCrowd was acquired by CrowdSource in 2013. Its platform has since been retired and its users transferred over to a new CrowdSource workspace. The information below is now just of historical interest.

A number of things have happened at CloudCrowd over the past three years. The application officially came out of beta, and their business model changed. Three years ago, the company offered an editing service to end users through its EditZen brand, and this was expanded later to include translation and content services under the Serv.io brand. The company closed its end-user services and now only deals with customers on large-scale projects, most often content generation. Their client list is fairly impressive and includes familiar names such as Target, Coca Cola, Staples, Orbitz, and Overstock.com.

Typical Work on CloudCrowd

While CloudCrowd is basically the same Facebook app, it has evolved somewhat over the years. The user interface now has separate tabs for Projects, Credentials, Practice, and Correction. Most of these are then separated into different lists for each type of work available:

  • The Cloudcrowd User InterfaceWriting
  • Editing
  • Categorization
  • Research
  • Data Entry
  • Translation

This is a big improvement over the old interface, especially now there can be a number of different projects going through the system at any one time.

Because the company specializes in content generation now, the bulk of the work is generally in the writing and editing sections. Most of this is in English, but projects in French, German, or Spanish often appear.

Many of the projects also have a non-content element as well, such as product categorization for retailers, so there’s work available for the less literate and nonnative English speakers. Passing a multiple-choice English comprehension test on the system is usually a prerequisite to doing these tasks.

Worker Experience

On top of the UI improvements, CloudCrowd have also added other features to improve the experience for workers:

  • Content Review: Writers’ work is now edited in a second stage, so writers are no longer subject to rejection for a couple of grammatical mistakes.
  • Review & Fix: When there is a minor issue with a piece of written content, reviewers have the option of fixing it for a small bonus. If nothing needs fixing, the original writer/editor gets the bonus.
  • Self-Correction: If you work is still rejected, maybe because you made a fundamental error, you are given a single chance to correct your own work and resubmit it.
  • Appeals: While appeals have always been in the system, they’re a little less restricted than they used to be, enabling you to appeal incorrect reviews.

Quite a lot of work goes through the CloudCrowd system, and able writers and editors can clock up quite respectable earnings. The amount of work does ebb and flow, though, so you should never rely on this (or any other content mill) as a primary source of income.

 

Clickworker

Clickworker, formerly known as Human Grid, also still seems to be surviving. The changes here haven’t been as extensive, so there’s not as much to cover, but, in my opinion, it had a better UI and workflow to start with.

The main change is that much of the work available now through Clickworker is done through a different platform called UHRS. This appears to be for a major search provider, and much of the work is relatively simple tasks like judging search intent, verifying business addresses, finding restaurant menus and opening times, and so on. The pay takes a little longer to process through UHRS (about 21 days), but they always pay unless someone has been blatantly gaming the system.

Returning to the main interface, it looks much the same. The percentage rating for different categories (copywriting, etc.) are still there, and there have been some tweaks behind the scenes to make these ratings less susceptible to poor reviews.

A big improvement for workers is that pay is now processed weekly if you use PayPal, and there’s no minimum required. Pay to SEPA (European) bank accounts is still available, but this is still monthly only.

While there isn’t the sheer amount of work as there is on CloudCrowd (although I can only see a fraction of it, so there might be much more), there are still projects there. There may also be a lot more non-English work available, especially for speakers of other European languages such as French, German, Dutch, and Spanish.