Four short links: 27 April 2011

Ignorance, Crowdsourcing, Click Fraud, and Trolls

  1. Aaargh! Physicists! –the dangers of venturing outside your area of expertise is that someone will mercilessly point out your overconfident missteps, as happens here. Unless, of course, your new field is social media, in which case there are hundreds of thousands of sycophantic circlejerkers ready to retweet, link back, and Like your misbegotten ill-conceived content-free mindless dribblings.
  2. Crowdsourcing to Improve Sales — products sell better if their reviews have good spelling and grammar, so one retailer used MTurk to copyedit reviews and thus improve sales. (via Matt Biddulph on Delicious)
  3. Converting the Virtual Economy into Development Potential — World Bank reports that online microwork earned $3B for poor countries in 2009, and encourages third world countries to invest in infrastructure to support this. Interestingly, the authors include both gold farming and “cherry blossoming” (clickfraud) as microwork. (via BoingBoing)
  4. Misery — Drupal module that makes life difficult for trolls–randomly wrong redirections, slow page loads, white screens, forms that don’t submit, etc. Brilliant! (via Andy Baio)
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