The Engine Room works with many organisations to help them make choices about technology. We do it enough that we’ve started a Library for in-depth information about a variety of tools and tactics. Our first entry is about microtasking. What’s that, you ask? Read on.
A library of what?
Starting in November 2015, we worked with Amnesty International on an exciting new initiative to enable volunteers to support the human rights research process over the Internet. Specifically, we explored microtasking processes, which is when many people contribute small tasks to complete a bigger project. We spoke with initiatives on four continents and explored the functionalities of seven different tools. Then we supported Amnesty in selecting a pilot initiative based on what we learned. But our work on microtasking research did not stop there…
Who knows best
Technical documentation pales in comparison to direct experience. Seeking practical advice, we found and interviewed developers, designers, and activists who had tried their hand at a microtasking project. Fortunately, they were very open about the challenges and what they would do differently next time. In the course of these discussions, we collected key metrics to compare tools and platforms side-by-side to understand their strengths and limitations.