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Have some tedious work I want to hire out

     
3:59 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm building a very niche search engine/directory, and I have some very tedious work that I need done. I have the title and URL of 30,000+ sites that I'm going to use to fill the database. Now I need a short description for each site to complete the listings.

I spoke to a few techies who said they can write bots that will scan the pages and try to programmatically "write" a description, but based on the examples they've provided I don't think this will be good enough. It really needs to be done manually.

I don't mind paying, it's just that it's a lot of work. Obviously. Ideally I would have 30 people who each did 1000 sites, which they should each be able to do in a week or so. Thing is, I can't think of an easy way to find/hire/etc. 30 people to do this and coordinate it all.

So my question - does anyone know of any companies that can provide this type of thing? I know you can hire companies who will put an entire team of people to work for you on link development and other tedious things, so I figured it should be possible I just don't know where to look. Anyone?

4:24 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Can you not hire temporary secretarial support, or, perhaps, hire local students as i'm sure they would be happy for the money.
4:31 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Maybe hire a PPC company to do the job? Largely the same skills involved.
5:25 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It seems to me that links in a directory are a commodity to many webmasters, right?

Perhaps you could spend a week yourself, do a review of a scattered sampling of your list of 30,000 sites, and find the related webmasters/seo companies.

If you write very specific e-mails proposing this work to some of the "interested parties", you might have your temporary staff responding in droves.

You might even find some that are willing to volunteer or do the work for peanuts in order to be able to include their own sites.

Post-production, you should spot check their work for spam, and that might require another week of your own time.

.

6:12 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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ive used rentacoder.com recently im sure youll find someone on there wholl do it for a good price
6:19 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Mechanical Turk from Amazon?
7:07 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Can you not hire temporary secretarial support, or, perhaps, hire local students as i'm sure they would be happy for the money

Hire a temp agency seems like too much hassle. Students would be perfect, but I don't want to hassle with hiring 30+ students. If I only use a few it will take a year. LOL

cws3di - great idea, but it won't work in this situation.

I guess I will try posting it on rentacoder and elance.

Mechanical Turk would be perfect, but it seems like it hasn't gotten off the ground yet. The other day when I checked there were only *2* total projects in the whole system. On top of that it looks like you can only interface with the system via some Java application API thingie, which I don't know anything about. We don't do Java. If you could interface with a simple perl or php script etc I would be tempted to go that route, but even then, I'm not sure how quickly the tasks would be completed since no one really seems to be using it yet? Too bad, because Mechanical Turk would be perfecto. Has anyone used it yet? Am I missing something?

7:14 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As far as I understand Mechanical Turk is decision based, not action based, but I maybe wrong...
9:51 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You may be right ... I think it's out of the question anyway since no one really seems to be using it yet.

Anyone know a small village in India that I can hire for a few days?

11:30 am on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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you could create the majority of the titles and descriptions from the dmoz feed. most of the 30,000 sites you are looking to include are probably already in the dmoz directory already. the titles and descriptions have already been human edited. therefore your techies could write a script to take the titles and descriptions out of the dmoz feed and sqirt them into your database. any ones that aren't in the dmoz feed you would need to write yourself. i doubt there would be more than a few hundred not in the dmoz feed?
5:41 pm on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wish it were that easy. DMOZ's database isn't that big in the overall scheme of things. Also some of these sites are sort of "technical" in nature and without even looking I will guess that DMOZ has less than 5% of the sites that will be in my database. This is niche, very very niche.
8:38 pm on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The India idea is a good one... I've toyed with the notion of a content-creation company based in India, but I'm way too lazy and uneducated about how to actually do it to do it.

I think it could work, as most Indians speak and write English.

8:49 pm on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Anyone know a small village in India that I can hire for a few days?

Sorry, but that's just tasteless.

I have the title and URL of 30,000+ sites that I'm going to use to fill the database.

Why not put the webmasters of the 30,000 sites to work for you? Draft an email request indicating that you are including their site in a niche-directory (or whatever) and that you need a 50 or 75 or 100 word description of their site in order to include it. While not all of them will respond, you could easily cut the number in half by having the people who created the site, and who therefor know it best, provide a description for you.

cEM

9:32 pm on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the idea, but that won't work due to the types of sites in question.
9:35 pm on Dec 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, but that's just tasteless.

Sorry you misunderstood, I didn't mean it in a disrespectful way. Quite the contrary actually. My experience is that Indians are very hard working, a lot of them are looking for work, and due to the currency and economic differences etc. a US-based company can get really good value for their money when hiring Indian workers.