Amazon.com is becoming the go-to site for just about anything you could possibly need—including a job. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website is a virtual job fair matching businesses and online workers for microtasking work. Jobs are broken down to small tasks that might take a minute, an hour or a day. A startup company with three employees could hire 1,000 people for an afternoon of work at a moment’s notice. Amazon says there are 500,000 workers using its system. Write.com, a smaller microtasking site focusing on mini-writing assignments, says 20,592 writer have completed 478,046 jobs, which breaks down to just $1.50 per job. Elance.com, a more upscale Mechanical Turk, surveyed the businesses it works with and found 57% of them expected that, within five years, more than half of their workforce would be made of temporary microtaskers from around the world.

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