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[Guide] Super beginners guide to scripts

Discussion in 'Help & Guides' started by CorvusSapiens, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. CorvusSapiens

    CorvusSapiens Survey Slinger

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    This is a very basic intro to using the types of scripts that will help you on mturk. If you have no idea what a script is, this should be a good start. For more advanced questions or information about writing scripts there are much more knowledgeable people to ask.

    What the hell are scripts?
    Scripts are like mini computer programs that you add to your browser to streamline working on mturk. There are many scripts that have been written by other turkers that do many different things, but I'm just going to cover a few of the most used and most useful ones.

    How do I install scripts?
    To install scripts you'll need to install a script management extension. Tampermonkey is the most popular. https://tampermonkey.net/

    You add scripts to tampermonkey and can turn them on/off and edit them as needed from there.

    There are a few basic categories of scripts that will be useful on mturk.

    Hit Catching Scripts
    These scripts auto refresh a link to a hit so that you can try to catch hits that you may have missed initially or catch multiple hits in a batch before that batch disappears. If you hang around the forums, you'll often see these refreshing links referred to as "pandas". This is an outdated nickname which refers to the fact that the url for these links used to say "previewandaccept" (P and A), but mturk has changed quite a bit since then and you won't see that in the urls anymore.

    A word of advice for using these: Try to keep the number of pandas running at one time to a minimum. 10 at most, ideally 3-5. The more hits you try to catch at once, the less efficient these scripts are.

    Panda Crazy is by far the most popular stand alone hit catching script
    https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/19168-jr-mturk-panda-crazy
    If you use Panda Crazy you'll also want this helper script which creates buttons on mturk and on the forums to easily add new jobs to Panda Crazy.
    https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/20380-jr-mturk-panda-crazy-helper

    The script's author created a help page here that explains more about Panda Crazy
    http://pandacrazy.allbyjohn.com/

    Scraper Scripts
    These search mturk on a timer and display the results to make it easier for you to find hits you want to do.

    The best standalone scraper right now is Hit Forker
    https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/36368-hit-forker

    You can set a timer and search filters and it will display what it finds as well as refresh on the timer. You can add requesters that you like working for to the built in Include List and it will alert you when it finds a hit by that requester.
    If you want to use the TurkerView API (https://turkerview.com/account/api/) to see review scores for requesters, this is one of the scripts that will use that. It will color code the hits it displays based on the pay rating from TurkerView reviews.

    Assorted Other Scripts
    Other types of scripts are usually for something specific. People have created scripts to speed up working on certain types of hits by creating hotkeys or simplifying the page layout of a hit that's designed poorly. There are too many of these to really summarize them here, since they are often specific to a particular hit or do a very specific job.
    One script you may want to consider if you want to see how what other workers have thought of the hits you're doing or leave reviews yourself is the TurkerViewJS script, which you can install here: https://turkerview.com/mturk-scripts/1-TurkerViewJS


    This seems really complicated?
    If you're looking for a one stop shop, one convenient way to get started is the chrome extension MTurk Suite: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mturk-suite/iglbakfobmoijpbigmlfklckogbefnlf?hl=en-US
    MTS combines several useful scripts together.
    It has its own scraper, Hit Finder, and its own hit catching script, Hit Catcher, built in along with a number of quality of life features. It's pretty beginner friendly.


    If you still have questions, don't be afraid to ask around. The Daily Thread here is the busiest place in the forum and probably the best place to catch people's attention. Keep in mind that the more specific you can be with your question and the more accurately you can describe your issue, the better we'll be able to understand where you're at and what the answer is.



    Edit: I've removed the section describing how to make changes to the PC Helper script because the script has now been updated by the author. If you have the latest version of the script installed, you should be good to go.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  2. ed5harp

    ed5harp Turker

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    Scripts in action - P.S. Hard to follow, any input is welcome.:emoji_neutral_face:
     
  3. AmandaCat

    AmandaCat New Turker

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    Finally, I feel like I -am-, indeed, doing something right. Definitely getting the hang of it. Thank you so much for the helpful information!
     
  4. CorvusSapiens

    CorvusSapiens Survey Slinger

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    I hadn't seen that video before. I have a few notes:

    First of all, she has a lot going on at once and there's no reason to be using all of those things together.
    Pick one scraper and one hit catching script to work with. Mturk limits how often you can do things on it and you'll get a page request error from refreshing too many pages or searching to often. It is much more efficient to run one script set to make the best use of your page requests than to run multiple scripts which will compete with one another.

    She's using HitScraper in one of her tabs. I highly recommend that you do not use that script. It is very out of date and there are some potential security issues with using it. It's also unnecessary since she's also using HitForker. HitForker will do everything that HitScraper does but better and without the security risk.

    I'm not really familiar with Mturk Engine so I can't really say much about that.

    Hit Forker pairs very well with Panda Crazy. By clicking the P and O buttons on the right of the Hit Forker results you can start a job in Panda Crazy with one click (P to catch as many as you can, O to catch 1).
    MTS Hit Finder and MTS Hit Catcher similarly work better when paired together. On the Hit Finder results, right click the hit and you'll see this menu
    upload_2019-3-10_18-31-38.png

    For that reason I recommend pairing the scripts in that way. If you're going to use Hit Forker, use Panda Crazy with it. If you're going to use Hit Finder, use Hit Catcher with it.


    The rest is a matter of finding efficient settings to find work. Personally I think she's too focused on hits with a high base pay. The most important thing for making good money is $/hr. Keep in mind that a hit with a low reward can still be good if it's quick to do. Similarly, even a high reward hit can be bad if it takes a long time.
     
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  5. ed5harp

    ed5harp Turker

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    This is the best advice I have received. Now I right clicking like you said using MTS Hit Finder. It goes to query and I right click the next one. It goes to query. Now I got so much work. Note: Make sure you have the MTS Catcher open or the Hit Finder will shut down. Also, I collapse the Hit Finder window down to the 'Logged HITs' - I'm experimenting with that suggestion. And I have the Finder set to get the newest hits and the search term used is 'survey' to catch survey. Batch work, gotta work on the catcher system for that

    Also, I notice I have to F5 the Hit Finder when it stops beeping. Lot of chat? Sorry, my bad, got excited.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  6. Sheri

    Sheri New Turker

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    What do I do with HIT finder? try to click on a HIT before it moves?
     
  7. Alexandra in VT

    Alexandra in VT Turker

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    You can click on it to try to grab it, but if that doesn't work, send it to HIT catcher! Right click, and under Mturk Suite select either once or PANDA on HIT Catcher. Panda is what you'd use if you want to catch more than one, such as if it's a batch.
     
  8. CorvusSapiens

    CorvusSapiens Survey Slinger

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    ^ this is good advice

    If you're having trouble clicking it because it's moving with each search, scroll down to the "logged hits" section. "Recent Hits" shows what HF found on its last search. "Logged Hits" shows everything it has found since you opened it. The hit should be there and "Logged Hits" moves much more slowly so you should be able to click it without trouble.
     
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