points us to a fantastic story about how Zappos uses Mechanical Turk to fix grammar and spelling mistakes in product reviews
. You see, research shows that if a product has well-written reviews, that helps sales
-- even when the reviews are negative. The more well-written the reviews, the more people trust them. But, of course, on the internet, you get all sorts of grammatical and spelling errors (I should know, I make both all the time). So, to deal with that, Zappos runs its reviews through Mechanical Turk and lets the "crowd" act as its editor. There's no specific data, but apparently Zappos claims that this resulted in "substantial" revenue improvement, for a cost of a few hundred thousand dollars (across 5 million reviews). The corrections never change the actual intent of the content. They just make sure it's in proper English. I wonder what would happen if we did that for all posts and comments here...