A NOTE FROM CONNECT
Connect Turned 1, thanks to you!
Dear Participant, Regardless of how long you’ve been active on Connect, we want to say thank you! Connect officially turned one in August, and its first year has been full of phenomenal growth thanks to you and the high-quality data you provide. In honor of Connect’s first birthday, we want to remind you about some of the incredible things that have happened this year. We also want to inform you about some of the exciting things coming in the future. If you have ideas about how to improve Connect or things you’d like us to cover in upcoming newsletters (e.g., more detail on policies that affect you), drop a note in our suggestion box or send us an email. We always enjoy hearing from participants and learning what we can do to make your experience better.
Connect Turned One…and We Celebrated! Since launching last year, we’ve worked hard to make Connect a platform that serves researchers and participants. Many people in the participant community have expressed how much they appreciate these efforts. For Connect’s first birthday, we wanted to hear about the great experiences participants have had on Connect. We asked y’all to get creative and we offered some cash prizes totaling $1,500 along with CloudResearch swag. In response to our contests, you did not disappoint! If you are on X, formerly Twitter, you can browse the hundreds of entries we received, or, you can check out the five winning entries. We were particularly impressed with the rap video submitted by our grand prize winner. Simply put, the talent, creativity, and fun that you all put into this contest blew us away!
Connect is Expanding! As we’ve traveled to conferences this year, researchers have often asked whether Connect is limited to the US or enables international sampling. We also often receive requests from participants outside the US asking if they can use Connect. Even though expanding Connect has always been a part of our plan, the persistence of these inquiries makes us excited to announce that the moment is almost here. By the end of this year, we plan to expand Connect into other English-speaking countries like the UK, Canada, and Australia. During 2024, we will expand even further as we work through the necessary logistics of operating across international borders. What expansion means for you is more researchers using Connect and more research opportunities!
Introducing: A Participant Grading System Another exciting development on our roadmap is a participant grading system. Like other online research platforms, we have to contend with fraud and a small percentage of participants who tend not to do a good job on tasks. To manage these issues while rewarding people who do a good job, we are creating a participant grading system. The idea behind this system is something similar to a credit score. Participants who complete projects and receive approvals will be extended more credit (i.e., study opportunities). Meanwhile, people who provide low-quality data and receive rejections or flags will be extended less credit (i.e, fewer study opportunities). If a person’s participant score falls and then is followed by several approvals, the score will rise again leading to more tasks. Right now, we’re working on the parameters of this system and examining our data to ensure the grading process is fair. Given the pattern of rejections we see on the site, most participants should barely notice the grading system. For participants who provide low quality data or are engaged in fraud, however, the grading system allows us to limit the damage they can do on the site while also providing a path to more projects: providing better data. We will have more details about this system in the near future.
A Complete Demographic Profile, The Key to More Projects One of the easiest ways to qualify for more projects is to ensure you have a complete and up to date “About You” profile. Whenever researchers submit new questions, they want to use to target participants, we add new questions to the “About You” section. Ensuring that your profile is complete, allows you to qualify for more studies.
New Payout Options Earlier this year, we introduced Amazon Gift Cards as a payout option within Connect. Shortly afterward, we also introduced the option to send payouts directly to your bank account. After an introductory period, we lowered the bank transfer amount to $25.00. That means most people currently have three different ways to cash out their earnings on Connect!
Reddit Forum Finally, if you’re new to Connect or haven’t checked it out yet, don’t forget about our Connect Reddit space. It’s a place where Connect community members can talk, troubleshoot issues, and get help from CloudResearch employees who moderate the site. Check out the Reddit board here.