MindSwarms is a site I found out about yesterday that will pay you $50 per survey, which is a whole lot more than you normally get from most paid survey sites! But Mindswarms, as you might have guessed, does work a little differently. With this site, you’re answering the surveys you’re accepted into via your webcam. It’s actually like a focus group, only you’re by yourself in your own environment.
Why do you get paid so much to participate?
My guess is that it’s because this is more like a focus group and not exactly a survey. Focus groups do, in general, pay pretty well if you’re lucky enough to get picked for one. $50 for participating in a focus group is not outside the norm at all. Also, you’re using a webcam to record your answers and putting yourself out there more than you would be if you were just sitting at your computer, clicking radio buttons with “yes” or “no.” So what you’re doing is worth more money. And getting to actually see your expressions and gestures as you respond is also pretty valuable for researchers who are looking for truly honest answers.
How quickly are payments made?
MindSwarms pays with Paypal within 24 hours after your responses are recorded, submitted, and accepted by the researcher. There are rare occasions when your responses may not get accepted by the researcher, but this is almost always because there was a problem with the sound or audio on your video. Researchers are not supposed to judge you based on your content/answers.
What does signing up involve?
You have to fill out some basic info, get your camera set up, and record a sample video for them (you are not paid for the sample).
Can people outside the US sign up?
You can sign up from anywhere in the world.
How long does each survey take to do?
According to Mindswarms, most surveys do not take more than 20 minutes from start to finish.
How do you get the survey invitations?
They come to you via email and you can also log on to your dashboard at any time to see if you have any surveys that are open. The surveys fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to grab them as soon as you get the invites before they fill up.
Does MindSwarms have screener questions?
Yes, just like with most survey sites, there are screener questions to answer. These are to make sure you’re actually a good fit for the survey. According to MindSwarms, there are usually no more than five of these and they will determine whether or not you’re actually accepted for a survey. You are not paid for answers to the screener questions.
Update Jan. 13, 2012: Just thought I’d mention that since initially writing this post, I have had one person message me via Twitter to let me know that she was accepted into a study and made her $50 via Mindswarms!