Before I Try RentACoder… [Edit: Got My Help, Thanks!]

Thank you to all of those who responded.  Due to overwhelming interest, I’m going to have to withdraw the offer for additional people to work on this, or I will be unable to pay everyone who has offered to work (and everyone who has, until this point, offered and produces acceptable work will be paid). 

… I thought I would mention this here.  (What is the purpose of RentACoder and similar?  To connect money with talent while bridging the trust gap.  I’ve got money, you’ve got talent, and if you are reading this you presumably know me to be an upstanding sort.  Given that, I see no reason to pay RentACoder a 10% finder’s fee for finding you.)

I have a task I need done for my small business.  It requires basic computer skills, a good command of the English language, a bit of creativity, and a whole lot of drudgework.  I work crazy hours at a Japanese company and, frankly, while I have expectations that this venture will pay off handsomely for me I have very little desire to do drudgework after I get home at 10 PM.  I estimate the task will take approximately two hours, and will pay $30 for it.  There will be significant opportunities for further work at similar rates if you do a good job.  If you are an enterprising individual who thinks that sounds interesting, read on:

1)  Create 20 lists of approximately 25 words or short phrases, one word/phrase per line, in plain text format.

Specifications of what lists are acceptable appear below.

2)  Open each list of words in Bingo Card Creator.  This step will require a registered copy, which if you are working on this project you can obtain from me at no charge.  (My email address is (my first name)  The free copy is yours to keep.

3)  Using software such as PDFCreator(freely available from Sourceforge, it is a virtual printer which you print to and out pops a PDF) and the like, create 1 PDF file of 8 cards printed 4 to a page.  The cards should have the column headings BINGO (see the Options Menu).

4)  Create one GIF of one card printed alone on a page, of any consistent resolution less than or equal to 575×600 at which a)  the card is centered and b)  all words on the card are clearly legible.  The cards should have the column headings BINGO (see the Options Menu).When I have done this process by myself, I have used step #3 to create a PDF file, then opened it in Acrobat Reader, taken a screenshot, and manually cropped the shot in to the specification.  If you can devise a more efficient manner of doing this, by all means go right ahead.

5)  All files should be named descriptive-name-of-list.txt, descriptive-name-of-list.pdf, and descriptive-name-of-list.gif.  )Separate words with hyphens.  (Example: romeo-and-juliet-characters, important-european-cities, etc)  They shall be clustered into directories named after the categories you choose, which will be described below.  When delivering to me, zip them up.

Desired Characteristics of Word Lists:

  • Lists should be words which are strongly relevent to each other and related to a specific theme which is appropriate to primary or secondary education.  Examples of possible themes: words about Valentine’s Day, capitols of the United States, periodic table symbols, characters from Romeo and Juliet. 
  • Lists should be exactly 25 words unless the list is of a defined set of things which would be incomplete with 25 elements (for example, capitols of the United States), in which case include them all.
  • Characterize lists by subject matter.  You have wide discretion in what subjects to use and what falls under each category, but please try to ensure that all categories have at least 3 and no more than 5.  For example, if you do Romeo and Juliet characters, you might decide you have a Literature category and will need to fill it out with at least 2 other Literature lists.
  • All words and topics should be appropriate for use in a classroom.  If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Spelling and factual accuracy are absolutely critical.  Please use modern standard American spellings for all terms with multiple alternatives (e.g. Kyoto not Kyouto, color not colour, Beijing not Peking, etc).  These words will eventually be used in an educational setting, and we can’t have children learning that Berrlin is a Major European Capitol.
  • No overlap between lists.
  • No overlap with lists already provided with Bingo Card Creator (check the Wizards menu if you are unsure).
  • You can have one category be math problems, if you’d like.  If you do, make the types of problems diverse (for example, 5 lists of multiplication questions will not be acceptable, 1 list each of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division problems would be acceptable).
  • You must not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights to compose these lists.
  • You must not look at other bingo card sites (other than on the Internet to develop these lists.  I am imposing this requirement out of an abundance of caution, to protect both you and myself from claims that you are infringing on another’s intellectual property.

It takes me approximately 6 minutes to prepare the above requirements for one list of words.  Accordingly, 20 lists is approximately 2 hours of work.  You may well be able to accomplish it faster if you more diligent than I am or if you automate the image generation.  I am willing to pay $30 for the above deliverables for 20 sets of words, so you should end up making $15 an hour, which is half again my best paying part time job from my college days.  If you already make much more than that, this offer will likely not interest you, but feel free to refer this opportunity to a bright young nephew or starving college student of your acquaintance.   

I will commission the above work from at least three sources.  If I am particularly impressed by the quality from any source, I will a) pay them a bonus at my discretion and b) offer them the same rate on a MUCH larger order(s) of lists.  This could potentially reach into the several hundred, pending our mutual agreement on the matter and continued performance.


Since you’re probably angling for that bonus and additional work, in addition to doing the job you’ll want to do it well.  Here are the subjective things I would like to see.

  • Broad coverage over a wide variety of disciplines
  • Word lists which are subjectively interesting to teachers/students (for a biology list, “varieties of flatworm” is far inferior to “parts of a cell”)
  • Bingo cards which are aesthetically pleasing — the words are clearly readable and of similar font sizes (they are automatically resized to fit if they are too big, but the effect can be jarring if some words are HUGE and others phrases are tiny).  Bingo Card Creator performs best on relatively short words and phrases, and looks substantially less nice on words longer than, say, “Massachusetts”.  If something doesn’t come out quite right, try playing around with the font size a little bit.  Bonus points if you use non-default font types or sizes in a way which enhances the card (see my Harry Potter card for an illustration of the technique — its a vaguely mystic free font).

Legal Stuff:

  • I will pay you on receipt and acceptance of the deliverables.  (Typically, as a freelancer, you should be asking for something upfront to ensure you will be paid.  However, if you’re reading this you presumably trust me to make good on my promises.)
  • If you are otherwise capable of doing the work, it doesn’t matter a whit to me where you live or what language you grew up speaking. 
  • Payment will be by your choice of either Paypal or, if you reside within the United States of America, a paper check.  I will attempt to make payment “very darn quickly” after receiving and accepting the deliverables, but for form’s sake we’ll say 3 days if by Paypal and delivery of the check to your door within 14 days if by check. 
  • I consider you to be an independent contractor.  Taxes and any paperwork, if there are any in your locality, are your responsibility.
  • You represent to me that you are legally eligible to work where you are working.
  • As this is work for hire, you agree to assign all rights in the deliverables to me.
  • Fair warning: I will be blogging about the results of the project that I use your work in.  If you don’t want to be mentioned by name, tell me so or I will assume otherwise.  (Conversely, if you want a free link out of the deal, it is yours for the asking.)

If you’re interested, and have read this far, send me an email to inform me that you would like to try this and to request your copy of Bingo Card Creator.  I’ll greatly appreciate a descriptive subject line.  This offer expires on October 15th, 2007 or earlier should I call it off (at my discretion).

Thank you to all of those who responded.  Due to overwhelming interest, I’m going to have to withdraw the offer for additional people to work on this, or I will be unable to pay everyone who has offered to work (and everyone who has, until this point, offered and produces acceptable work will be paid). 

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

6 Comments on “Before I Try RentACoder… [Edit: Got My Help, Thanks!]”

  1. Matthew Says:

    (for a biology list, “varities of flatworm” is far inferior to “

    This sentence appears a little incomplete. (plus a spelling mistake in varieties)

  2. Patrick Says:

    Thanks, as you can see I only got half done with that sentence before posting. I’ve corrected it.

  3. […] that was overwhelming I think it has been about twenty hours since I posted the job request for folks to help me out with a random task for my uISV.  I succeeded far, far beyond my […]

  4. […] I created a system to automate the production of web pages about the resources, and I hired a team of freelancers to help me write good word lists.  That let me scale from 15 word lists (what I was able to […]

  5. […] Of Web Design Freelancer Hideho again everybody.  Based on the stunning success of my last call for freelancers, I decided to do this here rather than wasting time and money going through one of the freelancer […]

  6. BMac Says:

    Somehow I think “25 Most Confusing Retcons” wouldn’t go over so well with teachers. 🙂

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