mindswarms FAQs

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Introduction to mindswarms

1. What is mindswarms?

mindswarms mobile video sharing service that provides researchers, developers, and storytellers acess to the wisdom of the mindswarms community through paid research studies. A typical study is 1-7 questions that participants answer by recording 1-minute video responses using the mindswarms site or app.

2. How much do I get paid?

You can receive $10-$50 (and sometimes more) per study, within 24 hours via PayPal.

3. What do I need to participate?

Studies can be completed on an laptop or desktop computer with a web camera or Apple and Android smartphones. Apple devices require iOS 9 or above and Android devices require 4.4 KitKat or above.

4. Who can sign up?

Our community is open to anyone anywhere in the world.

5. What languages does mindswarms support?

Members of our community come from all over the world, and anyone can participate in a study if they qualify. Most mindswarms studies are conducted in English. If a study is written in a foreign language we expect the participants to be native speakers of that language and offer their responses in the language of the study. If needed, our team of translators will translate your responses into the necessary languages for our researchers.

6. Will my privacy be protected? Will you sell my data?

Our researchers only have access to the video responses you record, and your first name, last initial, age, gender, and region (city, state/province and country). The rest of your information, including contact details, are kept under lock and key, and are never shared with researchers or any other third parties. We will never share any of your information publically, unless we specifically obtain your permission first and only then for a particular study.

Applying to Studies

1. How do I apply to studies?

All our studies require filling out a short application form. You will only be asked to apply for studies that match your basic information (such as age, gender, and region). If you find a study that interests you, select the study and you’ll be guided through the short application process. Once you submit your application, a mindswarms team member will review your answers and notify you if the study is right for you.

2. How do I hear about new studies?

We can notify you via email if a study may be a fit for you. If you prefer not to receive available study emails, you can turn off or set the frequency of email notifications in your account settings. Discovering new studies is as simple as logging into your account, and browsing available studies.

3. How long do I have to apply to a study?

Studies have limited number of seats for participants, and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Apply to studies as soon as they become available to increase your chances of being able to participate!

4. What happens after I submit the application?

After you submit your application, the study you just applied for will show up under the “Applied” section of the mobile app’s home screen. On the web app, applied for studies appear in the “Refer Friends” section of your home screen marked with “Applied.” Back at mindswarms, our researchers will review your application to see if you’re a good fit for the study or not.

Completing Studies

1. What happens after I have been accepted to a study?

You will receive an acceptance email from mindswarms with a link to the study. Your mindswarms app and will also display a green acceptance notification card at the top of the app’s home screen with a link to the study.

2. What happens after I have not been accepted to a study?

If you are not selected, you’ll receive an email notifying you that you weren’t chosen for the study.

3. How do I record my video responses?

At the start of a study you will be given instructions on how to record your video response. Once you’ve reviewed the instructions you’ll be presented with your first question. After reading the question, select on the “Record” button to record your reponse. Record your video response with your web camera or front facing camera on your smartphone to ensure you keep your image properly framed within the record window. If you’d like to show the researcher a scene or object not viewable by your camera, you can easily switch to the rear facing camera on your smartphone by selecting the switch camera icon at the top left of the video record screen. If you’re using our web app you’ll need to point your web camera at the scene you’d like to share.

Once you’re done with your response, select the “Stop” button to stop recording. Review your response by replaying your video. If you think your response meets our criteria for great video, select “Submit.” If you think you can do a better job, tap “re-record” to do a second take. Once you submit your response you’ll be taken to the next questions and repeat the process until the study is complete.

4. How long do I have to complete a study?

Once accepted into a study, we ask that you complete as soon as possible. Studies have a limited number of seats and if accepted your seat is not guaranteed. We accept completed studies up to the number of seats we designate. Once a study has been completed by the number of required participants we close the study and it is removed from the app. If a study closes before you complete it you will lose the opportunity to participate in the study and you will not be paid.

5. How am I supposed to answer the questions?

The best video responses are thoughtful, honest and recorded in well-lit, quiet environments that are part of your typical life. All opinions and perspectives are encouraged so don’t censor yourself. Don’t write out your answers before responding to avoid sounding rehearsed and ungenuine.

Follow these tips to record the best quality videos:

  • Find a well lit, quiet and comfortable place to record your responses
  • Wear appropriate clothing including a shirt and please no gum chewing
  • Keep your device steady and at eye level while recording
  • Don’t point your device’s camera directly at a light source like a lamp or exterior window
  • Give in-depth responses that last 40 to 60 seconds

Don’t record while driving. Recording while driving is is illegal and you will be asked to re-record your responses if they are recorded while driving.

Poor lighting, bad sound, shaky video, recording while driving and/or unthoughtful responses will result in your video response being rejected. If your video response is rejected you will need to re-record the response in order to receive payment for your participation.

6. I received a notification that says my answers need to be re-recorded. What do I do now?

First, look for the note from the researcher about what you can do to correct the problem. Then follow the prompts to re-record your answer with the researcher’s notes in mind.

7. What do I have to do to re-record a study?

If you need to re-record your video responses to a study, you’ll receive an email and a red notification card will appear at the top of your mindswarm’s home screen. The notification will describe what you need to do to correct your video response. Click on the “Re-record” button and follow the prompts to re-record your responses.

8. How long do I have to re-record my answers?

As soon as possible. If you re-record your responses within 24 hours of being notified, your study seat is safe. However, after 24 hours we will offer your study seat to another applicant and you will not be paid for the study.

9. What if I’m unable to re-record right away?

If you’re unable to re-record your responses within 24 hours please email us at: support@mindswarms.com.

Getting Paid

1. How will I be paid?

We only deliver payments via PayPal. If you don’t have a Paypal account sign up here.

2. Do I get paid for applying to studies?

No. The multiple choice applications you fill out to apply to a study are unpaid. These applications are part of the study screening process and they enable our researchers find the best participants for each study.

3. I completed a study and have not been paid. What is going on?

Payment is processed 24 hours after you submit your video response to a study. Payment notifications are sent to the email you signed up at mindswarms with. We pay via PayPal, so if your PayPal email is different from the one you signed up with at mindswarms, you'll need to log into PayPal and add the email you registered with mindswarms to receive payment.

If it has been more than 24 hours since you submitted your video response, email us at support@mindswarms.com and we’ll resolve the issue.

4. Why haven’t I been paid for recording my profile video.

The profile video is not a study. This video is a part of your profile and helps us get to know you better so we can match you with the right studies.

Technical Questions

1. Why isn’t my camera working?

Be sure to give mindswarms access to your camera in your system settings. If you’ve done this, and are still experiencing problems try the following fixes:

PC or Mac

If that box is all black, right click on it and click Settings. Then, find the Camera tab (it's probably the furthest right tab). It'll look like this: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/help04.html

Once you've found that tab, try each of the options in the drop down box (in the example, it shows DV Video). On a Mac, "USB Video Class Video" is usually the one that works, but at least one of them should suddenly cause the video to appear.

Switch browsers. The video will sometimes work in one and not the other.

Try updating Flash. Go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and download the newest version.

If you are using the Google Voice plugin, please uninstall it. It interferes with webcams and the problem has not been resolved. We are sorry for the inconvenience, and are working to remedy the problem. You can reinstall the plugin after completing the study.

2. Why isn’t my sound being recorded?

Be sure your device permissions provide the mindswarms app access to the microphone. To change app settings on your device:

PC or Mac

Usually sound malfunctions because the wrong audio input is selected. Right click on the video area and choose “Settings” from the menu. Next, find the Microphone tab. It will look like this: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/help03.html

Once you have clicked on that tab, try each of the settings in the drop down box. When you choose a setting, speak into your computer. You will know that you have found the setting that works for your microphone when the indicator bar on the left shows movement.

When you speak at a normal volume, the indicator bar should rise about half way up, and turn yellow. If it does not (it is too high and red or too low and green), adjust the "Record Volume" slider right next to it until it does.

If you tried these tips and you still are having trouble recording yourself, email us at support@mindswarms.com

Don’t see the answer to your question here?

Email us at support@mindswarms.com, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.