In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Malicious ex machina?

It's that most joyous of occasions, the receipt of yet another $5 amazon gift cert from Swagbucks. This makes $15 total since I started participating on the site and it was also an interesting period for some perceptual issues, real or imagined.

First things first, it took me 5 days from the last cash-in to pick up another 5 dollars. This was much faster than I had been anticipating but for some reason it felt like it took a lot longer than it did. I was actually shocked to find it had only been 5 days. I actually went back into my account information and tallied up the days to discover that it's only been 15 days since I joined. That means that I'm averaging $1 a day for truly minimal effort. Still, put that way it seems like a pretty paltry sum but you have to consider that it really does add up all the time and I'm not doing much to earn it. I think the reason why it felt so much longer this time around is I had a problem with search points that I never did quite resolve. That uncertainty brought some problems and made me feel like I was losing out on points left and right.

In general, I tend to get points from searching 3-4 times a day. The amount of points have varied from 7 to 22, but the payouts have been pretty steady. That is up until 3 days ago when I ran into a CAPTCHA issue. I don't recall what I was running a search on at the time but I wasn't paying much attention and when the search results came up, I clicked on the results without noticing the points banner at the top. The banner included a CAPTCHA which had to be filled out in order for you to get your points. I immediately hit the back button on my browser but the banner didn't reload and the points were lost. I was a bit disgruntled but it didn't seem like a big deal until hours passed and no further points came. I didn't get another search point banner until just after midnight, making me wonder if missing the CAPTCHA had caused my account to be throttled somehow. The next day was the exact same with absolutely no points from searches which had never happened before. Once again, it was only in the minutes after midnight when another banner appeared. It seemed for all intents and purposes that I had been limited to 1 search win a day which reset at midnight. I wrote to customer service and eventually got back a message saying that their system is completely random, but I wasn't sure what to believe. In the couple of days since the number of search wins have slowly increased back to 2 a day, but nowhere near the 3-4 I was getting regularly from the start.

You might be wondering how I still managed to snag a $5 cert in 5 days if a good chunk of the points I used to get from search were unavailable. I found that there are some easy way to score points through some of the Special Offers available on the site. While most are the general scammy, spammy bullshit you normally find asking you to sign up to mailing lists and give you cell # in exchange for a chance to win an ipad, there are a couple of good options. Some of the special offers only require that you watch an embedded youtube video and will give you 2 points as long as you don't try to skip to the end and watch it all the way through. Even better is that many of those offers can be done repeatedly a set number of times a day. Also, nothing requires that you actually watch the videos in question. I usually start them up, turn the volume down, and entertain myself elsewhere until it's time to come back and start the next video. You can often play the exact same video 3-4 times and score 2 points each time. It's not a bad path to points considering how little effort it takes and every little bit helps. Added to the daily swag codes that pop up through facebook it's kept me trucking along to another $5.
Tags: computers, free crap/deals, swagbucks

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