Coming from Sporcle?

If you have come to my blog via the cross-post at Sporcle, welcome. I hope you found my post to be informative. Feel free to look around the rest of the blog. (Except the “Sporcle Quiz of the Day”–coincidentally, it doesn’t work.)

In my as-yet sporadic postings, I have touched on not just Sporcle but music, movies, presidents, and random minutia. And when I say minutia, I mean it: did you know that back in September, Japan realized it may not have as many old people as they thought?

Anyway, some of what I have written may interest you, some (or most) of it may not, but I plan to write a bit more now that I got a whiff of exposure from Sporcle.

If you find a post that you want to comment on, please do so. I like getting feedback, positive or negative (but not rude, thank you).

2011 Hall of Fame Tidbit

Here’s an old post I never got around to publishing in a timely matter, but if you’re a fan of baseball history, I still think that it will interest you.

The two National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees this year, Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven, only faced each other once in their careers. It was a game between Blyleven’s California Angels and Alomar’s Toronto Blue Jays on July 4, 1992. It was Blyleven’s final season and Alomar’s fifth. Alomar, and in fact most of the Jays, got the best of Blyleven and the Angels that day, as Toronto won 8-6. Alomar had a triple and a walk in 3 plate appearances vs. Blyleven.

But there was something else interesting about that game: the pitcher on the mound for Toronto that day was none other than Jack Morris. He and Blyleven have been linked for years by the annual debate over the Hall of Fame, and each has their fierce supporters. Blyleven finally got in this year, of course, but it seems that Morris will end up on the outside looking in.

Either way, turns out Morris wasn’t much more effective than Blyleven that day in 1992: he allowed 6 runs in 6 innings with 2 strikeouts, while Blyleven allowed 6 runs in 4 2/3 innings with 5 strikeouts. Morris’ extra 5 outs did get him the win as Toronto scored once more, off the California bullpen, before Morris departed.

It’s kind of an intriguing footnote that the only time this year’s inductees faced each other also happened to include Morris. At least, I think so. Let me know whether you agree or disagree.

Game Box Score: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TOR/TOR199207040.shtml

Getting Published on Sporcle

With over 180,000 unpublished contributed games, even if the Game Creation feature were shut down today, at the current rate of 57 publications a week (9 each weekday and 6 each Saturday and Sunday) it would take 3,158 weeks–that’s 61 years–for Sporcle to publish every game. Given these numbers, it’s easy to get discouraged if you have a hard time getting published. I know there are a lot of folks out there in that situation, as I have seen it in many a comment on many a quiz. There are plenty of things you can do besides lash out in a comment to increase your publication odds, however, even though obviously not every quiz will be published. (The above numbers were for demonstrative purposes!) Dig in below:

1 – Read the Game Creation F.A.Q.! The folks at Sporcle have done a wonderful job explaining their expectations to their users. The first step to getting published is making quality quizzes, and the F.A.Q. can help you do that. See here (and the link is also at the bottom of the full post): http://www.sporcle.com/faq.php#quizcreate

2 – Don’t do this! (Click here or see below.)  This quiz is such a classic that it has already been covered in the Sporcle Blog, but it bears reemphasis. Essentially, don’t do anything you see in this quiz.

3 – Make Daily Dose games! A full third of published quizzes now are word ladders, mixed word, and missing word games.

If you have read the F.A.Q. and, avoided the pitfalls from “How to make a bad Sporcle quiz” you are on your way to Sporcle success. You may even have a quiz or two with thousands of plays and a great rating. And yet, you still feel that you are being ignored. Stay tuned, as this leads to my last tip, which may be the most important.

But first I would like to say that I am familiar with Sporcle discouragement. I was lucky to have 3 quizzes published during the first 11 months of the Game Creation feature, but had many more games that I wanted to share with the greater Sporcle community. So I finally followed my last tip, and it has paid huge dividends–I am now at 16 publications. This can be you (although I can’t quite give you a money-back guarantee). So, my last tip is this:

4 – Make yourself heard! You may know about the feedback page. It’s a great resource for a great variety of matters, but it’s probably not the place to go to call attention to your quizzes. However, the editors are! You may think the editors are unreachable, picking quizzes from high aloft in the Sporcle hierarchy and enjoying near-daily publication. If you do, safe to say it is a misconception: two thirds of editors have their emails in their profile. And every single editor I have contacted is responsive, kind, and understanding. When I finally contacted about a half dozen editors in September last year, within a week I was getting published semi-regularly. So if you have a quiz (or quizzes) that you think is a winner, go email the editor in whose section that quiz belongs!

There are some guidelines to doing this, however, but I stress to you that it’s still very easy and worthwhile. Nevertheless, this is important: you have to be willing to accept constructive criticism and make any necessary changes to your quiz or quizzes. It helps to come into contact with the editor with questions to go along with whatever quiz you might be trying to show them.

And remember, any suggestions an editor has are in everyone’s best interest: yours, because it makes your particular quiz better, and makes you a better quiz author; theirs, because it helps them do their task of making Sporcle better; and Sporcle itself, since those other two things make the whole experience better for everyone on the site.

Despite the caveat, if the editor you email responds to you the way they responded to me–and I have no reason to believe that they would not–you will hear back, and that editor may even give you some other tips that I did not cover in the first three sections of this post.

If you still have doubts, consider: would I offer you someone else’s services if I weren’t confident that they would provide those services? So whether your quiz is in Sports, History, Miscellaneous, or whatever–go ahead, bite the bullet, and give it a shot.

The surest way to get noticed is to make yourself noticed. The editors are the people to go to.

You can also email me at hscer.sporcle@gmail.com and I will do my best to reply quickly.

Links

Quiz Creation F.A.Q. http://www.sporcle.com/faq.php#quizcreate

“How to make a bad Sporcle quiz” http://www.sporcle.com/games/actwentysix/Bad_Quiz

Sporcle Blog post on “How to make a bad Sporcle quiz” http://www.sporcle.com/blog/2011/03/how-to-make-a-bad-sporcle-quiz/

My Most Mysterious Musical…

Darn the lack of a synonym for “preference” or “taste” beginning with the letter M.


Anyway, I haven’t posted in a while, but there are voices (outside my head, thank you very much) telling me that, contrary to popular belief, some people actually stop by here once in a great while.


Under such pressure (I’m wilting!), I’m certainly not beyond discussing contrived and uninteresting subjects. So, I will provide an opportunity for you to either (A) laugh at my musical tastes or (B) share your own.


Go ahead, you know it’s option (A).


Anyway, I got all of the following from last.fm. (You can visit my full profile here. I know you’re just thrilled!) Using the weekly charts, I have over the course of the better part of 2 years been charting my listening habits. (All in unison now: LAME!) Some weeks I haven’t listened to a single song, but at the same time I often exceed 300. My record is…. wait, why the heck am I sharing all this? You don’t care! Let’s get to the tables and be done. Even though you don’t care about those either. Whatever. Anyway.


First Table: Those artists who have “won” more than one week, i.e. been the artist I listened to most during any given week.


Most Weeks as #1 Artist

Weeks
Most Cons.
Last
VNV Nation
30
5
02/27/11
“Weird Al” Yankovic
27
4
03/13/11
Creedence Clearwater Revival
11
3
10/17/10
The Who
8
4
03/06/11
The Beatles
5
2
01/16/11
Ronski Speed
3
3
04/24/11
Mysto & Pizzi
3
2
10/11/09
Paul Oakenfield
2
2
05/08/11
Dire Straits
2
2
03/27/11
Led Zeppelin
2
1
01/16/11
Mike Oldfield
2
1
06/28/09

Here is the same info for 2011.


Most Weeks #1, Artist
Weeks
Most Cons.
Last
Paul Oakenfield
2
2
05/08/11
Ronski Speed
3
3
04/24/11
Dire Straits
2
2
03/27/11
“Weird Al” Yankovic
27
4
03/13/11
The Who
8
4
03/06/11
VNV Nation
30
5
02/27/11
The Beatles
5
2
01/16/11
Led Zeppelin
2
1
01/16/11
Deep Purple
1
1
01/09/11
Boston
1
1
01/02/11

So go ahead and either laugh, share, or select our most popular option: Ignore.