Okay, I'm about to test the max message length LOL. Unlike Salami, I'm not talkative in "real life" (I'm quite sure many of you don't believe that for one minute, but it's true LOL).. anyhoo.....|
Editors are already mentors, and fabulous ones at that. I don't see the point in giving them even MORE work to do by listing them in Project Q as a "go-to" person.. unless THEY really want to participate in that manner. If they do, they can certainly sign up and say so.
I don't like the idea of adding more badges/badgelets, there are already enough. It is highly rare (and yes, I realise there have been very notable exceptions) that people's first quizzes come out of the shute at anything more than average. I don't believe in rewarding mediocrity. If, by chance (and I am personally aware of people who have done so) the quiz turns out to be fabulous (and recognised as such by editors)... well, we already have the Editor's Choice. Alternatively, if the quiz is enjoyed by many PLAYERS, that's a head start on the "Cool Quizzes" badge. Getting a "sunny" on your first quiz is a really cool thing and should be reward enough : )
I like the idea of having an inclusive rules list that is available somewhere OTHER than during the "impulse" part of creating the template (I'm sure lots of folks just click on through to get to the writing section lol). But if it's too long, newbies are unlikely to read through it all. So, maybe a list of basic rules common to all categories, followed by only the specific ones that apply to a specific category. This document could easily be pinned to the top of ALL threads regarding ANY challenge/commission.
I'm all for getting "new blood" to write quizzes. There have been several "diamonds in the rough" type authors that I can think of who were not afraid to jump into things. Trouble is, there are hundreds more (possibly with the same potential) who are slightly terrified or get turned off by some of the thread discussions. I don't want anyone to take any personal offense at this, but after I wrote my first quiz AGES ago (which, by the way, was truly AWFUL looking back on it now - not to mention way way TOO hard LOL!) I ventured into the "lounge" and this is the general impression I was left with:
a) some people "appear" to think that ALL quizzes are way better than they really are. Sorry, but even if 90% of your quizzes are interesting, NObody is perfect EVERY time, according to all players. Just because many players don't WRITE quizzes, doesn't mean that they aren't relatively good judges of what makes a "good" quiz (in their personal opinion of course lol). Moaning and groaning is fine, but no one should be made to feel "guilted" into rating a quiz as excellent if they really don't think it is (in comparison to others they have played in the same category). Ratings are totally subjective. And yes it's true that online text is hard to interpret, because you can't see the body language (and believe me, since sarcastic humour is either one of my best attributes or one of my worst habits lol, I'm more than quite aware that postings - and quizzes! - can be largely misinterpreted). Just saying that that was my initial/reactive impression all those years ago. Please note that I feel the "current" message board is a lot more "friendly" than it used to be : )
b) In the past, there has been an "appearance" that there is an "in crowd" of prolific authors and that if you don't know them personally you'll never "fit in". Meaning that your comments will not be taken seriously by the general thread populace (disclaimer: I have never found this to be the case amongst the editors, but the mere term "editor" is scary enough and new folks are largely hesitant to contact them lol). If you read far enough and over a long enough time period, you'll find that most of the supposed "in crowd" are really nice people and will help you if you just ASK : ) The problem as I see it with both a) and b) is that many newbies are more likely to not want to "bother people", say "harumph" and go back to just playing hourlies.
On the whole, I don't really like "team quizzes" (meaning the ones where 10 people from a team write one question each). I think it's entirely unfair that the person who submitted is the ONLY one who would get credit for say, an Editor's Choice or Sunnies, despite the fact they are responsible for checking for errors, when it's quite possible they didn't write any questions at all for it. And YES, I get that the alternative would be quite impossible to manage (and would be unfair as well on one or two points), but I still don't like the premise in general (could be my Libran tendencies lol).
That being said, I thought that both of the last two major team quiz adventures were a great thing. I liked the Amazing Race because (on our team) we had two folks who between them had written exactly one quiz EVER). But they ending up writing/managing several which were very good and it got them some badges to boot. And because we had a forum thread to share ideas, it was probably a learning environment for ALL of us (even if was "just" about seeing what wonderful people they were - certainly not the LEAST of rewards!). The thing I didn't like about it was the 'first online' caveat (which plays into point b). The "Sprint" was a much better idea in my opinion because it showed that even newer folks could excel and it ALSO showed that certain folks amongst us were willing to take partners with little prior experience. I think you know who you are : ). Now THAT was a form of mentoring in the BEST sense of the word. Perhaps there should be some sort of "congeniality" mini badge instead of the other types suggested above ~
So, I'd like to suggest that, if we're going to have teams for Project Q and if (one of) the main intents is to try to get new participants, then there should be separate lists you can sign up for. Maybe "Yes I want to be on a team", "I'm new, please put me on a team", "Yes, I'm willing to mentor one or more people" etc etc. New-ish players could be randomly "assigned" (team-wise) to folks (including editors who want to play) who have listed their preference as "mentor". Yes, I know I've written very few quizzes compared to many here, but I would sign on as a mentor. I might not be able to help with EVERYthing (because obviously I'm not a editor and am probably unaware of subtle nuances lol) but if there are 10 things "sorta" wrong with the quiz, I could probably sort out 7 of them before submission, which would reduce the work required by editors in the end run (and possibly result in the new writer not receiving a daunting amount of corrections that "might" make them hesitant to ever attempt to submit another quiz). I'd even be willing to let the other folks on said team write ALL the quizzes, because a) there is no "I" in Team (trust me, I'm a soccer coach lol) and b) it should be about the journey, not necessarily the destination, especially if you have a number of the available badges already lol. The mentoring process can be fully managed in the Forums message system, as it was for the Amazing Race. Not a big deal, the "method" is already in place.
And hmm, lastly (in this post anyway, giggles) I think that SOMEwhere on the HOME page (and this is in agreement with similar suggestions) that quiz writing opportunities should be either made bolder (more noticable) or that, even better, direct links are provided that people can just click on, rather than ACTIVELY search for. : )
Reply #61. Aug 21 12, 5:04 PM
f there are 10 things "sorta" wrong with the quiz, I could probably sort out 7 of them before submission, |
Whether we ever have a formal mentoring system or just continue with the current informal thing that happens now, I think this is an important point.
No matter who your mentor is, no matter how much help they give or how hard you work, your first submission will probably have a few things wrong with it. AND THAT'S OK.
We've been doing this so long now that the long-time editors here are probably the world's experts on writing quizzes for online play. We know hundreds and possibly thousands of useful things about writing quizzes for this site. It's in no one's best interests for us to spell all of it out beforehand, to ensure a perfect first submission - we don't want to write it, you're not going to read it, and some of it is unenforceable. We expect you to follow the guidelines that come up when you choose your category, to try to follow your editor's instructions, and to remember what you learned for next time. We don't expect you to be perfect.
Reply #62. Aug 21 12, 5:40 PM
That's worth reiterating every now and then Agony. When I started quiz writing I was terrified of correction notes, I thought it meant I'd done something terrible, the editor was going to be mad at me, all that sort of thing. In fact I soon realised that quite often they weren't even "corrections", they were very helpful suggestions that made the quiz better, and despite evidence to the contrary every so often, I have tried not to repeat my mistakes. New authors need to be encouraged to go with the process and accept the corrections for what they are, a way to make them better authors and stressing that no-one expects them to be perfect can only help soothe those first time nerves.|
Another good suggestion I was given was do your first quiz on something you really do know about and are interested in. Later you can branch out into stuff you havn't come across before, but a bit of solid basic knowledge for the first few helps with the writing and builds the confidence.
Reply #63. Aug 21 12, 6:01 PM
(Apologies if these topics have been covered already in this thread. I am just going to throw some ideas out there)|
I agree a mentoring program would be great, it would take some of the pressure off of both Editors and New Writers I think. Have a thread for new authors to have the ability to request a mentor, a group of authors who are deemed qualified to mentor, then have a senior editor be in charge to assign a mentor to a new author.
The Amazing Race was a great format, where there were 4 of us who pushed each other, picked up for each other, turned out some great quizzes and had fun doing it.
Perhaps make some challenges for those authors with less then 5 quizzes, let them ease their way in. The speed and quality of the top challenge authors can be a bit intimidating.
I think boosting the number of quizzes in categories with low numbers is great too, it adds variety.
Have there been any challenges for the single question game yet?
Reply #64. Aug 21 12, 6:45 PM
Re: "Have there been any challenges for the single question game yet?"|
None formally. The problem here is that editors do not have access to the database to see if the single questions are online or rated or otherwise. It would require tracking from every editor and even then, we wouldn't be able to check any stats on them.
Maybe in the future, but not at the present time.
Reply #65. Aug 21 12, 7:11 PM
I like the idea of challenges specifically for authors who have written fewer than five quizzes - is that doable? (I'm not really all that up on the challenges)|
Reply #66. Aug 21 12, 8:16 PM
It's completely doable. I'll bring something up with the editors tonight.|
This means we need to get some more newer authors in here. ;)
Reply #67. Aug 21 12, 8:49 PM
Most people I talk to about writing a quiz look on it with all the enthusiasm of facing the guilotine. |
Reply #68. Aug 22 12, 2:05 AM
Reply #69. Aug 22 12, 2:05 AM
There's a fairly classic case of first time author (a) misunderstanding the role of editor somewhat and (b) not liking being told there are mistakes over in Quiz Authoring Forums. Final post at the moment is "Why have editors if they don't edit" - he's looking at it as though editors were literary editors who do fix grammar, punctuation, spelling etc. I think that is a common misconception that does perhaps need adressing.|
Reply #70. Aug 22 12, 5:28 AM
I thought editors were there to supply us with chocolate and coffee (quickly dives for cover!)|
Reply #71. Aug 22 12, 9:01 AM
Plodd, the chocolate is my job, and Anna supplies the coffee. Here, take some coffee-filled chocolate cups. :)|
Reply #72. Aug 22 12, 9:15 AM
That will do nicely thank you, salami :)|
Reply #73. Aug 22 12, 9:20 AM
So, what is the job of the rest of us? Dig into your stash or chocolate and steal some coffee? :P|
Reply #74. Aug 22 12, 9:20 AM
Your job is to try to break the chocolate vault, but you'll fail. But I'll give it to you anyway, so your other job is simply to enjoy. :P|
Reply #75. Aug 22 12, 9:35 AM
The same thing we do every night Mariamir, try to take over the world through subliminal messages inserted into innocent trivia questions, but perhaps I've said to much now.|
Reply #76. Aug 22 12, 10:06 AM
Getting more quizzes into "sparse" sub categories, and not really wanting any more "average" new quizzes in the very popular categories (Simpsons, Harry Potter etc) are at cross purposes with wanting to encourage new authors though, to a certain extent. To be able to plunge in and write any quiz, for any title, in any category takes a lot of doing. It's scary, it requires effort, time, commitment, research, and being willing to push on and force a quiz to appear even when the title or subject matter is dull/deathly boring/something we hate (in our opinion of course, I hope you know what I mean - the author has no interest in whatever it is, not that it is intrinsically dull).|
A challenge that requires someone to do these type of quizzes is never going to really appeal to a new author is it? I know Commissions work because there is always an element of choice, but you'd need to be careful that you don't box people in too much, if the aim is to encourage people to write their first quiz, and then to come back and write some more.
I'm old and cantankerous, but there are things to be said for the old "we write quizzes because we love doing them" - I think I got a bit burned out by the sprint and the race - I did actually drop out of the sprint when I realised I was actually feeling a bit sick at the thought of having to write the quiz that was required for whatever round it was, I had a bit of a rant and my husband said "I thought it was FUN trivia" - by all means make it as painless as possible for anyone who wants to write a quiz, and offer encouragement - maybe even a "First Time Author" chatboard over here, (the Forums are all very well but they can be very off putting and much more cliquey than here sometimes, and aren't THAT easy to navigate for the first time what with the separate registration and suchlike) with a group of editors and/or mentors who will answer queries informally, and if possible set up so "well meaning passers by" can't just jump in with their random thoughts (no offense anyone, I've done it mysef often, but I take Jakeroos point about us seeming cliquey here and that would stop it happening hopefully) - the rest of us are here, but a dedicated "help centre" type board just for brand new authors, say up to five quizzes, where it is made plain There Is No Such Thing As A Silly Question could be useful.
Reply #77. Aug 22 12, 10:12 AM
"The same thing we do every night Mariamir, try to take over the world through subliminal messages inserted into innocent trivia questions, but perhaps I've said to much now."|
And has that method worked? Any sign of people demonstrating for a "KyleEarth"? :-P
Reply #78. Aug 22 12, 10:25 AM
We have to make Kyle the youngest Prime Minister first, followed by Secretary General of the U.N. and only then can we put Project Q(Kyle Earth) into effect.|
On a different note, I agree the Sprnt was a bit of a burn out by the end, but was more then worth the completing of each challenge.
The working on the area's with less quizzes could be focused on by the more experienced authors, while the newer ones could still try to avoid the overloaded topics.
On an open board I would think the Editors should be doing all the question answering to new authors, while the mentors would be more of a one on one focus, to avoid bombarding new authors with too many answers to their questions and perhaps making things confusing, keeping it as straightforward as possible.
Reply #79. Aug 22 12, 11:12 AM
I have just done some editing on a first quiz whose introduction said it was the first quiz on the book. It is far from that! A lot of new authors don't seem to be familiar with the categories, and where to find quizzes (which also means they don't know in which category they should be submitting their quiz, so they don't work with the correct guidelines even if they do take the time to read them). Using the Search tool is imprecise - I can enter the title of one of my own quizzes, and not see it included in the list of possible matches. It would be nice to have a challenge that involves browsing through the quiz categories to find a specific one. Actually, maybe this should be a playing challenge - play one quiz from each of ten specific categories, requiring some exploration of the category structures. Requiring a specific subcategory for writing would be rather restrictive for inexperienced writers, who might not have any interest or knowledge in the required area.|
Reply #80. Aug 22 12, 2:22 PM
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