Monday, 17 June 2013

Updates: Question Writing, Eggheads, and False Accusations

Well, I have had a very very busy week this week setting questions for a new mobile app (I think) that should be coming out soon. Don't get me wrong, I have not made the app but was contacted by a company who are paying a fair rate for questions I think.

My initial reaction when offered the job was hesitancy. Primarily because I have set questions in the past and emailed them off, never to hear from the company again. But this time I was offered part payment up front and 2 weeks later I am writing questions every night and being paid the next morning so all is well on that front! Sadly, there are some dodgy people.....

My second hesitation was whether or not it would become a chore. I work full time 5 days a week and I did not want to take on board something that was going to seem like an extra chore. The questions were in batches of 500 on various subjects (So far Golf, World Cup Football, Classic Rock, Ancient Rome, World War 1 etc) which I feared may get a little boring but far from it. I have learned quite a lot doing it, its been good digging in the reference books (especially the ones I haven't used much). The questions need to be multiple choice which I found the hardest part as I wanted to put realistic choices but after a few hours I was flying through them. I also wanted to do a good job which means avoiding Who Won the US Masters in 1998, Who Won the Us Masters in 1999 etc type of questions so admittedly towards the end of the golf ones it was getting hard.

I will keep you updated about the app as having set questions myself and seen some of the other setters work it is going to a very good one indeed. I think the problem you get with many apps, especially free ones, is lazy and boring questions without any feasible multiple choice options to make you think. This should be different


Regarding my Eggheads episode it still looks like it will be around December. I have lost track whether the episodes on this week are repeats or not (and the TV guides aren't usually helpful) but last word I had when asking the producer on Twitter was December. Although why I am looking forward to it I do not know...


With the Sunderland League season still a few weeks away I have been back at my usual Wednesday Quiz. Its a nice pub, a good quiz but since a team of us started going we have won 7 weeks out of the 8 we have played in. Of course its not the winning that counts (who am I kidding??) but it appears we have upset a team of regulars. Out of the 10-12 teams that play we are usually a couple of points ahead of a team in second place who are dozens of points ahead of everyone else. I get the impression, and in fact I know, that they used to win every week before we arrive.

This has lead to snide comments and they have added what they think is a funny "google" to their team name. Every week when scores are read out and papers are handed in there is always something said which annoys me in the sense that it ignores the fact that we are winning fairly. I don't want to get into a rant about this again but perhaps their whole idea is to force us out or get us removed? Rather sad.


And finally, I should be playing my first match in the CIU quiz this week with all being well. I assume a few of you will know what the CIU Quiz is, which is a tad more than I know at present, but it appears to be a national team quiz with heats all across the country and a grand final at the conclusion. The Sunderland Echo League are entering a few times and having seen some sets of questions it should be a very fun night indeed!


  1. The google thing will always be a bone of contention in open quizzes. Being good at quizzes will always be a bone of contention in quizzes.

    People cheat. Not all people all of the time, but we all tend to break the rules occasionally to get an advantage (show me a driver who hasn't done more than 30 in a 30mph zone). There have been some great cheats (Lance Armstrong, Christiano Ronaldo - both of whom have risen to the top of their particular pile of law-breakers)

    As technology gets slicker (Moore's Law) the 'problem' of quiz cheating will not get easier to deal with. I guess we could always sit in a room under exam conditions for two hours.

    Or buzz!

    Just linking to your home page and read your blog Dan. Keep up the good work.

  2. Out of interest is the app work for QuizUp by Plain Vanilla?