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Sun, 27th Aug '06 9:52 PM


Recently a thread was opened discussing ways to devise new quiz topics. I thought that it was important enough to kick off a new thread for all of us to chime in with our own personal strategies. Some of this post has been C&P'd from the other thread:

How does one come up with innovative topics for new quizzes?
(Innovative meaning a thought-provoking trivia masterpiece that does not involve movies or television)

I recommend taking a quick trip to your local library. Wandering through the decaying non-fiction aisles will provide a wealth of ideas, and you are guaranteed to walk away with an armful of books and hundreds of prospective quizzes. Although Amazon and the Internet in general have caused libraries much grief, there is still a lot to be said about visiting there and coming home with tons of books that are guaranteed to breed ideas - for FREE.

It's also a great destination if you happen to have kids.

Another thing to consider is aimless browsing at Start at and watch the quiz ideas blossom!

(Be sure to bookmark that page)

Personally, my favorite starting point is:


Allena  (Level: 260.9 - Posts: 1399)
Tue, 29th Aug '06 12:31 PM

Borders has a great attraction, books and coffee. You can sip and note then replace what doesn't appeal. This is especially good for planning a trip. The quizzes should flow from the non-fiction sections as well. Plus, America has discovered coffee and Borders has Starbucks. A natural quiz could be about coffee.

Baggiob  (Level: 143.2 - Posts: 888)
Tue, 29th Aug '06 12:44 PM

Sometimes if I am struggling for a quiz idea (and that's not often) I must admit to wandering through wikipedia for inspiration. Although sometimes the inspiration just comes to my head and then i see if it is viasible. For eg my quiz "Can You Work Out The Secret?". (try it if you haven't already, shameless plug i know. lol) the idea just popped into my head and then i had to scour the internet to see if it was possible.

Thanks Justin for this thread and I look forward to seeing others quizzes

Geniuswaitress  (Level: 52.1 - Posts: 381)
Tue, 29th Aug '06 1:07 PM

My tactic is often to find a perspective on a quiz that hasn't been done, or to find a way to combine two topics into one to make it fresh, e.g. Department Store Shopping With Music Celebrities. To me, there are two options: Find a topic that hasn't been done to death, or use a generic one and present it in a brand-new way.

Kravfighter  (Level: 162.6 - Posts: 563)
Tue, 29th Aug '06 2:52 PM

For those of you who have the Mozilla Firefox browser there is an add-on called "Stumple Upon" which you can get here:

You select topics that interest you and it will randomly pull up websites for you to surf with your interests. You get to review it so I believe it pulls up higher rated sites first. It allows you to find sites you might not ever come across otherwise. I have come across some very cool/funny/interesting things - some of which would make great quiz topics. I could spend hours just "stumbling" from website to website!


Sblv  (Level: 191.2 - Posts: 337)
Tue, 29th Aug '06 3:47 PM

Most often I will revisit things that I deal with every day or I had learned troughout my school years. It feels sometimes as if I am getting back at all the professors in school that quizzed us on a regular basis. Actually I was asked once by another Sploofus member if he can use my quiz in the medical school where he is a faculty mamber. I think with the resources on the internet the quizzes could be written about anything you see around you. Good luck!

Mindmonkey  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 295)
Wed, 30th Aug '06 12:39 AM

I'd like to give one note of caution. Be very careful about Wikipedia. It's great for generating ideas and for browsing. I've used it myself to generate ideas. But, it is often very inacturate and I've found lots of examples of that when I'm putting together my quizes. The great majority of high schools and universities will not let students use it for citations because literally anybody (you, me or the folks down the street) can revise any of the articles, no matter how specialized or technical, and write anything they want with no review for accuracy.

See, for example:

So, with that in mind, I think I'll try to write something different next time. I know! --something about guessing state capitals....

Geniuswaitress  (Level: 52.1 - Posts: 381)
Wed, 30th Aug '06 7:34 AM

I agree with your assessment of Wikipedia as often inaccurate. It's what led The Onion to run the headline: "Wikipedia celebrates 100 Years of American Independence". Har!

Ladyvol  (Level: 209.4 - Posts: 5576)
Wed, 30th Aug '06 8:53 AM

I think you can also come up with innovative quizzes on music and the movies if you really put your mind to it....Just like in any other category here..All it takes is time and some research on the quiz writer's part...There's more to music and movies than who played this role or who sang this song....Altho I have written quizzes in this vein as I know others here have also....It's good to be informative on any subject you chose to write a quiz on....whatever it may be.

Baggiob  (Level: 143.2 - Posts: 888)
Thu, 31st Aug '06 12:11 PM

Vicrowe I totally agree with that but what i would like to say is because those two categories appear to be the most popular (coupled with the great and fast work the editors do) exposure time is limited.

I have a suggestion,
Perhaps well written music and film quizzes (by well written i mean ones that are good enough to receive an EA or not too far of it) could be put in the trivia expert section. Perhaps within the Trivia expert section there could be a seperate category for the well written music or films ones. Of course they would also need to be difficult to justify putting them in the trivia experts only category.

Just an idea, wonder what people think !?!?

Kaufman  (Level: 263.0 - Posts: 3941)
Thu, 31st Aug '06 12:46 PM

I believe authors have the right to submit any quiz they want (with the possible exception of kids' quizzes and fill-in-the-blanks) to Trivia Experts Only. You can do that knowing that you will scare off some potential takers and attract others. It's also useful as a cop-out if your quiz fits into two categories, and you don't know where to put it.

There also is the Editor's Awards trivia quiz page. There you can see just the EA quizzes sorted by date, and by Editor. Perhaps, Justin could add sorted by category to that page, which would give you easy accessing of the type you seem to want.

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