How much do you know about the Oakland Raiders? How about boy bands? You wouldn’t think that adults with their school years long behind them, would want to take tests. But it turns out that they do.
San Jose Mercury News reporter Dana Hull was chosen to be a part of Digital First Media’s “IdeaLab” program based on a crazy notion: readers like quizzes. Here’s an update on her fun project, which is turning out to be popular among our readers:
The San Jose Mercury News and our sister papers here in the Bay Area have begun experimenting with online news quizzes. The basic format is simple: typically 10 multiple choice questions, with instant answers. Our first quiz, timed to Facebook’s IPO, asked questions about the social media company and about 500 people took it. Our second quiz, about the Golden Gate Bridge, was timed to celebrate the Bridge’s 75th anniversary. Reporter Angela Woodall dove in and created a short quiz about the June 5 California primary. And now we’re off and running: pop music writer Jim Harrington recently wrote a 20-question quiz about Boy Bands, and it’s been a big success: 838 digital readers have taken the quiz, spending an average of 6 minutes and 18 seconds on the quiz. Six minutes is pretty “sticky,” in terms of time spent on our digital platforms. The sports staff, including Jon Becker and Steve Corkran hit new heights with the Raiders quiz, with test-takers now running in the thousands.
There are several off-the-shelf quiz templates available. We’re using ProProfs.com and the tech support has been great.
There’s a lot more to learn, though. Many readers “share” the quiz via Facebook and Twitter, and I’m trying to figure out which channel is more effective at drawing eyeballs. I’d like to improve the visual design of the quiz and find an easier way to add photographs. And I’d like to figure out the relationship between page views and number of quiz takers: are people starting the quiz and then quitting because the questions are too hard?