The Archive

Thursday, May 19, 2011

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With over 180,000 unpublished contributed games, even if the Game Creation feature were shut down today, at the current rate of 57 publications a week (9 each weekday and 6 each Saturday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):

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 and I will do my best to reply quickly.


Quiz Creation F.A.Q.

"How to make a bad Sporcle quiz"

Sporcle Blog post on "How to make a bad Sporcle quiz"

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