Top Comments of the Week (5/27)

Top Comments of the Week From Dad Jokes to puns and all in between, Sporclers know how to make us laugh. Here are this week’s best examples:


1. Quiz: State Border Chain Minefield

Captstig: “You know when your drunk friend says “road trip to NY”? This is the route they would take if they didn’t pass out right after saying that.”


2. Quiz: The Last Word: Movie Genres

seanswife: ”Ahhh, the benefits of owning a Honda Minivan: I can spell Odyssey. I knew there was an upside out there.”


3. Quiz: 3-Word ’70s Movies

Db99: “Zombie Flesh Eaters, I may never have heard of you, but there’s no way those words are going anywhere but together.”


4. Quiz: S’Mores Ingredients

mhershfield: ”You’re killing me Smalls.”


5. Quiz: 50 Flicks to Click (1985)

Maejyn: “Falcon goes particularly well with most of these. “Falcon to the future” – a 1985 teen action horror movie in which a cruel medieval lord, who has discovered the art of time-travelling falconry, uses his insidious art to hunt his prey: a group of high school students preparing for prom. Can they avoid death at the hands of the evil raptors? Can they come to terms with responsibility and the difficult transition to adulthood? Will they realise that the differences between their cliques are ultimately superficial and need to be put aside if they are going to time travel back to 1245 to get payback? Will it star Molly Ringwald? Probably…”


Memory and the NBA: The Power of Winning (& Losing)

dataSneakers_final

The relation between a team’s performance and people’s ability to remember that team’s name.

Sporcle is the web’s most popular trivia and quiz site. Since 2007, we have offered people a fun way to learn more and challenge their knowledge on virtually any subject, from sports, geography and television to things as esoteric as Pokémon characters and the birthdates of U.S. presidents.

People play these quizzes hundreds of millions of times a year on Sporcle. Each play reveals what one person remembers right now, and what they don’t; collectively, over thousands of days and millions of plays, they tell a story about the world’s knowledge on a topic. We can rank these quiz results to show which answers people remember most, and which are least-remembered. This ranking, which we call “memorability”, offers a unique lens on the prevailing cultural zeitgeist, helping us understand what is top-of-mind right now on any topic — and how that knowledge changes over time.

As we approach the NBA Finals, we thought it would be fun to look at the data from one of Sporcle’s most popular quizzes –the “NBA Teams” quiz, played more than 1.8 million times since 2008– to see which NBA teams are consistently the most memorable, which ones are most frequently forgotten, and how teams’ memorability changes from season to season. We also thought it would be interesting to compare our data with each team’s NBA regular season win-loss record, to see whether there’s any relation between a team’s performance (good or bad) and people’s ability to remember that team’s name. We found some interesting things, particularly about the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State: an unforgettable turnaround

The 2000s were a decade of futility for the Golden State Warriors. They had only two winning seasons, made the playoffs just once and in the 2001-2002 season had the worst record in the league. In 2010, the Warriors finished with a 26-56 record in the NBA regular season, 27th in the league in overall win-loss percentage. That year, they were also one of the least-remembered teams on our NBA quiz, placing 28th — meaning only two teams, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Memphis Grizzlies, were less memorable than Golden State. But a lot can change in six years.

Given that Golden State won the NBA championship last year and have had such a remarkable run in the 2015-2016 season, we thought surely their memorability would improve significantly. What we didn’t expect was how closely correlated winning would be to the team’s memorability. The chart below compares Golden State’s win-loss record in the NBA regular seasons from 2010 through 2016 with their memorability on our “NBA Teams” quiz in the same period.

As you can see, the data did not disappoint. As the Warriors moved from 27th in win-loss percentage in the 2009-2010 regular season to the league’s best record in the last two seasons, the team’s memorability changed remarkably. Golden State is now the third most memorable team in the NBA — ahead of storied franchises like the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks, and the Chicago Bulls. That turnaround –from 28th in memorability in 2010 to third in 2016– is unique in its speed and its scale. Our data shows mild cross-season fluctuations in memorability for many teams (see chart C below), but Golden State’s dramatic shift in memorability is just as dramatic as the turnaround in the team’s on-court performance.

This should come as no surprise: winning a championship, setting an NBA record for regular season wins, having a well-liked superstar like Steph Curry, and an all-star supporting cast in Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would bolster any team’s memorability1.  But in our data, no other team has seen such a dramatic shift in memorability.

But what about losing? Could a team with strong memorability become more forgettable, if they started to lose consistently year-after-year? According to our data, yes.

Orlando: losing impacts more than your standing

In 2009, the Orlando Magic made it to the NBA Finals, led by their dynamic star center, Dwight Howard. While the Magic lost in those Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers, the team followed up the next season with the NBA’s second-best regular season record. This success helped make the Magic the 6th most-remembered team on the “NBA Teams” quiz in 2010 (see below). By the 2012-13 season, however, Howard had moved on, and the Magic finished with the worst record in the league. They have placed last in their division every year since, and haven’t made the playoffs. Matching the team’s slump on the court, the Magic’s memorability on the “NBA Teams” quiz plummeted from 6th in 2010 to 16th in 20162.

Our data is consistent with Forbes’ annual estimates on NBA franchise values. Between 2010 and 2016, Golden State moved from the NBA’s 18th most-valuable franchise to its 6th (behind only powerhouse franchises like the Knicks, Lakers, Celtics and Bulls). In that same time, Forbes estimates that the Magic dropped from the league’s 13th most-valuable franchise to its 19th. When you lose big, it impacts more than just your place in the standings! 3

Memorability: size matters

In looking at which teams have the highest memorability (see below), it’s striking that the teams with the highest and most consistent memorability tend to be from the largest geographic markets, like New York and Los Angeles, or have an iconic history of winning and championships, like the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics. These franchises, among the oldest in the league, have had up to 70 years to build large followings. Teams like the Lakers (2016’s most memorable team), Celtics and Knicks have reached a level of fame where memorability transcends winning or losing; their names are recognizable even to people who don’t follow basketball. Thus, the Lakers can remain the NBA’s most memorable team in 2016, and the Celtics, Knicks and Bulls can be the fourth, fifth and sixth most memorable, despite a string of lackluster seasons for each team.

The Grizzlies: making the playoffs isn’t enough

Our data also revealed that winning is not necessarily enough to make (or keep) your team memorable. When we looked at each teams’ regular season win-loss percentages between 2010 and 2016, the Memphis Grizzlies had the NBA’s fifth-best average. But as you can see from the chart below, the Grizzlies’ success on the court hasn’t translated into memorability. In fact, the Grizzlies have consistently been the least memorable team on the quiz, ranking last in every year but one since 2010. While making the playoffs (as the Magic did in 2011 and 2012) is nice, lack of success in the NBA’s second season and lack of Kobe- or Curry-level star power (quick, name the Grizzlies’ leading scorer in 2016!) have left Memphis stuck in place as the league’s least-remembered franchise.

Our conclusion is that being consistently good isn’t enough to improve memorability for smaller-market teams; to make a profound shift, they need to go deep in the playoffs and win championships. And for the largest-market teams, like the Lakers and Knicks, being consistently bad isn’t enough to be a drag on their high memorability.

We found this exercise interesting and hope you did, too. In the coming months, we plan to share more insights like these on other teams, leagues and topics; given the variety of quizzes on Sporcle, there’s a lot to share about the things the world remembers.

Until then, Sporcle on.

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1 – The correlation coefficient between Golden State’s memorability on the “NBA Teams” quiz on Sporcle and the team’s yearly win-loss percentage was -0.987. Winning was clearly a major contributor to the Warriors’ rapid increase in memorability.
2 – The correlation coefficient between Orlando’s memorability and their yearly win-loss percentage was -0.716.
3 – The correlation coefficient between rank in team memorability in 2016 and rank in Forbes franchise value was 0.728. Memorability and franchise value are highly correlated!

Countries by Area

Hey Sporclers,

When it comes to geography quizzes, size matters. We’ve seen some discussion pop-up regarding the sizes of various countries, particularly regarding USA vs. China, and thought we should chime in.

At Sporcle, we strive to make our quizzes both accurate and consistent. For that reason, we have opted to use the CIA World Factbook when verifying many geography quizzes, which we feel is a reliable resource.

We understand that there is some debate regarding how the UN and CIA calculate area for the USA, and that this method might include areas not accounted for with other countries. However, for the sake of consistency, we will continue to use the CIA World Factbook as the source for quizzes about area.

Geography isn’t always 100% clear cut. At the end of the day, we have to pick a reliable and reputable source and stick with it. But the wonderful thing about running a site that is all about being mentally stimulating is that quizzes and information like this prompt discussion and a better understanding of the world overall. Our goals at Sporcle are to distract, entertain, and inform. Quizzes and badges allow us to do just that.

Nothing here is meant to represent a US bias, it is meant to be consistent and as accurate across quizzes as we can be while also trying to facilitate good discussions about the world at large.

How to Use Playlists

Have you seen playlists on Sporcle but aren’t sure where to start? There are plenty of ways to jump into the world of playlists, and the instructions below will help you do it.

Creating a Playlist

Under the ‘Create’ tab, ‘Playlist Dashboard‘ has been added to the drop-down menu. If you’ve never made a playlist before, your Playlist Dashboard will be empty. Click ‘Create your first Playlist’ to start the magic. Once you enter a name and description for your playlist, the playlist creation screen will appear:

playlist better copy

Editing the Title and Description

Your new playlist’s name and description will appear at the Globe 1 marker. You can use the two ‘Edit’ buttons to alter the title and description of your playlist. To the right, there is also the option to delete your playlist entirely. Once a playlist is deleted you can’t access it again, so be careful!

Viewing Playlist Details

The Globe 2 marker shows the main specs of the playlist. This area shows you how many quizzes are on your playlist and its total playtime. Since up to 50 quizzes can be added to a playlist, this tool is useful in sensing how long it would take to play through the entire list. Other users can interact with your playlist, and are able to like their favorite playlists. If your playlist has been liked by other users, those likes will also appear in the specs area.

Moving and Deleting Quizzes

The Globe 3 marker is where all of your quizzes show up. It provides a quick overview of each quiz, which can help you assure you’ve added the right one. If you want to delete a particular quiz from your playlist, hovering over its row will reveal a trash bin icon at the right. Click that button to remove the quiz from your playlist. If you want to change the order of your quizzes, you can click the row you wish to move, drag it to the location you want it, and then drop it there.

Adding Quizzes

The Globe 4 marker is where quizzes can be added to your playlist. To add a quiz, simply start typing the name of the quiz in the box. As you type, recommended quizzes will appear in a drop-down menu. If you’re not sure which suggestion is the quiz you have in mind, you can add it to the playlist and then check the quiz stats to make sure it’s the one you wanted.

Saving Your Playlist

The Globe 5 marker shows the most important feature of all–the save button. If you’ve ever experienced losing hours of essay-writing to a document crash, you know that saving frequently is the key to fewer tears. None of your changes will be live until you click the ‘Save Playlist’ button, so you don’t need to worry about editing while other users are interacting with your playlist.

Accessing Others’ Playlists

To access the playlists of others, simply go to their profile pages. There is now a ‘Playlist’ tab between ‘Badges’ and ‘Published Quizzes’:

matt playlists

When you click on another Sporcler’s playlist, a page similar to the playlist creation form will appear. It will give you an overview of all the quizzes in the playlist, and will show your current stats if you’ve played the quiz before. From here, it’s easy to play through the playlist. If you enjoy it, there is a like button up by the playtime and quiz number stats.

Quiz Playlists

Some quiz pages have related playlists linked on them. Countries of the World is a good example of this:

quiz playlist

If you play a quiz with a linked playlist, all of the playlist’s quizzes will show up beneath the quiz. This is a great way to explore similar quizzes if you find one that you like. For some harder quizzes like Countries of the World, the related quizzes can be good practice material for the one you’re on. Looking for the playlist view is a great way to find the type of content you’re interested in, so play around with some other quizzes when you see them down there!

With that, you’re set to delve into the world of playlists. Make your own, play through the great ones other users have already made, or just explore quizzes that are similar to your favorites.

Top Comments of the Week (05/20)

Top Comments of the Week

From Dad Jokes to puns and all in between, Sporclers know how to make us laugh.

Here are this week’s best examples:


1. Quiz: Odd But True Facts VIII

Lemonshark: “How wild would it be if some early depictions of Jesus Christ showed him with Wi-Fi; just checking His e-mail and ignoring His guests at the Last Supper…”


2. Quiz: Odd But True Facts VIII

Brazen_Helm: ”I was seriously hoping that town mayors of Dorset, Minnesota are twin 8 year old boys from Ohio.”


3. Quiz: Countries of the Americas A-Z

hbaker: “Could not come up with T. Desperate, I tried “The Salvador.” You know. The English version.”


4. Quiz: Fake Toys

mcsheffrey: ”That Mickey Mouse toy is a good way to make sure that your kids never want to visit Disney World.”


5. Thread: ***El_Dandy: Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament Champion!***

bhenderson79: “I will pass along the congratulations from my 3-year old daughter, who watched with me. And I quote, “Did he win? He won! Hooray, Jason! Who is Jason? Why is his name Jason?”"

As if you haven’t heard it enough already, congrats El_Dandy on your great Jeopardy! victory!


El_Dandy, El Jeopardy! Champion

Congratulations to Jason Sterlacci: Jeopardy! champion, Sporcle user

eldandy

source: Jeopardy!

At Sporcle, we’re huge fans of Jeopardy! — as is anyone who’s a fan of trivia. Last week was the conclusion of the show’s annual Teachers Tournament; the winner this year was Jason Sterlacci, a middle-school English teacher from Somerset, New Jersey.

We know Jason better as Sporcle user El_Dandy. He’s one of Sporcle’s most passionate users, holding the #20 spot for most plays of all time –and, incredibly, the #9 spot for plays of the most unique quizzes. (In case you’re curious, that means he has played more than 49,500 unique quizzes on Sporcle….wow!!)

Sporcle has a strong community of trivia-lovers, and a long history of community members both competing and winning on Jeopardy! Sam Deutsch, a junior at USC who won the 2016 Jeopardy! College Tournament in February, said he used Sporcle to practice.

Among others, our users Nathaniel Barnes (NJSB on Sporcle), sproutcm, phil_quiz, podpod, Propellerhead, LL3rd, jpahk, and maggie882 are all previous Jeopardy! contestants. And Ken Jennings, who holds the all-time record for Jeopardy! victories (a winning streak of 74 consecutive games in 2004), has called Sporcle “the only trivia site I visit regularly.”

Jason’s victory in the Teachers Tournament means that he’ll be competing in Jeopardy!’s annual Tournament of Champions later this year. We’re excited to tune in for that. In the meantime, congrats, Jason, from all of us at Sporcle HQ.

So You Want To Be a Curator…

Whether you’re looking for bigger ways to contribute to the Sporcle community, or just want to help bring attention to great new quizzes, you’ve decided that becoming a Curator is pretty much your destiny. A subcategory that you know a lot about has an opening, and you think you have what it takes to fill it.

To Apply You Will Need:

• Your username
• Links to five quizzes from your desired subcategory that you would select as curator picks
• Links to five quizzes from your desired subcategory that could be good, but would need edits of some kind

Email feedback@sporcle.com with the above information and your constructive feedback in the comments on these last five quizzes so the quiz creators know what they would need to do to improve their quiz.

We’ll review your submission and your comments and if they’re up to snuff, we’ll approve you as a curator. There are often multiple users applying for each open position, but even if we choose another Curator we’ll always email you back.

Resources:

Sporcle Groups is a great place to get in touch with other curators, editors and staff. The Category threads are also great for gauging specific interests in your subcategory.
The Curator Guide gives an overview on all the duties of a Curator along with some tips for how to make Curator Picks.
Mark is your go-to guy for all things Curator. Email him at mvheald@sporcle.com if you have any questions.

If you choose to apply for more than one Curator position, please send separate applications for each subcategory.

Matt and Derek Show: Episode 1

Sporcle lore, history and inner workings baffle us all. In a recent Sporcle University thread, the site’s creator Matt welcomed all the burning questions you’ve been wanting to ask. What’s the tale of Sporcle’s meager beginnings? What has been the site’s most unexpected source of traffic? What does the Sporcle HQ team eat for lunch?

Today’s the day Matt and Derek answer all of your hard-hitting questions.

If you have any other questions or suggestions for further videos, feel free to leave them in the original thread or in the video comments.

Top Comments of the Week (05/06)

Top Comments of the Week

From Dad Jokes to puns and all in between, Sporclers know how to make us laugh.

Here are this week’s best examples:


1. Quiz: ‘C’ Vocabluary II

Felonius_Monk: “I suppose cannibals could be carnivores. I would avoid their barbecues, and definitely won’t try the chorizo.”


2. Quiz: Sporty Celebrities

jonnyplops: ”Didn’t recognize Reese without her spoon.”


3. Quiz: Famous People Born In May

Lemonshark: “The results of this quiz might finally answer the question, “Just how notorious is B.I.G.?”"


4. Quiz: ‘C’ Vocabulary II

Happ_Hazard: ”Not sure about that clue for controversy.”


5. Thread: Just for fun, perhaps

david6k: “Um, what do people at the Sporcle office do when they want to take a little “break” from work? Are there folks who are surreptitiously reviewing budget spreadsheets or editing powerpoint presentations, but then quickly minimize them when a manager walks by and pretend that they have been playing quizzes all along?”


Top Comments of the Week (04/29)

Top Comments of the Week

From Dad Jokes to puns and all in between, Sporclers know how to make us laugh.

Here are this week’s best examples:


1. Quiz: Famous Jewish People

Yaxley: “I knew Alicia Silverstone’s name but I was clueless when I got to her. *Buh dum chhh*”


2. Quiz: Paradoxical Proverbs

EzrianBashirax: ”I have often been forced to choose between disparate proverbs. My own tried and true “Sporcle whenever you can, for the time may never come again” has often clashed with the much older proverb “Get to work, or you’re fired.”"


3. Quiz: Celebrity Man Buns

Qaqaq: “18 man-buns and not one looks good.”


4. Thread: Sporcle Jokes

Sssophie: ”If at first you don’t succeed… Give up. But only after 7 seconds.”


5. Thread: Congrats to NAPB, the Iron Man of Sporcle!

Hejman: “That’s right- neither ran, nor sleet, nor power outage, nor winter head cold, nor forgetting because you were watching football and gorging yourself on chips can stop napb! He’s made an Editor’s Pick in the History section every single day for 1,000 straight days.”

Extra little congrats to needapausebutton for 1,000 straight days of Editor’s Picks!