← Back to Sporcle Blog Homepage

How do you Sporcle?

From Minute Morsels to the Countries of the World, Sporclers know we have a variety of trivia to choose from. For Darryl, Sporcle is more than that.

In his blog post, Darryl explains that being prepared for Jeopardy! is about ‘beating the clock.’ He credits his 6-weeks of preparation to Sporcle’s variety of quizzes and our timers.

“Sporcle, Sporcle, Sporcle. I cannot stress that enough. Sporcle quizzes get you into the Jeopardy! mindset better than anything else.”

Although it’s pre-recorded, SporcleHQ wishes Darryl the best of luck on Thursday!

So, we’d like to know, how do you use Sporcle? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

@Sporcle’s 1st Live Twitter Chat

v65oai7fxn47qv9nectx

What is there to do on a Tuesday night? Yeah…that’s what we thought.

You are formally invited to join the ‘1 Billion Game Play Party’. 

This Tuesday night (23rd April) @Sporcle will be hosting a live Twitter chat. SporcleHQ will be celebrating this achievement with Sporcle Founders, Engineers, and Moderators – we would like to share the night with you! We want to say ‘thank you’ by giving you an opportunity to ask us questions, tell us what you love about Sporcle, or break out your best jokes!

We will be live on Twitter from 5.30-6.30pm (PST) using #AskSporcle. To engage with this (once in a lifetime!) opportunity, tweet with #AskSporcle throughout Tuesday and if you can make it, join the chat at 5.30pm (PST).

Don’t have a twitter account? You can sign up here.

Don’t follow @Sporcle? You can do that here.

We look forward to chatting with you!

Founder’s Message

A Message from Matt Ramme
Founder, Sporcle

When I started Sporcle 6 years ago, I could never have expected that so many people would end up playing these quick trivia and puzzle games.  What started as a better way to remember the U.S. Presidents has become a totally new way to play trivia on the web.  In the process, it has spawned the collective creativity of millions of people all around the world.

So today we have reached a billion games played.  Since we know the average game takes about 3 1/2 minutes to play, that means Sporclers have spent nearly 3 million days playing Sporcle games.  That’s 8,200 years of naming presidents, countries, and things Meatloaf wouldn’t do for love.

I started Sporcle as a way to improve my Jeopardy and crossword skills and ended up learning so much more than that.  Hopefully that is an experience a lot of users have…stumbling upon some new tidbit of knowledge or learning something about the world they didn’t know, such as which countries have the most chickens.

We here at Sporcle have been blessed with the best community on the internet, and we have a blast every day seeing what Sporclers come up with.  You’ve taken our love of trivia and focus on quality, and helped create nearly a half million quizzes on every topic imaginable, even 19th Century Composers from Finland.

We love hearing from Sporclers about the fun times they’ve had trying to come up with that one last answer, or finding themselves pulled down a rabbit hole into quizzes they didn’t even know they had an interest in.

We’ve gotten so many great emails over the years, I wanted to share just a few:

“Sporcle truly feels like the perfect combination of entertainment and education that I have been craving my entire life”

“My 13 year old son, Oliver, who has Aspergers Syndrome has been on (Sporcle) all week and is now up to about 95 on the Periodic Table quiz as well as being an expert on Kings/Queens, countries in Asia and Europe. To quote him ‘I really love this sort of thing. It’s the best website ever’”

“Thank you for saving me from many hours of boredom.”

We’re really excited about what’s coming next.  In the coming months, we plan on adding more new game and trivia experiences to the web, and we’re committed to making our mobile experiences the best in the world.  Also, keep an eye out for Sporcle Live, live trivia shows in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota, and eventually coming to a bar or restaurant near you.

We really do love each and every one of you. To those who create games and help make them better and more accurate, and those of you who just come to have fun and maybe learn something in the process, we are humbled and we hope we can continue to meet and exceed your expectations for the next billion games.

What is a Sandwich?

Sandwiches are a part of our everyday lives, but do we really know what makes a sandwich a sandwich?

First of all, why are we even asking this question? Well, we recently published a post answering the question ‘What is a country?’  When we added Palestine as a country on Sporcle, we really appreciated the engaging discussion that followed. However, there are tons of deep questions Sporcle raises, and the Sporcle Blog is about to embark on a long quest to look for some answers. What better way to start a long quest than with some delicious sandwiches?

Read more

Anatomy of the Heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) takes the lives of more than 2,150 Americans each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds.

One of those Americans was David Baranski, loving father of Sporcle Staffer Leanne Vassallo. David, or Mr B as he was known by his friends, worked as a Regulatory Specialist for Terumo Cardiovascular in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He spent his time and energy trying to help his fellow man combat this ongoing and terrible problem.

In honor of his memory, Sporcle is making a donation to Gift of Life Michigan. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s only federally designated organ and tissue recovery program. Any advertising revenue generated by playing the Sporcle quiz Anatomy of the Heart in 2013 will be donated to this worthy organization.

By playing this quiz you can help fund programs that promote organ and tissue donation, research grants, and aid transplant recipients in need.

For More Information:

American Heart Association:
Their mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
www.heart.org

Gift of Life:
To improve and extend lives through quality programs which maximize organ and tissue donation for transplantation.
www.giftoflifemichigan.org

Sporcle “Countries of the World” Geography Standard

Editors’ Note: Portions of this post were written by longtime Sporcler Hejman prior to our decision to add Palestine to ‘Countries of the World’. We appreciate this and his many other contributions to Sporcle over the years.

What is a country?

When you were a kid sitting in a classroom staring at the map on the wall, you might have gotten the idea that the world had a certain permanence. We certainly did.  The thing was attached to the wall…with bolts. It’d be pretty hard to change something with that kind of solid mounting.  Of course, the real world couldn’t be further from the truth. Borders, boundaries, place names and our knowledge of the planet changes every day, and so can our definition of what makes a country.

Trivia is much the same way. It may seem that when you have a set of answers that are either right or wrong, there should be some kind of permanence there, or at least some kind of cut and dry way for determining them. Unfortunately, the ambiguity that springs forth from everyday life also bleeds into trivia and directly into a question like “What determines a country?”

Read more

Palestine on Sporcle

On November 29th, 2012, the United Nations voted to change Palestine’s status within the organization to a ‘Non-Member Observer State’. Politics aside, this was a pretty big deal at Sporcle as suddenly and without much warning Palestine met our criteria for what we consider a country. It took some time for us to get all of our quizzes ready for the update, but starting on January 16th, 2013, Palestine will be considered a ‘Country of the World’ on Sporcle.

We realize that this decision won’t come without some controversy, but our guiding principle in regards to controversial topics on Sporcle has always been one of consistency  It boils down to this: If non-UN member countries like Vatican City, Taiwan and Kosovo are considered countries on our site, then we won’t exclude Palestine if it enjoys a similar country status as the others.

So what does this mean for Sporcle?

  1. Starting on January 16th, we will begin adding Palestine to every relevant Sporcle quiz. This includes popular quizzes like Countries of the World, Countries of Asia, and Flags of the World, as well as hundreds of other quizzes where Palestine might qualify. This process will take some time, as there is no ‘Add Palestine’ button we can press to update all of these quizzes.
  2. Also starting on January 16th, if you make a quiz, you’ll have to keep Palestine in mind. (Don’t worry, we’re going to be publishing a country profile so we all can learn a little more it.)
  3. We’re going to be posting more on the blog throughout the week in an attempt to clarify more about our Geography standards. It’s something that’s been on our plate for a while, but we think it’s high time we had something to point to when we’re asked.
  4. If you’re concerned about your ‘Around the World’ badge, don’t be, all previously earned badges will still count. Though anyone who wants to get the badge going forward will need to get 197 answers correct.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments section or directly at our Feedback page.

Kyrgyzstan in the News

If you’re familiar with Sporcle even a little bit, you’ll know that we have a special relationship with Kyrgyzstan.  We Sporclers must go out of our way to correctly spell Kyrgyzstan. And as we’ve memorized that elusive “Y-R-G-Y-Z”,  the central Asian country has found a special place in our unique Sporcle community.

 

Given our constant mentions of the country, it’s not surprising that we tend to follow them in the news. Just recently, it came to our attention that Kyrgyzstan was listed as the most improved country on the Fund for Peace’s eighth annual Failed States Index.

The Failed States Index is determined on the basis of 12 factors having to do with a state’s stability. Last year, Kyrgyzstan was ranked as one of the most worsened countries, second only to post-earthquake Haiti. Yet this year Kyrgyzstan’s evaluation was much improved.  While unrest still exists (it is ranked 41st out of 177 included countries), the country seems to have stabilized somewhat.

While there is some controversy about the index itself, we just wanted to acknowledge Kyrgyzstan’s worldwide recognition. We certainly took a moment of pause to think a little more about the struggles of a developing nation like Kyrgyzstan before we went back to trying it as an answer in every single Sporcle geography quiz ever. (Especially when it’s not appropriate.)

Sporcle Acquires Great Lakes Trivia

TRIVIA FORCES TO COMBINE – SPORCLE HAS ACQUIRED GREAT LAKES TRIVIA

It was announced today that the web’s top destination for trivia has acquired one of the country’s top live trivia organizations. Sporcle, Inc., based in Seattle, has acquired Great Lakes Trivia, based in Plymouth, Michigan. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Great Lakes Trivia was founded in 2009 and currently hosts over 100 weekly live trivia shows across Michigan and Ohio. Founders Mark Adams and Ryan Lamb will remain with the business as will the entire Great Lakes Trivia staff.

Great Lakes Trivia has awarded over $25,000 annually in cash prizes in their live trivia leagues and hundreds of thousands more in gift cards at partnered venues. They put on the highly publicized event “Battle of the Brains” at the Royal Oak Music Theatre this past September, where $5,000 and a trip to Hawaii were awarded all in one night.

“With Great Lakes Trivia, Sporcle now has the ability to deliver fun through trivia wherever the trivia lover wants it: online, on the go, and through live, social experiences,” said Ali Aydar, Chief Executive Officer of Sporcle. “The Great Lakes Trivia team brings tremendous experience in delivering popular trivia shows and a committed base of bar owners and players. We look forward to enhancing the shows through our existing web and mobile products and moving the live product into new markets.”

Read more

BCS Championship and Sporcle

The holiday season is upon us, and for sports fans, that means college football and the BCS Championship series.

It’s that time of year when college football comes to an end and college basketball is just beginning, when team rivalries mix with family get-togethers, and when shouts at the TV are powered by Christmas cookies and eggnog.

Historically, there has been general frustration about the logic and fairness of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) picks. Regardless, the final BCS standings are out and picks have been made. Speculations and predictions have begun, fans are buying tickets, and here at Sporcle HQ we’re on the lookout for quality 2012 college bowl quizzes.

No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama take each other on in the BCS championship game, which will be played on January 7 in Miami. Both teams are major powerhouses, though when it comes to Sporcle quizzes, Notre Dame football quizzes have more plays than Alabama. Not that popularity or trivia-worthiness has anything to do with performance.

Notre Dame has always chosen to set themselves apart, simply by refusing to join a conference for football and remaining independent all these years. That alone is a piece of trivia that Alabama just lacks. But Alabama does have historically high rankings, along with two BCS Championship wins in the last three years, to give them some extra confidence.

Rounding out the BCS Bowl Games:
Rose Bowl: No. 6 Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl: No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Kansas State
Orange Bowl: No. 12 Florida State vs. No. 15 Northern Illinois
Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Florida vs. No. 21 Louisville

Want to take a walk down memory lane? Consider playing the BCS Championship Game quizzes from the last few years:

2011/12: LSU vs. Alabama
2010/11:  Auburn vs. Oregon
2009/10: Texas vs. Alabama

In the weeks ahead, as you sit on the couch watching hours of football, remember Sporcle. We’re here to break the monotony of  stale holiday commercials, drawn-out delays for challenged plays, and defensive battles which leave you wanting some added excitement.