Communicating with quiz makers
As a curator, one of your most important tasks is to stay in communication with quiz makers. After all, many quiz makers, especially new ones, crave feedback for their quizzes. So, how should you communicate with these folks?
As a curator, you have three options:
- Commenting directly on the quiz.
- Reaching out to a contributor via messaging.
- Contacting the quiz maker via email.
All three of these methods have advantages and disadvantages and can be used for different purposes.
For this edition of Curator’s Corner, we’ll focus on commenting directly on a quiz. In the next edition, we’ll talk about messaging and contacting quiz makers via email.
What is the advantage commenting directly on a quiz?
The main advantage to commenting directly on a quiz is that anyone can see it. This means that one comment can be helpful to multiple quiz makers, especially those that are new to quiz making. In other words, newbie quiz makers can improve more quickly by seeing the mistakes other quiz makers have made.
Pro tips for commenting in quizzes
While the advantage to commenting directly on quizzes is that everyone can see them, the disadvantage is that everyone can see them. If you’re not careful, this can create a situation in which the quiz maker becomes offended or irritated. The key to making sure that a quiz comment is well received, unsurprisingly, is being thoughtful about how you choose to communicate.
1. Remember to whom you’re commenting – The advice you’d give a quiz making neophyte is probably going to be different than the feedback you’d give a veteran. Like all beginners, new quiz makers are still trying to learn the ropes, so make sure that you recognize that they are new. Also, if you’re commenting on a beginner’s quiz, identify yourself as a curator. This way, they will be clear about your role and understand that you’re trying to provide constructive criticism about the quiz.
2. Always stay positive – Try to remain as positive as possible. Most quiz makers want to improve, so they welcome constructive criticism, but they also want to feel supported.
3. Praise sandwich – Make a mental catalog of the things that quiz maker has done well and things you would like for them to improve. First, praise one of the things you think they did well. Next, point out something you would like them to improve upon. After pointing that out, move back to something else more positive; you can reiterate the first thing you pointed out or pick something new. In other words, sandwich the criticism into between two praises. Here’s an example of the praise sandwich:
Hi @newbiequizmaker. I’m Sporcle’s Curator for the Biology subcategory. Overall, I really liked your quiz; I thought it was thorough, and the difficulty was just right. I did want to point out, however, that by using the “style” tab you could add some color blends to the text and the background. This way, you can really enhance the look of this and future quizzes. Again, you’re off to a great start. Keep up the good work!
4. Don’t point out every single problem with the quiz – Chances are that if a quiz maker has one problem in a quiz, they very well may have others. While it may be tempting, don’t point out every single problem with every quiz. This will overwhelm and discourage the quiz maker. Start with the problems that are most obvious and most easily fixed.
5. Be as specific as possible – While specificity is always a good thing, it is especially important if you are are making a public comment. It doesn’t do anyone any good to leave a vague, cryptic comment.
6. Don’t allude to the possibility of a CP – Although it may be tempting, don’t mention anything about the quiz potentially getting a CP. This can be difficult when you come across a great quiz that would be a CP if not for some issues. Basically, you don’t want to make promises that you can’t keep and risk creating animosity between you and the quiz maker.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your comments have the impact you desire: presumably, to improve the quizzes in your subcategory. The main thing to remember is to always be as positive as possible and encourage new quiz makers using useful, constructive criticism.
In the next addition of the Curator’s Corner, we’ll discuss why, when, and how to send direct messages and emails t0 quiz makers.
Matthew Groner is a Staff Writer for Sporcle. He enjoys foraging for gourmet mushrooms and calculating the odds of the Kansas City Chiefs winning a Super Bowl in his lifetime.