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Sun 2 Nov 08 #1 
Bright But Idle
Fact Daddy


Right then, how about this as a nebulous idea.

Each topic should have a couple of ratings, obscurity and difficulty.

Both on a scale of say 1 to 5, 1 being easiest/least obscure, 5 being Dewy Decimal and Morse Code.

Then when you start a random/themed brainoff you could choose the level. Equally there could be a 5/5 daily for the masochists.

There's probably enough topics now to support it.

Any thoughts?


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Mon 3 Nov 08 #2 
Sammi
Contributor

I think that sounds good, but who judges hardness/obscurity? I mean there are a lot of ones that are pretty obscure to me, but then I'm a 17 year old girl from the US, you know? Might not be hard/obscure to the 50 year old in the UK, and vice versa.

A 5/5-uber-hard-masochists' daily sounds horribly fun though....


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #3 
wabzy

I think it is a clever idea, BBI. How would you determine which ones are difficult and obscure, though? Each of us has such differnet knowledge and it may be tough to decide. Why not try it out a bit using me and a few others as an experiment. Leave Stu out because he is too well rounded, even though he looks like a patched up vermin of sorts lately. LOL Seriously, I don't know these modern movies but Sammi may know everyone of them. Do you? Same thing with any topic.

I think there are some topics which should be yanked with no regrets given! What do you think?


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #4 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Try what out though wabzy?

You've got who sorted out (not me) but what? How do you figure it would work?


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #5 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Obviously, anything like this has to be worked out automatically because it's too subjective otherwise.

I'd suggest that you could come up with a percentage score for each subject based on the proprtion of questions in that topic which were answered correctly. Judging by the profiles, which point out a fact that each user knew and a fact they got wrong, the information for that might be there.

If the system worked properly then something like Multiplication - which is pretty simple unless people are in too much of a rush - would have a score of around 95-99. A topic like Dewey Decimal, on the other hand, which is more a matter of guesswork - would probably end up with a score around 25-35.

Whether that system is actually possible with the data that's collected and whether the idea would pique the Count's interest enough for it to get done is beyond my pay grade.


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #6 
wabzy

Hey, Stu. I am sure your methods whould be correct. Remember this is BBI's idea, not mine. Right now I am very curious as to what your avatar is and what does it represent?


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #7 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Yeah - I know it was BBI's idea.

I was just wondering where you were going with the "try it out a bit using me and a few others". I wasn't quite sure what you were suggesting be tried out.

As for my methods - I'm not even sure they'd be correct so you've got more faith than I have! :)


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #8 
wabzy

Stu, I don't know and I really don't care either way. I like BBI and if he wants to try something out I will be a guinea pig inhis experiment. That's really all I said. I suggested leaving you out because you are too smart! Now will you tell me what that raggy looking avatar is? I have all sorts of things going on at ho,e , Stu. I can't get my mind filled with silly stuff. If BBi amd you want meto play in some stuff i will be happy to. That;'s all. I am too tired and stree=ssed to even think straight half the time.

You are clever, and i thought maybe BBI could turn to you for advise. If you don't want to then don't! How utterly simple!


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #9 
kevg
The Grumpinator

You surprise me Wabzy, never seen a man with the stuffing knocked out of him ???? I realise Yanks don't do humour but I thought it was quite good. I am now going to hide before I get the stufing knocked out of me !!!


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #10 
wabzy

Yanks don't do humour? Hahahaha! Good one, kevg! Love it!


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #11 
Bright But Idle
Fact Daddy

What I was thinking of, was indeed subjective and arbitrary, but if that's opened up to peer review then I think it can work. It causes disquiet, but the same approach appears to be broadly applied to the list of topics available for random/themed brainoffs and that works itself out in the end.

What I was trying to get back to was a possibility of choosing a general knowledge quiz vs an obscure trivia quiz, with possibly a few flavours in between.

One of the reasons here is that I think there's a chance as the topics in the randoms get more esoteric that it will put off new people.

I suppose it all boils down the what the ethos of the site is. Is it general knowledge, is it trivia, is it obscure trivia or is it all of those.


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #12 
Bright But Idle
Fact Daddy

Sorry Wabz, thanks for the offer, but as Stu says it could only work if the server side of things were there.


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #13 
Bright But Idle
Fact Daddy

Of the two suggestions I made then difficulty is probably the easiest to manage (is that irony?), certainly at the two ends of the spectrum.

Now I know there are difficult questions in easy topics and that there are easy questions in difficult topics, but on the whole it wouldn't be hard to come up with well over 20 topics that would be classed as general knowledge.

To the hardened members they're not going to be exciting, but to some of the newer members that may be a first chance to catch the bug and get their name on the daily winners list.


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #14 
Sammi
Contributor

What if during the subject dailies, at the end, you could rate the brainoff on obscurity? Like when you rate a song or something from one to 5 you could say 5 is "Ive never even heard of this before" (morse Code, Dewey, Singapore Train Stops)and 3 is like "Challenging but I've at least heard of it" (Awards and things liek that that people may not have memorized but are generally aware of and could probably guess on) and 1 would be "That was so easy my pet squirrel could have done it blindfolded and with a broken arm"

Keep track of the scores for each (maybe you could put the rater into the factopedia as well) and take the average and that'll be it's score.

Just a suggestion. Thatw ay its not just a group of people you pick, you know?


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #15 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

As the topics in randoms get more esoteric?

Well, we try to avoid that. If topics aren't what we consider to be general knowledge, they're excluded from randoms. That's already in place at the moment.

So, there shouldn't be anything too obscure in randoms as it is. Obviously, this process is subjective (although we try to get a concensus) so there may be some random eligible topics which some people think are too esoteric or some topics which are currently excluded which people would be happy to see included.

Hopefully, as a result, there shouldn't be anything in randoms that'd put people off. Nobody is going to wander onto the site, take a daily brainoff and get faced with Morse and Dewey, for example.

Sammi - your voting suggestion isn't bad and that kind of system is used on other sites to rate quizzes - forquality rather than difficulty. The difficult is that it's not unthinkable that people might deliberately skew the results for such a system in order to artificially promote or sink a topic. Got a pet hate? Well, create a series of alternative accounts and vote it into the obscure bucket...

Would that be likely to happen? Well, there are people who've used duplicate accounts on here for various nefarious purposes already so perhaps it's not a huge stretch of the imagination.

How's your pet squirrel doing by the way? Healing ok?


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Tue 4 Nov 08 #16 
Bright But Idle
Fact Daddy

I'm talking shades of grey here though not black and white.

As regards the random topics, I don't think I have access to the list of topics available, but I'll pick on "Edible nuts & seeds" in terms of general knowledge. It's a small topic, but it's essentially Latin names of plants, which I think would be a stretch to call general knowledge. I'm fine enough with the topic myself as it's come up enough during my time on the site, but that doesn't apply to a newcomer. I'm not sure about a full random, but Aztec gods comes up within Hist/Myth brainoffs and I can't imagine many people knew more than a single god's name before they tried this topic for the first time.

I'm not, though, having a go at the random topics, random barinoffs are my first love and this is most definitely not some form of sour grapes about topics (score was a little down in the last Decathlon but position was in the usual neck of the woods). What I was trying to say in the earlier post was that the subjective process of choosing the topics for random brainoffs works, so why couldn't it for the difficulty of subjects?

I'm just trying to see the site from an outsiders viewpoint and all I'm saying is that I'm of the belief that having a difficulty rating against the topics would be a useful enhancement, and allow the tailoring of the difficulty of a given brainoff.


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Wed 5 Nov 08 #17 
wabzy

Huh? Just kidding , of course. Makes sense. Nothing wrong with a little gradation to keep the kindergarten inspired. Good idea, BBI. I would like to keep a bit of challenge in the easier rated topics so people can progress, of course. All in all , I think we should try it out.


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