Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Divided We Fall

Disease
Presently, I am running a new series of quizzes on Quiznet . But somehow, I don't seem to be getting the same number of replies (only 10-20) as I used to get (between 30-40) when I ran the original series in 2002-2003. I started to wonder: Have I lost my sting? Should I stop? But a few other old-timers were also complaining that they too were not getting many responses either. I decided to take a look around.

The cause?
I found that a major change from back then was that there were many more quizzing groups around, as was the recent spurt in the number of blogs. Taking into account the similarity in the nature of the quizzes in my two series, perhaps the lackadaisical response had something to do with the fact that I don't crosspost these quizzes, ie, post the same content in different groups.

A cursory examination of the quizzes receiving 30+ replies backed my hypothesis; those were being crossposted.

I believe there too many quiz groups right now. It is getting a bit difficult to keep track of and manage the content in our Inboxes, with the same content appearing on most of the quiz-groups. It also takes more effort to share the information/make announcements; we need to mark copies to all the quiz-groups.

Evils of the crosspost
I understand that the exponential explosion in the number of groups could be because each group has a philosophy of its own. Or does it? If yes, why does the same content appear in most of them? I feel that many are just egotistical pursuits. The duplication of content leads to -
a) Time wastage (Haven't I read this before?)
b) Unnecessary mail-traffic (read as spam; duplicates are as useless as spam)
This is why I don't crosspost.

The group-proliferation is not for the Greater Common Good; indeed, it did much harm. Take a look at the contrast between :-
(pre-blog/multigroup era)
2003 Quiznet Posts : J104 F123 M127 A130 M154 J113 J117 A114 S127 O117 N99 D72
(post-group explosion)
2005 Quiznet Posts : J64 F66 M69 A31 M55 J66 J52 A45 S70 O81 N80 D101

I am reminded of the days when the chess-world was split into the PCA & the FIDE camps. Lots of duplicated and wasted effort and confusion.
Too many cooks spoil the broth: too many groups spoil the fun:: 1:1. What do you think?
....Maybe a grand unified quiz group is the need of the hour?

History shows us the way to go.

5 comments:

  1. I just saw your email on Quiznet and came on here and saw your post as well. You are right. Too many groups, too many to follow! I have been on Quiznet since 1998-99 and I know for a fact that many quiznet members from pre-2002 are not around now. And I suspect that your reason is not too far from the mark.
    From having individual email delivery till about 2003, I have now enabled daily digests and half the time, I don't even read the emails.
    A grand unified quiz group, you ask. But wasn't Quiznet the ideal example of what you propose/want? I think the group is too big to moderate and it was logical that people tried to form new groups. First it was some business professionals who did a regular set of quizzes and then decided to form a group separately for business quizzes. Maybe we should just come to a consensus and end topical quizzes on Quiznet and that might just get it out of the rut.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nitir Sorah1/19/06, 9:51 AM

    At first thought, I believed that your mail definitely did not deserve a reply cause it would be a waste of my time but on second thoughts I decided that it would only be too right for me to share my thoughts on your cross posting thoughts.

    Thomas, I believe that quiz groups are definitely not 'egotistical pursuits' but each one has if you want to consider it a goal in its own creator's mind.
    I agree to the fact that quizzes being cross posted do result in a repition of the same quiz a couple of times, but look at the positive side; it is finally an avid quizzer who is gaining from the experience.

    I believe that the quest for new groups started only when standards at quiznet and Jigyasa were falling and perhaps even at their abyssmal level.

    What i want to conclude is that it is unjust to flare up at an issue this moderate. If you dont plan to cross post, dont; why do you want to kind of degrade quiz clubs and their moderators. I personally do think that the standard of quizzing has only improved in the last 9-12 months because of the increase in the number of groups.

    I hope you get my point.

    With regards
    Nitir

    P.S: I'm neither a founder nor moderator of any quiz group..

    ReplyDelete
  3. @nitir

    >unjust accusations
    I have explained my line of reasoning and from your mail, I believe you too agree with some of the points I made. I think what you object to, mainly, is the phrasing "egotistical pursuits". I am sorry for that. Maybe I should have clarified my "unjust accusations" further.

    >At first thought, I believed that your mail definitely did not deserve a reply cause it would be a waste of my time but on second thoughts I decided that it would >only be too right for me to share my thoughts on your cross posting thoughts.
    It's not a waste of time - definitely not. There is a problem actually and it needs to be discussed. People are not reading the quizzes- many enable daily digests to prevent email clutter as one of the respondents said....and don't read them. this beats the point i think.

    > I believe that the quest for new groups started only when standards at quiznet and Jigyasa were falling and perhaps even at their abyssmal level.
    I don't think so.
    Many just started as specialized groups - biz-quiz, regional groups etc - then wanted a larger audience as well - so start cross-posting.
    In fact, I believe the major reasons for many general-quiz breakaway groups were -
    a) slow moderation by the quiznet moderators - but i never found that any quiz conforming to the rules and worthy of being published was ever left out.
    b) differences of opinion with quiznet policy. obligatory questions and stuff like that.

    Differences of opinion must be sorted out in the interest of the Greater Common Good.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Thomas,

    Had read your mail long back, dint reply.
    Chanced upon it again today, thought i should reply...

    Not a reply, just an anecdote...

    I had posted Bizz Bhele Bhaath-5 on Quiznet and Quizkrieg...
    The questions on Quiznet were moderated a day before I was to provide my answers....

    This might just be the reason why ppl chose to separate from quiznet and form groups of their own.

    My review on the TAPMI QOTB hasnt been approved on Quiznet at all.

    This just forces me to stop posting on Quiznet!

    No specific points. Just my observation

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete