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IU enters top 10 colleges using Sporcle


By Stephanie Watson



Seniors Eli T. Drumm, Chris Cashel-Cordo and Josh Hall said they have a Sporcle “fetish.”

The website www.sporcle.com is an online self-quizzing site that contains quizzes covering almost every topic imaginable.  

Drumm, Cashel-Cordo and Hall said they use Sporcle both individually and collaboratively.

The trio doesn’t compete but rather works together to solve quizzes.

Cashel-Cordo and Hall said they have both generated about 10 quizzes each, and they are each other’s harshest critics.

“The best quizzes to me aren’t the ones with the highest ratings but the ones that have like threes because people get angry when they can’t get them all right,” Hall said.

In the past year, IU’s site usage ranking jumped from No. 39 to No. 9 compared to other college campuses.

“We want to be involved in the college life. There’s a lot of traffic and energy from college that helps shape the site,” said Derek Pharr, Sporcle’s vice-president of products.

Pharr said when Sporcle first started, usage was all over the map, but in the last 18 months to two years, Sporcle has taken off on college campuses.

However, Pharr maintains that Sporcle is a resource that every demographic can enjoy.

As a dad, Pharr plays Sporcle with his kids and said it is a resource teachers use in the classroom. It is also a way for people who have been out of school for a long time to stay sharp.

“We try every day to create trivial diversions, with educational quizzes and study guides on the other side of the spectrum,” Pharr said.

“There are plenty of sites out there where you can not challenge yourself and not think. Our foremost function is to create a crossroads of social gaming, social interaction and education, and our mandate is to provide game-engaging fun over and over again.”  
Sporcle was created by Matt Ramme, a Carnegie Mellon alumnus who wanted a tool to help him get better at “Jeopardy” and crossword puzzles.

Ramme couldn’t find an existing website that satisfied his needs, so he created his own.

Sporcle has grown to a resource that contains more than 4,000 Sporcle-approved quizzes and more than 129,000 user-generated quizzes.

Another way the Sporcle team is trying to increase user interaction with the site is through the new Sporcle iPhone app, which came out in January.

The app, which costs $1.99, allows users to access new quizzes from their phones every day. There is also a free version of the app, “Sporcle Lite,” which gives users access to a limited number of quizzes.

Hall and Drumm sometimes brainstorm about other ways Sporcle can continue to evolve. Both said they would like to see more video and audio clips implemented.

Even as the website continues to expand across platforms, it continues to serve the purpose that Ramme intended — to bring together education and entertainment.

“It’s a big educational party, and we want everyone to come in and hang out,” Pharr said.

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