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gyaan.in was shut down on 24th September 2013. Thanks to the entire community which made this journey so awesomeballs. Read more.
Sharing quiz archives
  • I'm starting this discussion over a debate started here on this very forum. It's about the sharing of quiz archives and why we should do it.
     
    A lot of people run quiz blog, quiz forums where they put up questions. But even then, a majority of those blogs remain dormant most of time and it's a handful which actually update frequently. If you see the list at quizblogs.com you'll see that it's just a select few which update daily or often. (The Quiz Blogs Mega RSS Feed makes it easier to stay updated without having to run around to too many sites or adding too many blogs individually to your feed reader.)
     
    When it comes to the question of quiz archives though, I often find that there is a lot of reluctance to publish these on the web. Maybe it's just that after conducting a big event you just feel like relaxing and then eventually forget to upload it (has happened to me too), but that's OK. Take your time to upload an archive if you want. What I'm talking about is the fact that when it comes to archives, many quizzers are reluctant to publish due to the following line of reasoning - "I have worked so hard to make this that I just don't want to give it away". I'm NOT pointing any fingers here, please don't take it that way. It's a commonly shared sentiment and I want to lay down the reasons as to why you should share.
     
    This reluctance to share is evident. I put up a lot of quiz archives on my blog (thanks to Prateek for many of those archives!) and I often get requests to put up archives for such and such quiz. I'm always ready to share what I have, but when I ask them that if they have attended any past editions of the quiz / a leg of the quiz in some other city and if they could share the archive for that, I get evasive answers.
     
    Look guys, nobody is telling you to create top-notch edited files. You can put up any and every kind of archive - even if it just a plaintext file! The idea is to give a basic feel of how the quiz is to others who are participating, not show off what features your word processor has. So the amount of work that goes into making an archive isn't that big an issue.
     
    About the 'hard work' arguement, I feel it doesn't hold much water because publishing your work is the best way to demonstrate that hard work. Everyone might not have been able to come to your quiz. When others see how good your quiz was, they'll appreciate. They'll give you feedback on what they liked or didn't like - which ultimately gives you a better idea about how to go about things when making your next quiz. Your quiz archive is not gold or a bottle of wine which will increase in value if you lock it away somewhere. When you publish something, people see that "Yes, this is a good event. The questions here are interesting. I should go for it." Unfortunately, not many seem to understand that.
     
    This is part of what the gyaan.in philosophy is about - promote a culture where everyone shares knowledge freely. When you read a quiz archives, you get to know more stuff and in some way that joy of getting to new things is what makes quizzing worthwhile. And given the number of requests we all see going around to put up more questions and archives, we all know that everyone wants to read these. However, just wishing for it is not going to make it happen. Be a part of the change. When you attend a quiz or come across a new archive, publish it. I'm not saying you have to do it at gyaan.in - do it anywhere you want. But do do it. Only when we all are much more relaxed about sharing will this increase. As more and more people publish material, we ALL get to know more stuff.
     
    I don't suggest that reading quiz archives before a quiz like a school textbook will help you. I have never done that myself. Quizzing is not a school exam with a prescribed syllabus. It's a fun journey involving learning new things. Another arguement put forward is that "If I publish an archive, then I won't be able to use these questions again" or "It will make our competition easier as people know what to expect". But why should we always see this in terms of a competition of beating the other guy? Why not see other competitors as fellow human beings with the same passion for trivia that you have? Would it really hurt if you go around at a quiz event and strike up a conversation with your competitors on stage or off stage? Would it hurt to be nice and congratulate all your competitors once a quiz is over?
     
    You, as a quizzer and a creator of a quiz you conduct, have the right to not publish what you created. But the question that I wanted to bring up is - do you really want to do that and is it really worth it?
     
    Have a look at this advertisment from IBM titled The Linux Child. (Some of you might remember this from my Code Wars 2008 archive.) It;s on a different topic, but these lines from the commercial sum up what I'm trying to say succintly:
    Collecting data is the first step towards wisdom, but sharing data is the first step towards community.
    Knowledge amplification - what he learns, we all learn; what he knows, we all benefit from.
  • I'd like to add to ankur's argument by saying, there's really no need to hide your archives. Even if you don't give them out, the archives will eventually reach the public- most of the people I know write down/make a note of questions anyway so instead of seeing a twisted/incorrect version of the quiz that you worked hard to create, you might as well upload it. Though for people uploading content not created by them, always give credits, the person worked hard to create it.
  • I'd like to add to Rhead's note, about people who take down questions. Yes, so a lot of people do that - but hardly any of them get released. Some of it might be just plain reluctance to type out the whole thing. I understand, and that's OK. You can put up scans if you don't want to type out again.
     
    But then, many others take down questions and don't release them with the intent of not releasing it. The slightly selfish line of thinking goes "Since I have this archive and my competitors are not, I have an advantage". Well, yes and no. No, you don't have an advantage because many others might have copied it down. Yes, you can pass on to your juniors knowledge of how the quiz is like and your 'competitors' can't - but then, why be so selfish and see an activity like quizzing as war. Quizzing is not war, as I keep stressing all the time.
     
    Also, yes, if you're writing down and release some else's archive please give due credit to them. It's as easy as mentioning a name (maybe even giving a link).
  • Arre You got me wrong , I'm not against sharing and stuff, just that Rishav is too much of a bug some times as we all know. The thing is Sateendra , one of my seniors helped me with the prelims and he was not aware of gyaan.in so he was kind of against putting it up on this site but once he saw the site he was pretty impressed, we just told Rishav to wait and being the duck he is he uploaded it the next day. Nothing against him and nothing against sharing of archives.
  • I'm completely for it and thank you Ankur and Karmanya for you comments, really appreciate it.
  • @darthjunjunthewise I'm strongly support the stand that people should seek permission before publishing IF they are taking 'official' archives like in your case. And I wanted to speak on this issue because it's MAJOR concern with most quizzers whether they should publish or not. Nothing personally about your case. :)
  • i completely agree wid u Ankur.ur thoughts r noble.can u host the nie fundamental quiz 09 archive on your blog so as 2 carry on its continuity on ur excellent blog....
  • Yup sure good idea , Ankur can maybe give a link to all the Quiz Archives we have done so far :-)
  • @prateekv: I've a break coming up in two weeks time, when I plan to put up a lot more stuff on gyaan.in - links to old archives, archives from that inter-DPS quiz I conducted, etc.
     
    @questforquiz: Sorry, I don't have them. :(
  • @ankur: its on gyaan.in and i can email u.
  • Actually, I was thinking more of publishing any future archives here and not on my blog. :)
  • My suggestion - make a new sticky thread which has all the archives posted on gyaan.in till date and update it regularly. This way it would be easier for people, particularly new members, to look for past archives of any quiz.
  • @Shreyans - Thats the best idea.
  • The category page for Quiz Archives already does that, doesn't it?
  • Yeah but for newer people, finding archives can be difficult, if not now, then maybe a year down the line. There's a search option too, but how many people actually bother to use it.
  • agreed...but whos gonna do it?
  • I will, once enough people, including Ankur, are satisfied with the suggestion.
  • @Shreyans: Oh sure, by all means, do make that post in case you feel people will find it useful.
  • @ankurb..hey i've been following ur site from past few days..not for any exclusive participation in quiz events bt just because i like 'quizzing'..!! i must that it was great to know your thoughts..and i cudn't stop my self for congratulating u and all guys behind the site..u r doing a good job..keep it up !!..and yes..it would be great if all the archives you have could be made available as compiled in a single thread..!!..
  • @thenatureboy
    the root just granted ur wish!!
  • ya and it feels so nice...being appreciated..i am sooo happy. :)