I'm really happy to introduce a new project that I've been working on for a while, which hopefully will be a lot of help to a lot of people. It's called Quizzard and it should change the way that many of us do pub quizzes.
Firstly, a little bit of explanation of my history with quizzes. Early in my first year of university, we found that near our accommodation was a student union with a regular Monday night quiz. This was the Pleasance Pub Quiz, supposedly one of the biggest weekly quizzes in Europe. We went to this every week, with varying team members, and it's how I got to know loads of my very close friends.
After two years, the quizmaster at Pleasance left and the university put out an open call for anybody to take over and, as a fan, I applied. Skip forward a year and a half and I'm still there, now writing the questions and working the desk at Pleasance with Innes, our other quizmaster.
This is where Quizzard comes in. Each week, me and Innes end up writing our halves of the quiz, emailing them back and forth and trying our best to end up with a cohesive set of questions to ask each Monday. This has never been a perfect solution and, as a web developer, I figured I should just make something to fill the gap.
As I started development I realised that others could probably benefit from the service and started to make a more coherent platform, and expand what it did.
As well as writing quizzes, I want Quizzard to be a great resource for quizmasters and quizlings (people who go to quizzes) alike. For quizmasters, I'm adding forums for us to discuss cool question ideas, hints and tips for running quizzes, and research sources. For quizlings, I'm adding public listings so that you can quickly find an event near you. I love pub quizzes and really want to help get people through the door.
The present and the future
Quizzard is currently in a testing mode, so it's locked down to just a few people at the moment. Soon we'll be adding more folk manually, and slowly expanding our user base.
In the long term, I want to let people sign-up fairly freely, but want to personally approve every account to ensure that users are real quizmasters. It may seem heavy handy, but I want to support the quiz community and so that's my focus. There's also the question of whether to charge for the service. I need to offset the cost of running Quizzard somehow, and I don't think adverts would be particularly suitable. Charging for use of the service seems like a reasonable solution, but at the moment I'm not focusing on that.
So keep an eye on Quizzard, and watch this blog for future updates. Also, why not leave a message below if you have questions or comments about its future? In particular, if you're a quizmaster who would be interested in helping test Quizzard, please get in touch!