Related posts via a quiz

Many news sites display related content at the end of an article that’s often based on textual analysis or visitor traffic. Articles often assume a baseline of knowledge on a story, regardless of whether the visitor knows anything about the topic or not.

It would be neat if you could include a quiz widget within the article. The reader could take the quiz which would test their knowledge and then suggest content based on their responses. The news organization would collect useful demographic data to refine their editorial planning.

5 Comments

Stijn Debrouwere May 9, 2012 Reply

The trouble is that people who don’t know anything about a topic might not even get as far as clicking on the link that takes them to the story. And then if they do, going through a quiz might be frustrating if they have absolutely no knowledge on the topic.

I think we need to start with something more basic, just to get going: an “in a nutshell” link at the start of every complex story that lays out what came before in a couple of clear bullet points, and links to background information if you want it.

And then once we’ve tackled that, track read state so you know when people are jumping into the middle of a story and automatically show/hide those nutshells / refreshers depending on what the user read earlier (and how long ago that was.)

Also really a fan of the Voice of San Diego and California Watch’s “why you should care” and “what’s next” boxes alongside stories. Context is about more than just what came before, after all.

Just some thoughts.

albert May 10, 2012 Reply

At the Times we have a weekly health quiz http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/05/04/health/20120504_healthquiz.html with questions where the answers come from that week’s coverage. We’ve just started tracking and saving reader’s responses to these.

But how do you then classify stories into “this is for beginners” versus “this is for experts” so that we can recommend stories based on reader responses to our quizzes?

Daniel Bachhuber May 11, 2012 Reply

At the Times we have a weekly health quiz http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/05/04/health/20120504_healthquiz.html with questions where the answers come from that week’s coverage. We’ve just started tracking and saving reader’s responses to these.

Whoa, neat. You should blog about that a few months down the road — I’d be interested to hear how it goes.

But how do you then classify stories into “this is for beginners” versus “this is for experts” so that we can recommend stories based on reader responses to our quizzes?

Not sure of the most effect way at this point. Maybe crowdsourcing it? One of our clients has a neat row of buttons at the bottom of their articles:

I think TED has done a similar thing with their videos and it’s turned out well (and become a useful way of navigating through their content).

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