Sporcle Popularity Apparent at GU
Published: Friday, March 25, 2011
Updated: Friday, March 25, 2011 04:03
Georgetown students' avid Sporcling has landed the university a spot in the top 25 colleges that use the popular quiz website.
This week, Georgetown made it up to no. 22 in Sporcle's college rankings, and many students say getting their fix is a favorite pastime.
Cole MacKenzie (COL '14) spends an hour a day on average combing the website to get his "daily dose" of the available quizzes. Although he does not consider it to be an addiction, he does recognize that he is an avid "Sporcler."
"Anyone that hasn't been on Sporcle should really check it out," he said.
MacKenzie said that he primarily uses Sporcle to track his mental ability in an amusing way while taking study breaks over the course of the school day.
The website provides quick timed quizzes about a variety of subjects. Universities are ranked based on a logarithmic formula that takes into account the number of visits per user, number of games played, number of page views and average time spent on the site.
The Georgetown student body has yet to see their professors use Sporcle as an element in their curriculum.
However, Rachel Grocock (SFS '14), another frequent Sporcle user, said she believes that the website has academic benefits. It is particularly useful for the Map of the Modern World course, which requires all freshman students in the School of Foreign Service to memorize the location and capital of every country in the world.
"Occasionally I use the geography-specific section to study for Map of the Modern World," Grocock said.
The website was founded in 2007 by Matt Ramme, who was both hooked on trivia and unimpressed by existing trivia websites.
According to Sporcle Vice President of Products Derek Pharr, the site is unique in that it is a direct reflection of what its audience wants.
"A lot of what you see on Sporcle today is from feedback a day ago, a month ago or a year ago. It helps shape the direction the website takes," Pharr said. "We have a dedicated and excited team."
Undergraduates represent an important part of that audience, according to Pharr.
"Sporcle has a broad audience, but the college population is definitely a big part of the website," he said. "We hope it continues to be something we can tap into and extend upon."
The company, which has apps compatible with both iPhone and Android, recently added a March Madness quiz section, with a nod to many college students' fandom.
Sporcle is also looking into a way to organize their statistics so as to rank schools according to ability or speed in the future, which might change the composition of the top 25.