Stories for question writers

wiki_logo.pngI've been getting into the habit of going past Wikipedia and going to the source and now I've got a concrete example of a difference in outcomes.

The example is countries with Muslim populations. Wikipedia is (currently) telling me that India has more Muslims than Pakistan (179 vs 178 million) but if I follow the source quoted by Wiki I get to the Pew Forum which gives the figures as 178m v 177m in favour of Pakistan.

It's the Pew Forum's research and not anyone can edit it. So I trust this over Wikipedia. Perhaps an Indian Muslim perhaps changed the figure on Wiki so that his country has more muslims than Pakistan.

As it happens, the answer to the question I'm writing is Indonesia, but I thought I'd make a note here as it would be an otherwise-hard-to-spot mistake on Wikipedia and Wikipedia must be stuffed full of these types of tiny innacuracies that can derail a quiz question from its holy target of THE TRUTH! is an Irish site, run by Cillian O'Ruanaidh. The site uses tag-based organisation for its questions and sells them in packages of 100 to those looking to put on a quiz.

Cillian was running the site pretty much on his own quiz-labour until recently but has now opened up the site so you can make money too, simply by supplying the site with good-quality quiz questions which can then be sold as part of Quizbag's quiz-packs.

At the time of writing, the deal is that you get paid a percentage of each quiz pack sold which is equal to the number of your questions that appear in that quiz, divided by two. So if a 100-question quiz selling for 20 Euros contains 9 of your questions, you'll get 90 cents.

If this sounds complicated, I can personally tell you it isn't. I've already signed up, submitted some questions and made money. Give it a shot. You may not make as much money as you would going out and doing quiz nights yourself, but there could be a few extra quid for you at the end of the month.

Sign up by going to

Here's a great tool for quiz question writers who want to look for Olympics info in a new way, a really nice interactive map from the New York Times


You can search through the years and get super fast stats on how various countries performed in various years. There is also a version for the Winter Olympics.

Here's a couple of things I found from the map that I didn't know already:

  • Despite being separate and even rival countries at the time, East Germany and West Germany fielded a unified team for the Summer Olympics in1956, 1960 and 1964.
  • Up to and including the 2010 Vancouver games,  the only Southern Hemisphere country to win Winter Olympic medals of any colour has been Australia.  THIS IS A MISTAKE - SEE COMMENTS BELOW.

I'm sure you can find plenty more.

Of course, Wikipedia has its own excellent resources (such as the all-time Olympic medal table) that offer more depth but this is a refreshingly visual tool to probe the Olympics and should serve as a jumping off point for a nice bit of question-writing.

I'm off to do a bit now to bolster the sports trivia pages.




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