May 07, 2005

3-Line Quiz Popularity

Today I got a record number of page views, which is still small compared to almost any big-name blog, based largely on traffic from Brazilians taking the 3-Line Quiz. The Google translations are difficult and my knowledge of Portuguese is next to nil (having a weak background in Spanish, apparently, is not very helpful to reading Portuguese). I'm not sure quite what my Portuguese colleagues thought of the quiz exactly, but I thank them for the link.

I should stress two things, in case a few of the test-takers read the blog. First, the concepts are not strictly adherent to their vernacular terms. I use them only to indicated your position on a single bi-polar line. This means that fascist is on one line and communist on another and that it's technically possible to get both scores for one person. Second, I don't promise portability of the concepts. I'm not certain that each continuum is relevant or illustrative of politics outside the US and Europe, and though I suspect it would work pretty well in Latin America, it might be less effective.

of course, beyond the concepts, the questions will NOT be perfect. Capitalism in the US is far less controversial here than other places, and I might have over-compensated. I genuinely tried to make the test inclusive, so that vitriolic racists, dictators and marxists could take the same test as normal humans and all could expect reasonably accurate results. I don't promise I've come close to achieving that, but I did bear that heavily in mind.

The normal political test is weighted to measure normal political beliefs. Getting someone with truly abnormal beliefs can throw them off severely, and otherwise they weight people excessively downward in most cases. After all, one might score 0 out of 0 on the LP's quiz but still have ultimately reasonable beliefs about democracy, markets and rights. You're no libertarian and a pretty crummy capitalist, but there's a flaw in a test (perhaps an acceptable one) when a decent, if nosy and interventionist-minded, person can get the same score as a Hitler or Stalin. We don't need to judge all quizzes based on whether they apply outside of mainstream politics, but I think it's a valid metric.

Anyway, my apologies to my Hispanic quiz-takers if the language was awkward, the questions irrelevant or the quiz unrevealing. My only consolation to offer you is that a lot of Americans I've known think my quizzes are a little weird, too.

On the upodate side of things, I'll be sprucing the quiz up further. Anyone who took the early version knows it's changed - notably in the results page, which never existed before. I plan on adding a report function, since the rookie site-building program I use has a simple interface to make a comments feature. If I get, say, fifty or so results I'll make a chart and post them. I'm not fancy enough to know how to make it automatically collect that data, nor am I tech-savvy enough to know how to make individual results appear on a graph after you take the test.

Beyond that, I might a) add questions to the quiz, b) create long and short versions of the quiz, c) throw it all into a single quiz to avoid clicking over to multiple pages. I am also considering examples to meet each of the categories, but that could be most trying to find ever combination. But order of business number one is adding a report function, which will be up in the next few days, if not tonight.

For those wanting to take a political ID quiz, I have several political quiz links on the left under the Quizzes heading. The 3-Line Quiz is also available at the top of the left bar in the NL main menu.

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