Summary of Chat with Sploofus Founder Justin Morton

February 14, 2005 · 0 comments

I’d like to thank Justin Morton, the founder and president of Sploofus Trivia Systems, for his time and graciousness in speaking with us last night in chat! He answered a lot of questions about his program and gave us some great tips about things coming up in the future! If you weren’t able to make it and would like the recap, read on!

Justin said that he was pleased at Sploofus’ growth, with the site recently signing up its 3000th member. He primarily advertises through Google AdWords (90% of his traffic comes from there). He said that they are working this month to get a third server to address some of the occasional sluggishness on the site. They are also working on an emulation account for dial-up users to compensate for network latency and help level the playing field for everyone, regardless of the users’ connection speed.
This month, the site will also be introducing two new games, NumberRounds and MusicRounds. NR will be a series of addition/subtraction/multiplicaton/division problems. MR will actually play a 10-second audio clip, from a variety of musical genres, and you’ll be asked to identify the song title or artist. MR will NOT be a timed game. These games will be available to all members.
The Sports Edition of Sploofus is scheduled to go live in April.
Currently only the top three monthly leaders receive prizes, from This is expected to change as their business model and user base evolve. Soon, users will be allowed to use their Jackpot (total) points to buy lottery tickets for a bi-monthly drawing.
Justin stressed the importance of understanding how the points system works: Wager tokens (received when you get 10 daily questions correct and you advance a level) are the key to increasing your Jackpot (total) points. Jackpot points are the key to maximizing your Showdown points potential. And Showdown points (along with writing and taking quizzes) are key in maximizing your Monthly points.
We talked a great deal about Gold memberships. Justin said that his initial plan was for Gold memberships to go to $34.95 on March 1. He settled on $19.95 effective Feb. 5. Although he had stated before that Gold prices would go up, he has now capped the Gold rate at $19.95 and says he will not increase the price for at least 12 months. Currently about 10% of his membership has already upgraded. Justin said that in addition to Paypal (since some users do not have it) he also accepts payments by “snail-mail”, to: FOURFRONT INC — BOX 3083 — ADRIAN, MI — 49221. He said he currently receives about 1 in 20 upgrades by mail.
Justin had said in his Feb. newsletter that only Gold members would be allowed to author quizzes. He says this is because Gold upgrades are really needed to pay for the site’s ongoing operating expenses (primarily the servers). He needed to find something that would give value to a Gold membership, an enticement for users to upgrade. He has CHANGED his decision on this and has decided that EVERYONE can continue to author quizzes, but there will be some limits for free members (a certain number per day or per week). Another advantage to setting quiz limits is that it would hopefully increase the quality of quizzes users DO submit.
In another initiative to increase quiz quality, Justin says that the quiz rating system will be in effect soon. Each player will have a “rating factor”, which is the average rating of all of their quizzes combined. The higher that value, the more points that player gets each time someone takes one of their quizzes.
Justin said that he hoped that the new interstitial ads (Pogo-type ads in between games) had not been too annoying. Gold members do not see these ads. He said these new ads brought into the site enough money to fund the Amazon GCs given to the top 3 monthly scorers last month.
Those are the highlights! Justin stayed with us for just over an hour and was very nice and very patient with our questions and comments. A huge THANK YOU to Justin Morton for his time and helpful information, and also big THANKS to the many members who came by for all or a portion of the chat! Wonderful turnout; great chat!

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