The New York Times has a new Facebook application it launched today. It's called The New York Times Quiz, and as you'd expect, there's some question-asking going on here, and if you're not up on current events, you're likely to make a fool of yourself in front of all your Facebook buddies. The quiz is composed of five questions about yesterday's news. Each question has five answers, and it's up to you to pick the right one. While Google may be one click away, you're urged to figure things out on your own.
After submitting your guesses, you'll find out how you did instantly. Your results are judged in three separate sections. The first is your Times IQ, which is an aggregate rating of your performance on each quiz you take. You also get ranked to your friends, and in comparison of Facebook users as a whole. It would be nice to have your results compared to how others did in each of your networks, although this is something that could be added later on down the line if The New York Times feels like doing some extra coding.
Along with the results section, you get a link to each related story on The New York Times for every question. Ideally this would create a scenario where users go to check their wrong answers and fill in the blanks, although the application is kind enough to let you know what the right answer was either way. You also get a list of five stories to read up on for tomorrow's quiz, which gives you a heads up--and a chance to avoid being embarrassed again if you did badly.
The New York Times is doing two things right here. The first is making your results public. There's nothing worse than having your lack of knowledge shown off to everyone, and while you can tweak what gets published in the news feed, people can still see your scores in the results page. The second is getting you to come back and visit the site--specifically The New York Times--to get ready. Assuming you're willing to put in the time, your quiz score will always be 100 percent and you can rule your friends--except those who use Google News to figure out the answers.