The Social Media Quotient (SMQ) Quiz has been one of the most popular Social Media in Organizations (SMinOrgs) resources. Now almost two years old, it needs to be updated. This post provides an overview of recent changes and solicits feedback on the revised quiz. All input is welcome!
Almost two years ago, I created a “fast and fun” SMQ Quiz to capture people’s social media sophistication. I referred to the quiz when I started developing the SMinOrgs Social Media Primer, and after receiving a request for more information I decided to share it with others as well.
Click here if you’d like to see the original SMQ Quiz on SlideShare
Scroll down or click here to access the revised SMQ Quiz on SlideShare
The SMQ Quiz has turned out to be fairly popular. Thousands of people have read about it on the SMinOrgs S.M.A.R.T. Blog and SlideShare, and hundreds of people of have downloaded it for their own use. Nicholas Lamphere of Harvard University references it in his own very popular presentations/workshops (e.g., this one), which has driven other folks to write about it as well.
As I discuss in Part 1a of the Social Media Primer, the SMQ Quiz was never intended to be a scientific measure, but it can still be a valuable tool. Based on my own experiences and feedback I’ve received from others, there are a number of ways in which it can be used:
- As an ice breaker for presentations and training sessions on social media (the original intent).
- To jump-start conversations about social media sites/tools and their value/usage.
- To guide the development of social media presentations/courses, by providing the quiz in advance and using the results to identify preliminary knowledge/engagement.
- As a way of assessing individual sophistication, in conjunction with training and college courses, or in terms of measuring readiness for organizational initiatives.
- As a preliminary means of testing and screening self-proclaimed social media experts (though be careful of legal risks if used as part of the employee hiring process).
Earlier this year I became increasingly aware of how out of date the SMQ Quiz was becoming – almost to the point of being useless. Since people still download it regularly, I thought I should replace the original with a version that not only incorporates newer social media sites and tools, but also corrects some of the recognized weaknesses in the first version (e.g., duplication of specific types of tools) and provides a more comprehensive sampling of diverse tools (as addressed in the update to Part 2 of the Social Media Primer). I also wanted to enhance its ability to provide a more objective assessment of people’s knowledge and usage. In these still-early days of the 2.0 Era, many people often over-estimate their sophistication because they “don’t know what they don’t know.” Given recent discussions about the existence of “social media experts” (which I address in this post), it’s more important than ever to create effective ways to gauge expertise.
Updating the SMQ Quiz
My original intent was to update the list of social media sites/tools, but once I got started I realized I could also improve the overall versatility and quality of the quiz without (I hope) making it too complex and/or burdensome.
Scroll down or click here to access the revised SMQ Quiz on SlideShare
Click here if you’d like to see the original SMQ Quiz and compare it to the revised version
My thoughts for deciding what sites/tools to include in the revised version were basically as follows:
- I wanted to stick with sites/tools that meet the definition of social media I provide in Part 1 of the Social Media Primer (updated here), which highlights:
- The ability for individuals to be content producers, not just consumers
- The promotion of social interaction via dialogues rather than monologues
- Easy accessibility and the potential for widespread dissemination of content
- I excluded sites/tools individuals would use primarily/exclusively as part of their membership in groups/organizations (e.g., Chatter, Yammer, SharePoint, Huddle).
- Because they are less well known, I excluded Q&A/expert-based sites like Quora and Focus.
- Due to space constraints and because they are likely to be known only by people who are fairly sophisticated, I didn’t include news/blog aggregator sites like Technorati, Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, Mashable, and Techcrunch. I’m still on the fence about this decision…
- Although knowing “who’s in the know” is an important aspect of social media sophistication, there was no easy way to include social media thought leaders (e.g., Brian Solis, Jeremiah Owyang, Rachel Happe) given how the quiz is structured. This level of knowledge is probably also limited to more sophisticated users and can easily be assessed through other means.
A few more comments on selected sites/tools:
- I tried to identify those that were the most well-known and/or biggest to represent a specific category (e.g., LinkedIn for professional networking rather than Plaxo; YouTube rather than Vimeo).
- To allow for the fact that people don’t necessarily use the biggest/most popular sites, I modified the usage questions to reflect the use of similar sites/tools (e.g., Google Plus as well as Facebook, Picasa as well as Flickr, Blogger as well as WordPress).
- Although unintentional, the selected sites may still reflect a US bias.
I added a column for row totals and added details about how to interpret both row and column totals. And since the total score is now 100, I came up with new break points for the results, as well as a new category. The scoring categories may be the weakest aspect of the revision, since they weren’t based on any direct data.
I welcome any and all feedback on the revised SMQ Quiz. Though folks can simply review/comment on it, ideally I’d love for people to actually take the quiz before sharing their thoughts about
- The instructions and scoring details
- How clear are the quiz and scoring instructions?
- Do the scoring ranges/labels make sense? Did your score match your sense of your own sophistication? Why or why not? What changes would you suggest?
- The selected sites/tools
- Do you think there’s a better icon to represent a specific category of site/tool (e.g., StumbleUpon or Reddit rather than Digg?)
- What strikes you as missing (see thoughts in previous section)?
- Do any sites/tools seem too arcane/rarely used to include?
- What sites, if any, have such a strong US bias that they limit the global value of the quiz?
- Validity and application
- What limitations do you see in terms of validity and reliability? How can the quiz be improved as a (quasi-)scientific measure?
- What other applications can you see for the quiz?
Please feel free to share this post/the quiz with others and solicit their feedback as well. Since to my knowledge there’s still no commonly-used way to create a preliminary assessment of social media sophistication, this quiz could prove quite valuable, so improving its quality is important. As I noted above, it’s not intended to be a perfectly scientific measure, but that doesn’t mean its validity and reliability shouldn’t be established. If anyone would like to work on research to test and improve the measure, please let me know.
Please provide your feedback in the blog post comments or send them to me privately via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once I’ve given folks enough time to provide feedback, I’ll refine the quiz and instructions, update the answer key , and share the final documents via SlideShare. If you want to be notified when the changes have been made, please join one of the SMinOrgs platforms, add yourself to the mailing list, and/or subscribe to the blog.
Thanks in advance for your help!
- Courtney Shelton Hunt, PhD