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 has been updated to more accurately reflect the universe of social media sites and tools and to better capture people’s knowledge and experience. This post provides an overview and a link to the latest version of the quiz on SlideShare. Although the quiz is considered “final,” feedback is still welome!
Over two years ago, I created a “fast and fun” SMQ (Social Media Quotient) Quiz to capture people’s social media sophistication. The quiz has been a great addition to my presentations and workshops, both as an ice-breaker and to illustrate particular points (e.g., the social media universe extends well beyond LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook).
In early 2010 I decided to share the SMQ Quiz in cyberspace, and it has turned out to be fairly popular. Thousands of people have read about the initial version of the quiz on the SMinOrgs S.M.A.R.T. Blog, thousands more have viewed it on SlideShare, and hundreds 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.
This summer I updated the quiz to more accurately reflect the social media universe and to better capture people’s knowledge and experience. I wanted to incorporate newer social media sites and tools and correct some of the recognized weaknesses in the first version (e.g., duplication of specific types of tools), in addition to providing a more comprehensive sample of social media sites and tools. I also wanted to make the quiz less “platform specific” by modifying the usage questions to allow for the use of similar sites/tools (e.g., Google Plus as well as Facebook, Picasa as well as Flickr, Blogger as well as WordPress).Finally, I added more scoring and evaluation features.
I published a draft version of the revised SMQ in July, detailing my process and requesting feedback in this post. In the past few months the new version of the quiz has been viewed almost as much as the original version, which I view as an indication of the need/desire for a way to capture social media sophistication in more objective terms.
Testing and Finalizing the Revised SMQ Quiz
Although the revised SMQ has been fairly popular on SlideShare, I never received any responses to my request for feedback. I have, however, been able to test the new version of the quiz myself by using it in my own presentations.
Since I typically present to social media novices and initiates, it usually only takes them a few minutes to complete the quiz. Once everyone’s ready I ask them for a show of hands for each category and then narrow it down to the highest scorer, who wins a small prize. We then walk through the quiz as a large group, identifying the answers together. This process is somewhat time consuming (maybe 10 minutes?), but it’s worthwhile for a number of reasons:
- The first pass through the quiz highlights what they don’t know and reinforces how big the social media universe is. Even when they “cheat,” their scores are pretty low.
- The second pass highlights that they know more than they think they do. Once we start talking, the light bulbs go off and they start to realize they they’re much more aware of and actively engaged with social media than they thought. When we talk about Flickr, for example, they can easily identify other photo sharing sites.
- The second pass is also instructional in a very concrete way, because it teaches them about new sites and tools they weren’t previously aware of. Social bookmarking platforms, for example, are still relatively unknown, as are aggregator sites like HootSuite and NetVibes.
Although it’s not as “fast” as the original version, the update is still “fun,” and it’s been well received by the groups with which I’ve used it. That’s not to say it didn’t need to be tweaked, however. Specifically, I changed a few of the icons to minimize some of the confusion they created. The AddThis and NetVibes icons were too similar, for example, and the Blog Talk Radio icon was too generic.
Scroll down or click here to access the final SMQ Quiz on SlideShare
Using the SMQ Quiz
In addition to being included in presentations and workshops as detailed above, the SMQ Quiz can also be used:
- 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).
To obtain a copy of the answer key, please message
Feedback Still Welcome
Although the SMQ Quiz II is now “final,” it will undoubtedly be revised again in the not-too-distant future. Given that, I continue to welcome any and all feedback on the following (I’ve bolded the areas I’m most interested in):
- 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? What other platforms/tools would you recommend? Should the quiz include news sites like Mashable and Social Media Today? How about bloggers like Brian Solis, Jeremiah Owyang, and Rachel Happe (which would be hard to represent iconically)?
- Do any sites/tools seem too arcane/rarely used to include?
- What sites/tools, 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. Although it’s not intended to be a perfectly scientific measure, that doesn’t mean its validity and reliability shouldn’t be established.
You can provide your feedback in the blog post comments or send them to me privately via SMQ@sminorgs.net.
- Courtney Shelton Hunt, PhD
- SMinOrgs Social Media Primer
- Social Media Primer (Part 1a): What is Your SMQ (Social Media Quotient)?
- What’s Your SMQ (Social Media Quotient)? Updating the Quiz