February 24, 2009

"Who Wants to be a Millionaire" ... traffic spike beneficiary

I noticed a big spike in traffic to my Al Gore "Internet" page recently, and was puzzled as to the cause. It turned out to have been from a WWTBAM question:

Roger used his final three lifelines to get to the $250,000. The question was "Al Gore’s famous and oft-ridiculed quote "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" was made in 1999 to what journalist? A: Barbara Walters, B: Larry King, C: Wolf Blitzer, D: Matt Lauer." Not knowing, he first used Ask the Expert, with Ashleigh Banfield of TruTV. She believed it was C but wasn’t too confident. Next he used Ask the Audience; they believed the answer was B. He finally used his Double Dip lifeline to select both answers. Roger first chose B, which was incorrect; after which he chose C which won him $250,000.

(note that was "to what journalist", not "used for a hatch job by what so-called "journalist"").

That was good for around 1,500 hits. Not a million, but all readers gratefully accepted. I didn't seem to get any links out of it though, at least not that I saw.

How do these shows with ask-the-audience or ask-a-friend aspects prevent the surreptitious use of search engines? It seems like there's a cheating scandal waiting to happen there.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in website | on February 24, 2009 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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The reason that the phone-a-friend isn't at risk from search engines etc is that it's not done in real time - the friend can't be watching what's being asked in the studio. So unless they're sitting ready at the keyboard when the calls comes, they're probably not going to be able to do it. And possibly if the studio producers heard the clicking of keys as they said "oh, um.." they'd stop taping and demand a different friend be used.

Handy thing, asynchronicity.

Posted by: Charles at February 25, 2009 09:40 AM

and ~20 seconds to google something is an awfully short time (I tried it on an online game :D)

Posted by: Luk at February 25, 2009 09:55 AM