Hogan's Alley

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Online Jeopardy Contestant Quiz Bombs

I waited impatiently for the online 50-question test the folks at Jeopardy relentlessly flogged on the air and via the internet only to be disappointed. As suggested I pre-registered and signed on tonight at about ten minutes to eight, the prescribed time for those of us in the Eastern Time Zone.

The website opened a pop-up window with a countdown clock which played the famous Final Jeopardy theme for the last ten seconds. Then the window changed to a small TV screen with the words "Test Loading", a place to enter one's answers and buttons to "Skip Question" and "Submit Answer". And there its sat, endlessly. Initially I calculated that they had so many test takers logged in that it would take a while to feed the test to each computer, but after a half hour I finally realized that it would be counterproductive for Jeopardy to allow some to take the ten minute test at 8:03 and others to take the same test a half hour or even a full hour later. Information on the test and its answers would have flown all over the net by then.

I am curious to see if the problem only happened to a few of us or whether it was widespread. If it was the fault of the producers to provide sufficient bandwith and computer power to accommodate the volume, will they admit it publicly? Hopefully those of us on the blogosphere will publicize the non-event so that its full scope becomes apparent.