Top 10 Comic Strips


Comic strips — not to be confused with superhero comics like D.C. or Marvel — aim to serve a single purpose: to add a little enjoyment to your life. That’s it. If you crack a smile — mission accomplished. What’s great about comic strips is the accessibility; they’ve always appeared in the newspaper, beckoning your attention once you’ve finished reading through the drudgery and turmoil of politics, crime, war and poverty. The colorful cartoon antics are like a shining beacon of light at the end of a bleak tunnel.

Today we pay tribute to the finest comic strips to ever grace newspapers. And because I enjoy ranking things, here’s a list of my top 10 favorite strips. Agree to disagree. Continue reading

Format Frenzy: Quiz Edition


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Quiz time! For our next installment of Format Frenzy, I’m going to show you a few things we’re cookin’ up with quizzes. If you have yet to take an online quiz, such as Buzzfeed’s viral “Which ‘Game of Thrones’ Character Are You?” quiz, you’re missing out on a fun online phenomenon. Take a coffee break and click through one. You might find yourself becoming addicted to seeing that verdict pop up (we know we are), and millions of online readers feel the same way. Here’s a little sneak peek at what we’ve been working on to bring our Studio expertise to the quiz format.

What is a quiz?

It’s essentially a series of about 8-10 questions to test a user’s knowledge in a lighthearted yet informative way. Quizzes offer readers an entertaining snapshot of a specific topic while testing their knowledge.  A great quiz should be a fun, engaging experience allowing readers to feel validated and possibly gain some personal insight. The insight should act as a springboard for social conversations and further exploration.

How are we using quizzes?

Right now we’re still testing the waters in sections that are visually driven, like travel and home decor, and we hope to make this format a part of many more sections. Stay tuned.

What makes a great quiz?

The results! You know you’ve got a great quiz when the reader wants to share the results on social media (maybe because they did well or were surprised by the outcome). A great quiz usually comes from a writer/editor who really knows the topic and lets the reader know how they measure up. A reader should also walk away from a great quiz with a few “aha” facts they may not have known before.

What will a quiz look like?

Well, that’s still in development, but here’s a mock up of a travel quiz. It’s going to be a super visual and interactive experience for the user, so we’re very excited about them becoming live soon. For now, feast your eyes on these:
usat quiz stagingQuiz question

(Note: If you answered “Maintain core body temp” on this sample question, give yourself a pat on the back camper!)

Ok, now it’s our turn. Post your questions about quizzes below (I hope we pass).