And we are officially back for 2021! Yes, we know… we’ve been a little quiet lately. Allow us to explain. We received record traffic for Crowdpurr in December 2020. On any given day we had thousands of trivia hosts running trivia games for tens of thousands of participants. The numbers were amazing, exciting, and… revealed a few flaws in the matrix.
This kind of prolonged intense traffic exposes design snags and bottlenecks to resolve. So for the last several weeks in January and February, we’ve been quietly at work improving Crowdpurr’s core processes to better handle even more traffic at scale. Things that you wouldn’t notice on the surface, but underneath are vastly improved.
While we were busy with the above, we picked as much low hanging fruit as we could. We bundled up your most common feedback and issues and rolled them up into this update that we’re calling Most Requested Tweaks!
You can now easily reorder your experiences on the My Experiences page. Simply drag and drop the handle on the left side of any experience to move it. This is great for moving your most important experiences to the top of your list and moving lower priority experiences out of the way without deleting them.
Easily Rename Experiences
You can now easily edit an experience’s title and description on the Experience Dashboard page. Just hover over the title and description and click to edit!
Bulk Question Delete
Finally… remove more than one question at a time! On the Summary tab of the Experience Dashboard you can now check multiple questions and then click the Bulk Actions → Remove Questions button to remove multiple questions in one fell swoop!
Question Pages Now Load Instantly
On the Experience Dashboard, Crowdpurr organizes questions into pages of ten. We received a lot of feedback about the loading delay when switching to a new page of questions.
We redesigned how questions are loaded under-the-hood and now switching between pages of questions loads instantly on both the Experience Dashboard and Projector View. There’s no additional load time whatsoever!
Remove Black Bar on YouTube Videos
Back in July we added YouTube videos to questions. Crowdpurr previously always added a black bar for the first few seconds on top of a question’s YouTube video. This blocks the YouTube video’s title so it doesn’t reveal the correct answer when playing trivia.
Many requests were received to remove the black bar so the YouTube video is not obscured. This can be useful in non-trivia use-cases like polls, education, corporate use, or when the YouTube video’s title does not reveal the correct answer.
Now, when adding a YouTube video to a question, we’ve added a switch called Obscure Title to enable or disable the black bar. Disabling this setting completely removes the black bar from both the Mobile View and Projector View.
Remove All Participants on Reset
Previously, when resetting an experience, any existing participants are not removed from Crowdpurr. All previous participants retain their account with any input lead capture (e.g. nickname, team, etc.) and are added back to your experience without needing to sign in again.
We’ve added a switch when resetting an experience that will now remove any and all participants that have previously joined that experience. This will force any and all participants to sign in again, thus going through your sign-in page when joining the experience. This is useful to force participants to sign in again and/or to test your sign-in process.
Friendlier Advanced Team Mode Options
We’ve added a new setting under the Advanced Team Mode options called Allow Previous Advanced Teams. This setting allows you to control if a player may join with a previously selected team not on the current list of Advanced Teams.
With Allow Previous Advanced Teams enabled, any player from any previously selected team can play in your Advanced Team trivia game without selecting a new team. This is useful when you’ve created a multi-round trivia game but only want to edit the first trivia game’s list of available Advanced Teams. Enabling this setting on the later trivia games allows you to only configure the list of Advanced Teams once and not worry about duplicating it for every future round.
With Allow Previous Advanced Teams disabled, you can force players with a previously selected Advanced Team not on your trivia game’s current list of Advanced Teams to join a new team. This is useful when you’ve made updates to your list of Advanced Teams for a new trivia game and you want to make sure all players join one of the Advanced Teams from the newly updated list. This prevents unwanted Advanced Teams in your trivia game.
Downloadable List of all Trivia Library Games
Many users have requested a downloadable printable PDF of all of our Trivia Library’s games organized by category. Ask and you shall receive! At the bottom of the Trivia Library’s categories list there is now a link to a living Google Sheet with all of our available trivia games organized by category. The Google Sheet will get updated every week with the newly added trivia games to the Trivia Library.
The Google Sheet is pre-formatted to print nicely or to save to PDF. You can even click to “Make a copy” in your own Google drive for your own editing. Feel free to use the list as a resource for your own clients to use to choose trivia games, complete with your branding and style.
Remember, 100% original, fact-checked, content-rich FREE trivia games on classic and trending topics get added every Monday by our amazing trivia team!
Fifteen Questions on Basic Plan
In 2021, we want to start offering even more functionality on our free Basic Plan for everyone to use. We’re starting with increasing the free Basic Plan’s Question Count to fifteen questions. So free Basic Plan users can now clone entire trivia games from the Trivia Library without being limited to only ten of the fifteen questions.
Easily Hide Experience Logo
Some of our premium users simply want to remove the Crowdpurr logo versus uploading their own. Previously this required uploading a transparent PNG file as a work-around.
Now you can simply enable the Hide Logo switch next to the Custom Logo upload area. This quickly and easily hides the Crowdpurr logo on the Mobile View and Projector View. It also works on any already uploaded custom logos as well.
Perhaps the most important updates of all this month were our optimization updates we discussed above. We completed heavy duty performance updates on multiple core functionalities of Crowdpurr underneath the hood including:
- As mentioned above, switching between pages of questions on the Experience Dashboard has been fully optimized. No more awkward loading!
- Optimizing how thousands of answers and their vote counts get delivered to the Mobile View in real-time
- Optimizing how thousands of player rankings get delivered to the Mobile View in real-time
- Overall reduction in server overhead when running large (1000+ participant) experiences
- Significant reduction in server round-trips to check user permissions
With these optimizations you can enjoy a snappier, quicker Crowdpurr!
Instagram Is Back for Social Walls
Our Instagram integration was temporarily disabled on Social Walls due to Instagram limiting how new posts were published due to concerns regarding the United States 2020 Presidential Election.
Now that the election is over, Instagram has lifted their restrictions on publishing new posts for aggregation and this now allows Instagram to function correctly with Crowdpurr Social Walls again!
⚡️ Fully Automatic and Crowd Controlled Modes Work With One Question
Fully Automatic and Crowd Controlled Modes can now have only one question. Previously this was not allowed, but a use-case was brought to our attention where only a single question is desired in a series of Fully Automatic or Crowd Controlled Mode experiences that are linked using Next Round. We’ll dive more into this at a later date, but it has to do with Scavenger Hunts!
⚡️ Added Delete Button for Per-Question Points and Per-Question Timers
Previously, when using a Per-Question Points value or Per-Question Timer value, it was hard to know if and when a value was set on each question versus the global overall setting.
We added red trashcan buttons on the Edit Question panel that now indicate when you have a Per-Question Points or Per-Question Timer value set. Clicking on the red trashcan button now easily removes the Per-Question Points or Per-Question Timer values for that question.
⚡️ Drag & Drop Improved Throughout Experience Dashboard
Upon adding drag and drop functionality to the My Experiences page, we also improved performance of reordering both Questions and Answers on the Experience Dashboard. Including adding mobile browser support. Keep on the lookout for some fun new drag and drop features coming on the Mobile View soon. Rank-em style trivia questions anyone?
In addition to the updates above, we squashed the following bugs in January and February including:
🐞 Embedded Live Streams Now Allow Participant Interaction
Our new embedded streaming with YouTube and Twitch is awesome, but there can be situations where the stream may not embed or play correctly. Previously, on the Mobile View, we disabled any type of clicking on embedded streams. This caused issues if a YouTube or Twitch stream had an error or is not allowed to be embedded. Now, if there’s an issue, we allow the participant to click to open it in its native app (e.g. YouTube or Twitch) so the stream may still be viewed in the event this happens.
🐞 “Practice Question” Label Persisting in Crowd Controlled Mode
We corrected an issue when using the First Question Is Practice Question setting in Crowd Controlled Mode where the “Relax, this is only a practice question” label would appear on all of the first five questions.
🐞 Numerically Named Advanced Teams Rank Correctly
Several users reported issues that when using numerically named Advanced Teams (e.g. “1”, “2”, “3”, etc.) the rankings would appear out of order. While performing our ranking optimizations we corrected this issue.
We know, we know… no new exciting “marquee” features this month. We spent a lot of time under the hood the last few weeks. But the good news is now that we’re finished, we can get back to awesome new features that make your virtual events with Crowdpurr even more fun! We have an amazing set of new features on our product roadmap for 2021. We can’t wait to release those in the coming months.