Monday, September 08, 2008

Brain Food For Social and Community Entrepreneurs

Super Trivia Guy (aka Ric Allport) creates a free trivia and games newsletter “The Brain Food Factory”. It is designed to exercise all brain functions and is an aid to help people avoid the horrible conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Profile on Super Trivia Guy

The Brain Food Factory is a free newsletter which, at the moment, consists of Super Trivia Guy and his faithful offsider Not-So-Super Helper Person (more about her at a later stage). This website simply enables people to sign up for the free newsletter, however, in time, it will grow into who knows what with all sorts of fun and interesting things to do.

We thought the best way to tell you a little bit about Super Trivia Guy was to put up an interview he did recently. Go get yourself a cup of tea and sit back and get to know him. He's Super!


Super Trivia Guy (aka Ric Allport) has had many different incarnations in his life, including High School Teacher, Musician, Music Storeman/Salesman, Artist, Photographer, not to mention his career highlight as a Telephone Sanitizer (which helped him get through Art College). He has been running live trivia shows for the past eleven years with Complete Trivia and has also been developing and running an online trivia competition.

I love the name Super Trivia Guy. Where did you come up with it?
I have been running live trivia shows now for about twelve years and I have been doing an online trivia competition for about four years. Over this time I have lost track off how many questions, pictures and sound clues that I have gone through. After chatting to my business partner in Sydney (who has been doing this for about eighteen years), we roughly estimated that in the databank at the moment there would be about 150,000 questions alone, not including pictures and sounds. I mentioned this to some of my online players and they said that my brain must be bursting with knowledge and I must be a mastermind of trivia, a kind of super trivia guy. When I heard that I thought “what an interesting name, I think I will keep that”. So 'Super Trivia Guy’ was born. I am now working on my Super Creed so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Why are you so interested in trivia, puzzles and the like? When did your interest in these areas begin?
When I was a kid I was always interested in games, puzzles and sport. Certainly not academic things. I was always playing something. I then started to play music as well, which became a great passion for me. I also loved the weird and wonderful e.g. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Sideshow Alley at the Easter Show, crazy world records (not many people could tell you that Kevin Cole of New Mexico blew a spaghetti strand 19cms out of his nostril in a single blow).

Over the years I have really become interested in the workings of the brain and the importance of keeping it very active. Unfortunately, I had to watch a friend of mine’s father go rapidly downhill with Alzheimer’s Disease. I found it difficult to understand what was happening at the time, so over the years I have looked into how the brain works and how to keep it active. I found that, much like your body needs to exercise, so does your brain. Doing Crosswords, Trivia Quizzes, Sudoku, Word Games etc really helps to keep the brain active and in top condition. It is not a cure for Alzheimer’s or Dementia or other brain disorders, but it helps to keep them at bay.

What is a typical working day like for Super Trivia Guy?
I am not quite sure about any part of my day being typical, however it usually starts at about 7am when I get up and check emails, make sure that the online trivia competition is running smoothly, and hear the oh so wonderful sound of my coffee being ready! Each day brings different things to do. Usually the first thing to do is check the news sites to see what is going on around the world (trivia happens all the time) and we like to make sure we always have current questions. Then it is creating the questions from the research, finding pictures and sounds. From there it usually leads to creating some Crosswords, Sudoku puzzles etc which I put into our free monthly newsletter. In between all this, there is the promotion and marketing that also has to happen and then the creation of our mega monthly online competition. Somewhere in between all that I fit in food and some sleep.

What are the pros and cons of your job?
I receive wonderful feedback from people all over Australia about our site and how much it helps them. To know that what I do makes a difference to many people’s lives really makes what I do worthwhile. Also, working mostly from home means that I work to my own timetable which can be as flexible as it needs to be (except the end of the month when the next months questions have to be finished, so don’t bother me unless you bring coffee and cake!).

The down side of what I do is the probably the marketing aspect. Trying to create a unique business in a unique place – the Internet, has many challenges when it comes to marketing. The online site is very unique amongst all other trivia sites on the net. Also, the downside in working from home is that sometimes you never stop and take time out for yourself.

What are your interests outside of trivia?
My other interests and passions are music (I have played live since I was fourteen years old), also animals in all shapes and forms. There is nothing more wonderful then watching the amazing creatures that make up this world. And then there is of course watching movies, seeing live bands play original music, going to art shows/festivals and anything else I can fit in.

Which celebrities, leaders or public figures do you admire and why?
Anyone who helps and protects animals in any way shape or form.

Robin Williams: he is an amazing person who is incredibly intelligent, so funny and if you read his life story quite an inspiration.

Adam Hills: the consummate professional host and very funny. Spicks and Specks has to be the best show on TV.

Lisa Randall: a physicist who is making her mark in a very male dominated workplace and one who has very interesting theories.

Jeff Gambin from ‘Just Enough Faith’: check him out, he really helps people in need and deserves all the support he can get.

Oprah Winfrey: love her or hate her, she really has made a difference to so many people in the world.

Ian Ballard: a friend of mine from High School. He found out years ago that he had MS and instead of letting it get the better of him, he has become a driving force behind F5M which is trying to raise $5 million for research into a cure for MS.

Andrew Denton: how he manages to extract so much information from the people he interviews is beyond me. (Credit: Ric Allport)


The Brain Food Factory

Media Man Australia Profiles

Social and Community Entrepreneurs