Triggering Trivia in Business Blogs

Modern technology has made it possible to find and share fascinating information, explains Alex Palmer in the delightful little book Alternative Facts. Of the 200 entries in the collection, about one-third are “true-ish” rather than true, and readers are invited to guess which those are, with answers found at the back of the book.

Trivia in general, I’ve long maintained, represent useful tools for blog content writers. In addition to adding some fun to the discussion of a topic, trivia can be used in business blogs in at least four different ways:

1. defining basic terminology
2. sparking curiosity about the subject
3. putting modern-day practices and beliefs into historical perspective
4. explaining why the business owner/practitioner chooses to operate in a certain way

Of course, stocking up on ideas for future blog posts isn’t all about trivia, as I explain to newbie blog content writers. The trivia tidbit is just the jump-off point for the message.

Here are eight facts, culled from Palmer’s book, that illustrate the value of “triggering” the discussion of a subject using a piece of trivia and relating it to the sponsor of the blog:

Who might use each of these tidbits in their blog?

1. Chewing your food longer can help you lose weight.
(weight loss advisor, spa, health provider, health food store) ,:

2. Of all creatures, moths have the strongest sense of hearing.
(audiologist, hearing aid company)

3. Americans are the only people who label pencils No. 2.
(private school, tutoring center, office supply store)

4. Warner Music Group owns the rights to the lyrics of “Happy Birthday”, and earns royalties on every use of the song on film, on TV, or in a public performance.
(patent attorney, birthday party organizer, party favor store, child care center)

5. William Shakespeare wore one gold earring.
(jeweler, fashion advisor, salon)

6. The bathroom scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” was the first time a toilet was flushed on screen.
(plumbing supply store, plumber, home builder, realtor)

7. The oldest preserved human body in the world was covered in tattoos.
(tattoo parlor, salon, spa)

8. Being double-jointed is something a person is born with.

(dance studio, exercise coach, dance equipment or exercise equipment provider)

For blog content writers, adding fun and interest to blog posts might be a “trivial” matter!


7th Century Dance Plague Could Be a Plus in a Business Blog


Fitness dancing

The first outbreak of “dancing mania” occurred in the seventh century, Mental Floss magazine relates, and cases sporadically struck every few decades after that. France, Holland, and Germany all suffered, we’re told.  Worst, though, was the July 14, 1518, when Frau Toffea of Strasbourg, France danced for three straight days.  By the time she was hauled away, more than thirty other dancers had joined in, and within a month, one hundred people were frantically jogging without being able to stop! Dancers hyperventilated and hallucinated, unable to stop for food or rest.  Heart attack, heat, and exhaustion claimed lives. After striking 400 people, the Strasbourg plague, which had lasted until September, suddenly ended.

Medical historians have ventured opinions as to the possible causes for the plague, attributing it factors ranging from ergot, a poisonous mold to Sydenham’s chorea (a disorder linked to rheumatic fever that causes twitching).One theory attributes the plague to stress-induced mass psychosis (smallpox, syphilis, and famine were everywhere at that time).

I love “reading around” and “learning around”, as I call it, and encourage all blog content writers to do the same. This piece about dancing mania, like any piece of trivia, can be used to spark curiosity and entertain readers. You may use trivia to:

  • put modern-day beliefs and practices into perspective
  • explain what problems can be solved using that business’ products and services
  • define basic terminology
  • offer statistics showing that many others have faced the same issue as the one concerning the current reader

It’s easy to imagine using the dance mania story in the business blog for a dance studio or a, disk jockey, but it might also be used by a nutritionist or exercise coach to stress the importance of regular meals and maintaining hydration during exercise.

Continually coming up with fresh content to inform, educate, and entertain readers is a pretty tall order for busy business owners and employees. Trivia can solve the problem!