The story behind Twilight Riddle.

Or: Twilighters – The Underestimated Force


One might as well start at the beginning:

In 2008, a student of Anglophone Literatures named Julika went on her semester abroad and travelled from Germany all across the world to New Zealand. Despite the quite extensive reading list she first read available excerpts online and then picked up a copy of the book with an apple on the cover (to her shame she has to admit that she had ignored the book before because the German blurb hadn’t appealed to her). It ended with an almost nervous breakdown because the third and second book took almost three weeks to be shipped in from Australia and the US respectively. The result is that her bookshelf is now home to a four book series from two different publishers, in three formats (paperback small and large and hardback) and from four different parts of the world (New Zealand, USA, Australia and Great Britain – in that order).

Back home later that year, one of her courses at university was titled “Literature and the New Media” and she proposed to design a digital treasure hunt for Twilight, which miraculously was approved by her lecturer. Julika contacted the powerful and amazing ladies from Twilight Lexicon to ask for help in designing questions. And help she did receive, like you wouldn’t believe (she does now).

The next process involved a lot of holing up in her chamber and putting the questions together and getting them in a somewhat logical (to her, anyway) order. By the time she was finished, she had thought of several things that could be realised digitally. Her lecturer was still sceptical whether a digital quiz would be well perceived, little did he know then.

Julika had thought about running a small contest to attract more visitors, but couldn’t think of any prizes. That is, until it literally smacked her. WeBook Apparel was kind enough to agree to supply the resource for the contest and thus, all was set.

Well, almost. How would you support riddlers (because by now, the quiz had turned into a riddle)? Julika didn’t want her mail inbox to be flooded with cries for help. weffriddles had a forum; this couldn’t be too bad, could it?
By Tuesday 2nd of February 2009, Julika had contacted the Lexicon once again to promote her project and asked them to forward the message to sources interested. The website went online at 10:43 am CET the first forum application arrived at 11:05. 130 should follow until the end of the day. The first solution arrived on 10:16 pm the same day.

By Thursday morning (when Julika would see her lecturer the next time) the forum had 577 members and the site well over 34.000 unique visitors. So much for “no one will be interested in this”. More than that, the visitors were from all over the world (Julika even registered a log from Antarctica) and they were not only using a computer. This was most likely the second most amazing thing that even all sorts of mobile devices were detected. True to the course title the project went on to “the new media”.

The winners were notified the Sunday after the contest started, but the site will remain online since Julika believes that there will be people motivated enough to complete the riddle just to prove their knowledge, to pass time, just for the fun of it. By now the site had seen well over 41.000 unique visitors, the forum had over 800 members and 695 people entered the Hall of Fame.

The good (or not so good, depending on your point of view) news is that Julika has become addicted to designing riddles. So it is not so unlikely that there will be a “Twilight Riddle – Batch 2” coming your way in the future.

In short: Julika had an idea that this might get huge, but she didn’t quite think along the lines of epic. And one thing is certain: Twilighters surely are a most amazing bunch of people and very much a force of nature. A force to be reckoned with.

All the best and perhaps until next time.