Thursday, November 15, 2007

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

"la nuit blanche – not retouched" by Dom Dada AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works

"One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Admiral Grace Hopper

Depending on their results, bloggers have reacted with delight, dismay, or indifference to the ratings issued by the Blog Readability Test. Just what the test is evaluating, and how the scores are calculated, is never explained.

A bit of online searching brought me to Juicy Studio, a site whose mission is to "promote best practice for web developers in a fast moving industry." One of the Quality Assurance links takes you to Readability Tests:

"Gunning Fog, Flesch Reading Ease, and Flesch-Kincaid are reading level algorithms that can be helpful in determining how readable your content is. Reading level algorithms only provide a rough guide, as they tend to reward short sentences made up of short words. Whilst they're rough guides, they can give a useful indication as to whether you've pitched your content at the right level for your intended audience."

All three algorithms are used to evaluate any given website. The results are interpreted and compared to the readability of familiar documents, from TV Guide to academic papers.

If you are targeting a particular audience or would just like to analyze your writing, the Juicy Studio test is a far more useful tool than the showier "criticsrant" variation.

"Away with the cant of Measures, not men! -- the idle supposition that it is the harness and not the horses that draw the chariot along. No, Sir, if the comparison must be made, if the distinction must be taken, men are everything, measures comparatively nothing." -George Canning


White Rabbit said...

Our book club got a nice picture of a brain and the word Genuis to adorn our blog, after being evaluated by the mysterious algorithms of The Test. Whatever the Blog Readability Test is doing, we think it's doing it right!

diane said...

Since it's evaluating readability, and you're reading my blog, you MUST be geniuses!

Stop by again!

Lindsea said...

What an amazing picture. You are a great blogger, I know that Clay thinks a lot about you :)


diane said...


Genius is in the application. You and your group are creating something new in the world

How many people can claim that!

Can't wait to see what you all get up to next!