Monday, January 28, 2008

Blog Readability - Genius Level? SMOG it instead!

Kate Olson at Reflection 2.0 receives my inspiration award for the day. After reading her first post, I kept scrolling down and stumbled upon her "Humbled by a Widget" entry. She found a readability badge on another blog, which I then found on hers, so I followed her link to The Blog Readability Test and tried it myself. Here's what they had to say:

blog readability test

Genius level? Thanks....I think. Most likely their algorithm has a screw or two loose. However, I allowed myself a moment to "glow" in my own prowess before I searched for a more reliable, although a lot less flashy means of determining the true readability of my blog. The first site I chose was the National Literacy Trust's SMOG Test (simplified measure of gobbledygook) - love the acronym! To be fair to myself, I chose three different blog posts and had each of them scored. My highest of the three is pictured below, a 13.57, which is considered to be on the "some college" educational level and equivalent to the New York Times. The scale tops out at 19+, which they liken to a post-graduate degree and the IRS code! Ha! My lowest was in the 10 range; some high school education and on the level of Newsweek. Bet the writers of Newsweek would love that comparison, too.

My second test was using the same post, but this time using the Flesh-Kincaid reading level in Word to test it. I received a 12.9. I found a comparable test online that provided some great stats and also incorporates the SMOG test as well. In addition to the stats, it also lists sentences that it suggests should be re-written to improve the readability.

All fun with the readability badge aside, if you're interested in a more reliable test, try this one. I'd love to hear what the difference in your scores are.


kolson29 said...

Great post, and way to go on doing all the research to find more reliable tools! I actually did the tests and all my scores averaged around the 10th grade reading level. I'll be happy with that for today :-)