Blog Readability – Bork Bork Bork!

This blog's reading level: College (postgrad)

Several other bloggers (Wendy Wickham, Karyn Romeis, Harold Jarche, Stephen Downes) have posted their blog reading level. When I tested mine today, I ended up at the college (postgrad) reading level. Interestingly, when I checked it earlier in the week, I was at high school level. Most of what was up at that point was link blogging though, and it’s plausible that the writing level for my link blogging is different from my full posts.

I think I agree with comments made by several others that easier reading levels might be better. I know I personally tend to skim a lot of blog posts, and if I can’t get the gist of the message quickly, I sometimes skip it. The first blog where I saw this readability test, Musical Perceptions, tested at the “genius level.” His reaction was “so much for aiming for a wide audience,” and I understand that. But when we’re wrestling with complex ideas, sometimes our explanations and our “thinking out loud” maybe needs to be complex. And while a wide audience might be nice, I do think it’s more realistic for me to write to the little niche audience of instructional designers, instructors, and ed tech folks I have.

The readability test doesn’t seem like something worth taking too seriously though, especially since my level changed just in the course of a few days. Maybe it’s because I’m ready for Friday already, but I’m in the mood for something a little silly. If you recognized the post title as a reference to the Swedish Chef, you’ll no doubt appreciate what my writing sounds like after being filtered by the encheferizer. For the best effect, read it out loud in your best mock Swedish voice.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about with the Swedish Chef…well, hopefully you knew I was weird before this. Just ignore the rest of this post and move to the next item in your aggregator.

Es I’m refflecteeng oon thees, I’m vundereeng vhet cherectereestics ooff thet leerneeng cummooneety I cuoold eeem tu repleecete-a in zee oonleene-a cuoorses I deseegn. Hunestly, I’m strooggleeng a leettle-a tu feegoore-a oooot hoo tu booeeld zeese-a espects intu zee deseegn ooff zee cuoorse-a thuoogh; mooch ooff thees feels leeke-a it’s oooot ooff my cuntrul frum my puseeshun “beheend zee scenes.” Thees is sumetheeng thet seems tu rely a lut oon zee cless cooltoore-a istebleeshed by iech instrooctur.
Bork Bork Bork!

Wonder what that will do to my readability level…

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6 thoughts on “Blog Readability – Bork Bork Bork!

  1. Hi, I have been subscribing to your blog for some months now. That should explain I have liked it. Thank you for all your useful bookmarks.

    I am also an instruction designer based in New Delhi, India. However, this was not why I chose to write comment today.

    I used this readability tool and made a happy post myself: http://alchemistpoonam.wordpress.com/2007/11/12/what-is-your-blog-readability/

    However, this readability tool is not accurate. It gives random results for same text (blog posts). Also try checking readability of google. It says genius. What is there in the site to call it genius?

  2. I LUUUV THE SWEDISH CHEF!!!!

    Google Bork is still around. And a few years ago (around 2001/2002) – it used to also send back results in Swedish Chef. I’m not entirely sure whether my browser settings are no longer allowing Google Bork to do that or if they took the Borkizer out of the program.

    Bork bork bork!

  3. @Poonam, thanks for leaving your first comment here! It’s always nice to meet a new reader.

    The readability test is certainly not a particularly scientific test. It’s fun, and it’s started some good conversations. Readability is certainly relevant to instructional design. As you pointed out to one of the commenters on your post, being able to explain technical content at an elementary school level is a great skill to have.

    @Wendy, yeah for finding another Muppet fan! I couldn’t get the Google Bork to work either. Maybe it’s no longer up. The Muppet Wiki entry for the Swedish Chef mentions a Firefox add-on too, but I’m having trouble getting into the extensions page without it timing out this morning. I’ll play with it later though. Fun stuff!

  4. True, I did it for fun too! :)

    And I have been your reader for long! Only I hardly blog about instruction design, I blog primarily about social issues in India.

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