Pseudo-Intellectual Blog Wankery Does Not Rate

So this blog and the Pinkos, the two top rating blogs in rankings are according to this analysis the easiest to read.

I am proud that I am easier to read than other bloggers.  But very upset to lose to Pinko in these ratings and ask for a recount.


OK, so I’ve done it. I entered the text of each of the last five posts (skipping the General Debates, Open Mikes, Mental Health Breaks and re-posts of YouTube clips etc) on a number of blogs into this readability index calculator. I didn’t include the blog comments. Wikipedia gives a good explanation of what the Flesch-Kincaid test measures. The lower the reading ease, the more complex. A reading ease score of 0.0-30.0 is best understood by university graduates, while 60.0-70.0 should be easily understood by 15 year-olds and 90.0-100.0 by 11 year-olds. The grade level corresponds to the number of years of education required by a reader to understand a passage.

There seems to be a correlation between the level of comprehension required to understand a post and where the author sits on the political spectrum. It should be remembered, though, that simplicity is not necessarily a vice. Especially when trying to communicate with a large community and trying to persuade them to a particular point of view. Hemmingway, for example, liked short bold sentences.

Anyway, ranked from most complex to least:

Bowalley Road Grade: 15.8; Reading ease: 20
The Standard Grade: 14.4; Reading ease: 36.6
Gordon Campbell Grade: 14.2; Reading ease: 34.2
Bryce Edwards Grade: 13.8; Reading ease: 35.2
Frogblog Grade: 13.2; Reading ease: 38.8
Public Address Grade: 13; Reading ease: 40.2
Pundit Grade: 13; Reading ease: 41.2
Red Alert Grade: 13; Reading ease: 41.2
Tumeke Grade: 12.6; Reading ease: 40.6
John Armstrong Grade: 12.4; Reading ease: 40.2
John Roughan Grade: 12.4; Reading ease: 41
Whale Oil Grade: 11.6; Reading ease: 49.4
Kiwiblog Grade: 9.4; Reading ease: 53.8


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  • Thane

    Funny how Bulldust Over A Kiwi BBQ doesn’t get a mention??

  • blokeintakapuna

    What’s the bet it’s a pinko trying to screw the scrum on these numbers? Can’t beat WO on visitor numbers and repeat visitors – the most useful metrics – so devise some other form of “measurement” to get our propaganda near the top in rankings?
    This kind of reminds me like how Labour tried to feed the NZ public all the BS about how they had lowered the unemployment line through their brilliant economic management. The inconvenient truth was that the numbers were shifted from “unemployed” to “Medically unfit”… just ask those who lived on Gt Barrier Island all about it…
    Overnight almost no unemployed – but the corresponding numbers of “medical benefits” went up almost the same percentage as those that had been “unemployed”
    Yep – Labour’s brilliant economic management alright! Let’s not give them another chance at being “brilliant” because they can only prove how incompetent they are!

    • blazer

      how pink is this?’ I must have missed the last five year plan, those collective farms out in Montana, the recent nationalisation of the motor industry, and the setting up of the Politburo-controlled State Security apparatus to check up on the plebs.

  • Neil

    You only got beaten ‘cos they have to use small words and short on their blog otherwise their readership would not understand what was being said, something surely about the level of intellect reading both blogs. Big ups for getting the result you did.

  • cows4me

    Where’s the outrage?. Reads like the schools standards posted in todays local rag. Surely all you blog owners are of equal worth, isn’t that the way it’s suppose to work, can’t have one blog better then another. No just joking, good on you and keep up the good work.

  • Travis Poulson

    The Standard is appalling to navigate. This is by far the easiest and best layout to read.

  • Pingback: Some good Whale | Kiwiblog()

  • What was the criteria for getting a blog included in that analysis? (As some of the biggest blogs are missing).

    • I was bored and spent maybe 45 minutes doing this on Sunday night. I tried to be as transparent in my method as possible so it can be repeated with other blogs too. I should have mentioned that the final scores were averages of the five samples taken from each blog, though.

  • The art of rhetoric includes pitching your message in understandable words. Now, I like Chris Trotter, but then I read the spectator and NBR for relaxation. This blog is aimed at the average kiwi. Grade 9 (Year 10) is the old 5th form: I think you have pitched your language almost perfectly… if anything, you need the number to be a little lower.

  • John the Baptist

    I fail to see the problem here, the Flesch-Kincaid readability test is a reasonable benchmark of reading difficulty.

    It’s quite clear from reading Kiwiblog, or Whaleoil, or Tumeke that the writing style is significantly less developed (in an academic sense) than either Bowalley Road, or Bryce Edward’s blog.

    Which isn’t surprising really, given the academic qualifications say, Slater vis a vis Edwards. Are you suggesting that Edwards (a Politics lecturer at the University of Otago) is a psuedo-intellectual?

    There is mention of a correlation between the ease of reading, and the political leanings — I don’t really agree. There are quite a few outliers (Tumeke for instance, who I would hardly describe as a Right Wing blogger).

    Having said that, having heard you speak, versus say, Trotter speaking — It’s quite clear who is smarter, and who’s views are more thought-out. Same with Edwards versus Bomber.