Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What Are You? Some Sort of Genius? Well, Come On In!

Widgets can be so addictive. Like Facebook junkies high on bumper stickers, bloggers can get sucked into widget-gathering like they're shopping the Early Bird portion of a JCPenney white sale, hoarding things they really don't need.

Most of my widgets have flown away, as I've pushed them off the page because they were BOTHERING me. But when I came across the reading level widget here, I was understandably intrigued. This blogger's reading level is a respectable "high school." Impressive, I thought. And she deserves at LEAST a "high school" because she does, after all, have a Ph.D. and teaches philosophy at the university level. (Because where else, really, can a person teach philosophy?) Just for kicks, I entered my blog URL and got this:


blog readability test

And I winced. And hit the monitor. Then I crossed my arms and pursed my lips. Eventually I quit pouting and decided to test the standards of this widget by entering a variety of blog URLs. And people, I found that the majority are "elementary." But I doubt any of them would import this particular widget onto their blog because it's the electronic equivalent of being in the Yellow Birds reading group and having all the snotty Blue Birds mocking you.

And while the elementary reading level is fine and good in the world of journalism school, which teaches journalists to write on a sixth- to eighth-grade level, it doesn't hold water with a blogger whose audience isn't (I don't believe) a bunch of 12-year-olds (though they are always welcome here).

But I got REALLY ticked when I entered some of the crummiest blog URLs and they earned "jr. high" and "high school" widgets.

What the ..? What parameters are these widget people USING?

I must be smarter than they gave me credit for because I found a way to grab the code for the GENIUS widget, which is far superior to the HIGH SCHOOL widget, and which I present to you here:


blog readability test



And you can say what you want about the unethical treatment of widgets, but don't you feel better about yourself, being part of an audience that is made up of "genius" readers rather than "elementary" readers?

Thought so.