Reading level?

Some memes are more fun than others…

OK, so readability or reading level is largely fiction–but it’s entertaining fiction.

Naturally, I had to try the Blog Readability Test. Lo and behold: Junior High School

Oh, isn’t that cute: the code you paste sneaks in an ad for cash advances. Not on this blog, bubba. I my write at a junior high school level, but I comprehend pretty well.

Junior high school. Ain’t that sumpin’?

The test site says it can handle most web sites. It couldn’t handle my personal site or C&I, but it can handle pure HTML. So I tried a few essays from Cites & Insights:

  • Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0”: High school.
  • Cites on a Plane 2 (the Conference issue): High school.
  • On Disagreement and Discussion: High school. Hmm. I’m beginning to sense a pattern…
  • The Making it Work essay from June 2007: Aha. College undergrad level.
  • But most other essays I check…High school.

Which is, frankly, OK with me.

Other libloggers? Up to them to decide whether to play and whether this is a good thing, bad thing or just peculiar thing. But let’s look at a few of the non-library blogs I track:

  • Bad Science: Genius level (!)
  • Civilities: High school
  • Freedom to Tinker: College (postgrad)
  • Good Math, Bad Math: Junior high school (interesting: This has some of the deepest articles of the lot)
  • John Scalzi’s Whatever (Scalzi’s a science fiction writer): High school


[Updated 11/16 after the pasted code broke. Maybe because I removed the ad?]

9 Responses to “Reading level?”

  1. I got the same result!!!! Hmm, is right.

  2. I have no idea how this test evaluates readability. My blog comes out as “Genius” level and that is very strange. It is a blog that discusses library services to older adults and provides research and statistics about older adults. I did not add the graphic to my blog – because of the ad and because I do not think that it is an accurate test.

  3. Peter Murray says:

    I rated “Genius” level as well. Except, hmmm, that isn’t my target audience… Perhaps you and I should merge content, Walt. Then we’d hit just about the right sweet-spot. 😉

  4. Mark says:

    I got the same as you, Walt. I wonder about how and how much it is evaluating.

  5. Hey, I just saw David Lee King’s post about this too…

    My blog tested at genius level…. (see

    I just assumed it meant that everyone reading my blog must be a genius, ha ha! 🙂

  6. walt says:

    Isabelle, Peter, I can see why both got that rating–relatively long sentences, relatively long paragraphs (relative to most blogs), and in recent days some relatively long post. Peter: The press release you cited in full may have done it all by itself. (And, sigh, Isabelle: Just as I’m trying to cut down on subscriptions, I find yours. Since I might consider myself “senior” in another decade or two, I’ll check it out. Right now, I’m only 62, but time goes on.)

    Mark, Jennifer: Well, I’m fine with the rating. I aim for W.a.r. to be casual and an easy read. And, actually, “high school” for C&I is about right for most essays. I intentionally break down some of my more complex sentences and paragraphs (when I remember), and try not to be too sesquipedalian…

    Oh, by the way, Isabelle: Not that I think you should add the graphic (I almost never do that)–but I just trimmed the ad out of the HTML as I copied it in. Nothing on the other site says I can’t do that.

  7. I got the same result. I feel a bit better knowing I’m in good company….

  8. Angel says:

    I did it for my personal blog (The Itinerant Librarian), and I got the high school level. Fun fiction as you point out. I found the ad for the cashing service annoying and rude, so I also fixed the code before putting it in to the blog (it did not say anywhere I could not do it).

  9. Ruth Ellen says:

    Thanks for the lead to Bad Science.