Why Readability in Social Media Should Matter

Around 1981 I was at Teachers College, and I was studying a unit that included a section on readability. The section highlighted the need for the use of appropriately levelled language based on the content and level of subject comprehension of the reader.

No point having content understandable to a 17-year-old student if a 13-year-old student consumes the content.

The following link will take you to a Readability Wikipedia page that provides an excellent overview and associated links. In short, it applies a formula to a block of text to determine the minimum education level needed for the reader to comprehend the content on its first reading.

I used an online tool to test this Blog, and it produced an answer that you needed to have finished 12 years of formal schooling to comprehend this Blog on a first reading.

I thought at the time that more syllables in a word equate to the degree of difficulty. There is more to it than that, but you are probably getting the idea.

So we then scan forward to 2020  –  yes, over 30 years later. Yes, of course, I am good with it.

Modern Readability

But back to the story.

How do you determine modern readability — online, social, video, etc.?

How do you morph the range of inputs to measure readability, especially when you consider the enormous volumes of video consumed plus the immediacy and simplicity of the social mediums plus the eReader content consumption, plus, plus, plus.

I wonder if the modern readability is implicitly linked to the social network that you identify with and attach to and participate within.

So the need doesn’t exist for language to be adjusted entirely, only if the language doesn’t resonate with you, then you carry the onus to shift. The network doesn’t have the responsibility to adapt to you.

If there is a truth within this theme, then how do you engage appropriately with your customers and prospects through your written work?

Do you look to structure a measure and feedback loop that assesses the readability level or socialness of a customer or prospect? If not, maybe the day has arrived.

Might be an interesting exercise to put a sample of correspondence you receive through the readability tool I mentioned above.

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