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The Standard

Labour’s website: too smart for its own good?

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, November 20th, 2007 - 30 comments
Categories: interweb - Tags:

picture-18.jpgSomeone just sent me this blog readability test.

It cl/aims to tell you what level of education is required to read your blog/website/myspace page.

Here at The Standard we scored “College (undergrad)”, as did Kiwiblog. The real interest was the Party sites though.

Depending on your point of view I suppose, Labour’s site fared pretty badly, requiring a “Genius” reading level for comprehension. Strangely the Progressives and NZ First sites did too.

National on the other hand required merely a “High School” level of comprehension as did the Green and the Maori Party sites. ACT was one step further down, needing a “Junior High” reading level.

United Future required only “Elementary”. Go figure.

30 comments on “Labour’s website: too smart for its own good?”

  1. Lady Leftie 1

    Thanks for this. Interestingly I tried the Plain English site (www.writegroup.co.nz) and they scored “Junior High School”.

    Stuff and the Herald site both got genius too.

  2. dave 2

    what this means is that writers of some blogs know how to communicate to a wide range of people. The lower the level, the better the communicator. Thats why Nationals site is better than Labours and Big News is better then The Standard.

  3. Daveo 3

    Do you have any idea how much of a prat you sound Dave? And judging by the number of comments on your blog your reading level is less an indication of your ability to communicate than it is of the sloppiness of your prose.

  4. Nih 4

    The results are arbitrary and change quite a bit as new posts are added. I ran the tool on The Standard several times over the last couple of days, getting a different result every time.

    In short, not a very accurate toy.

  5. Nih 5

    By the way, someone else obviously reads Engadget. Fess up. I used to be one of the “but will it blend?” folks.

  6. dave 6

    DaveO
    communication within a blog is not based on the number of comments. Otherwise blogs with not many comments shuch as whaleoil or NRT fit into your puny description

  7. illuminatedtiger 7

    Rodney Hide has never had the intelligence to attract the more learned voted so good for him!

  8. illuminatedtiger 8

    *voter

  9. Nih 9

    your puny description

    That made me crack up. I think you missed the point of his criticism.

  10. Nih 10

    I should clarify. That quoted bit made me crack up all on it’s own. I have no idea why I found it so amusing.

  11. Tane 11

    Dave, No Right Turn doesn’t have comments because he got sick of having to fend off trolls. Whaleoil doesn’t have many comments because he’s a muppet that no one takes seriously.

  12. Phil 12

    Given that the average level of final education for New Zealanders is roughly “High-School / Some Tertiary Education”, you’d have to say that the Nat’s got it bang-on for reading level.

    The Labour party site may run the risk of making readers feel like they’re being talked down to.

  13. Nih 13

    The tool is a word analysis that’s then assigned a score based on some measurement of a word’s difficulty, not the tone of the content. I don’t know that it’d be a good indicator of a website talking down to visitors.

    There have been a few articles from google over the years about how thoroughly difficult it really is to gauge what tone the content of an article has. Before you even begin to consider sarcasm, you get phrases like “the bombing did a good job of flattening the cafe”, or “bush did a good job of ruining international relations” and the article being assigned a positive tone when in fact it’s unmistakably negative.

    That technology is still a way off unfortunately.

  14. illuminatedtiger 14

    You will never get a perfect algorithm for this kind of stuff and just like Nih says it’s all based on measurement of a word’s difficulty, number crunching at the end of the day. I would hazard a guess regarding Labour’s site to have something to do with all the statistics they would be presenting. Another reason might be that Labour would most likely have a greater concentration of academics than say National or ACT.

  15. If the algorithm is using an American dictionary, it may well alter things by “Labour” not being a word.

  16. Lee C 16

    Do you think there is a corellation between how much a party is in touch with the sensibilities and aspirations of ‘ordinary folk’ and their websites?

    Is there any evidence to suggest that the more successful, or longer time in power a government has, the further away it must logically drift from its grassroots opinions?

    By implication, the party which is struggling to break through, ‘simplifies’ its message to appeal to the people it claims the rother party has forgotten, because it ‘needs’ to get through to more people?

    This might on one level, explain the constant left-right drift in voter activity.

  17. ak 17

    Exactly Lee. A very insightful analysis.

    A party “struggling to break through” because, for example, it has no distinguishable policy differences or a bad record say, might “simplify its message” as you describe: maybe it would employ simplistic populist cant and use phrases like “one law for all”, “nanny state” or “tax cuts” – or perhaps just repeat baseless insults like “corrupt”, “liars”, etc.

    But really, would the public reward such an insult to their intelligence?

  18. the sprout 18

    nice work ak

  19. ahod 19

    When I typed the National Party’s website URL into this thing, I recieved a box saying ‘Something went wrong’. How appropriate.

    http://www.sandragoudie.co.nz scored an expected ‘Elementary School’.

  20. Lampie 20

    “But really, would the public reward such an insult to their intelligence?”

    My opinion would be ‘most likely’. Most people such as the sample here, are pretty loyal to a brand such as National, Labour, Greens and so forth. It’s the “don’t knows” I would refer to as the public in your quote. I would feel that this segment would not have a high interest in politics until closer to polling day and been the egocentric type, vote what they feel is best for them.

  21. Phil 21

    Lampie, self interested voting exactly what Democracy is all about!

    I’ve always belived that Democracy works best when all voters vote for the party that most closely represents or supports the activities that they themselves care about. When people start using their vote to represent others views, oucomes get skewed at the national outcomes are sub-optimal (lets leave aside that this assumes govt’s carry through on their promises).

    This ‘egocentric type’ as you so untastefully put it, are actually allowing us to fulfull what it really means to be a democratic nation.

    Please note that there is a big difference between SELF INTERESTED and SELFISH…

  22. Nih 22

    You’re elucidating the differences between self interest and selfish without actually realising that he’s already talking the same talk as you.

    Getting back to this conservative/liberal mindset thing, I think it’s a pretty safe statement to say that conservatives will more readily vote with a narrower sense of benevolence than liberals, because that’s one of their key values. But that’s ok.

    What this boils down to once you take the emotion out of most left or right wing rhetoric is “Everyone should look out for them and their own” versus “We have to work together to help everyone”.

    Both are fine, but changing the scope of what you’re talking about can change which philosophy suits which statement. Conservatives would prefer you looked our for your family as well as yourself, but not necessarily your community. Liberals would say that if you care about your family, helping your community will help them too. Neither of these ideas have any bearing on free will.

    Wanting to help everyone doesn’t necessarily mean authoritarianism such as redbaiter might try to make you think. The concepts of free will in the west have always ensured that for the most part you don’t have to take the liberal help offered and you’re not forced by conservative society to be a standard family unit. The point is these options are available. To mix it all up a little more, I can safely say that redbaiter would like to force you to not accept available help where it’s offered, or to keep it from being available. That’s still authoritarianism, as preached by an authoritarian talking about the evils of… authoritarianism.

    It’s really worth taking a step back occasionally and realising that we do have a vast amount of freedom. Freedom to obey, freedom to disobey, freedom to help and freedom to stand alone. Our laws almost exclusively govern our behaviour where it affects others against their will.

    Stuff like the Brethren influencing an election doesn’t even come under these topics. That’s an issue of democracy and electoral procedure and those things have rules up the wazoo because without them the concepts would fall down. So be it. The price we pay for democracy is that we must adhere to it.

    The election is still a way off and everyone is still working out who they’d vote for and trying to sort these complicated concepts out in our heads. Let’s face it, if they weren’t complicated to us we wouldn’t be doing the best we can to govern ourselves and select our futures. But take a step back and enjoy freedom for a moment, because we do have it pretty good.

  23. Nih 23

    Shit, I did a wall of text. Sorry.

  24. Lee C 24

    Yeah good work, ak. Good work sprout.

    You certainly took the hypothetical issue I raised and used it to expose my incredibly partisan insults, and shoot them down in flames.

    Or something.

  25. the sprout 25

    nicely put nih. it’s a shame more people don’t bother to consider such things.

  26. Lampie 26

    egocentric – is not a nasty word

  27. Phil 27

    Courtesy of dictionary.com… sounds like a pretty nasty word to describe someone from where i’m standing

    e·go·cen·tric

    1. having or regarding the self or the individual as the center of all things
    2. having little or no regard for interests, beliefs, or attitudes other than one’s own; self-centered.

    —Synonyms 2. self-absorbed, self-obsessed.

  28. Lampie 28

    may sound nasty but most of us are egocentric. For example, feelings that might accompany egocentric thinking: anger, depression, resentment, arrogance, indifference, defensiveness and apathy (source: Critical thinking: tools for taking charge of your professional and personal life by Richard Paul and Linda Elder) page 165. Egocentric thinking is pretty normal. Motives for egocentric thinking – selfish interests and justifying your thinking, behaviours such as manipulating facts and situations to suit ourselves (why I didn’t like the Herald and its editorial on EFB), hmmmm think we can find examples of that in politics as egocentricity is the heart of many political, religious, pressure groups and charities. Note I said many not ALL.

    So it’s not evil or anything, it really is just normal behaviour, examples are everywhere especially business and politics. I just notice mine more now. I just hate newspapers and polls that prey on it.

  29. the sprout 29

    the complication being that you can be ego-centriuc and still other-regarding, as when kids are everything to their parents such that they “selfishly” do things for their kids because of the reflected pleasure they gain from doing so.

  30. Lampie 30

    sprout, yeap, agree with that, I didn’t mean egocentric in a bad way. Still a little pissed that a major newspaper is able to “whip up” a one sided view knowing that people are going to read it and not stop to THINK. Think about the argument put forward and the evidence presented and see that it was a one sided view rather than a balanced argument. The use of emotive words “attack on….” aghhh.

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    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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