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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Household Living Costs hit poorer Kiwis hardest
    Standards of living for the poorest and most vulnerable New Zealanders are being eroded by rising prices for basic living costs, while National has stood idly by, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Statistics New Zealand data released today is ...
    1 hour ago
  • The clock is ticking
      Labour strongly supports the latest report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to have carbon emission targets set in legislation, carbon budgeting and an independent climate commission says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s ...
    2 hours ago
  • Public support keeps Healthy Homes Bill on track
    The strong call from the public for warm, dry, healthy rentals has helped the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill to pass its second reading, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 hours ago
  • More proof National not delivering for New Zealanders
    The Ministry of Social Development’s latest Household Incomes Report is more hard evidence of the growing poverty in New Zealand, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National claims to be delivering for New Zealanders. This report puts the lie ...
    2 days ago
  • Strong support from medical community for Healthy Homes Bill
    More than a thousand medical professionals, medical students, and other New Zealanders have shown their support for Labour’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will fund Buller Health Centre
    A Labour Government will fully fund the Buller Integrated Family Health Centre in Westport, confirming its commitment to the people of the West Coast and the role of central government to fund essential public services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s affordable promise for Auckland more smoke and mirrors
    The 26,000 additional houses National plans to build in Auckland on public land over the next decade include fewer than 5,000 affordable homes, while more than 60 per cent will be available for speculators to buy, says Leader of the ...
    2 days ago
  • National out of touch over immigration
    National’s abrupt backflip on their recently-announced changes to immigration shows they never understood the problem and just came up with a confused knee jerk response, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Regional communities and businesses were quite right to ...
    3 days ago
  • English out of touch on homelessness
    Bill English’s comments that he doesn’t know why people are complaining about the blowout in the number of homeless families the government is putting up in motels just shows how tired and out of touch National is after nine years, ...
    3 days ago
  • All Kiwis to have same standard of cancer care
    Labour is promising that all New Zealanders will have access to the same level of cancer care no matter where they live in the country, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “As someone who has survived cancer I ...
    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure announcement too long coming
    “What took you so long?” is Labour’s response to the Government’s announcement of a new infrastructure investment vehicle. Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says Labour announced its policy in 2015 to debt-finance infrastructure and service that debt with targeted ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    National has no idea how to house the record number of people entering New Zealand, let alone cope with the pressure on health, education, and transport from this record population growth, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to invest $4 billion in education
    Labour’s Education Manifesto will bring positive change across the education sector and is backed by a massive investment, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Labour’s plan will see an extra $4 billion invested over the next four years. It’s organised ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s shame: worst homelessness in the OECD
    National’s legacy is a housing crisis that has given New Zealand the worst homeless rate in the developed world, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour taking action on school donations
    Labour will end so-called voluntary school donations for the majority of parents across the country under its $4 billion plan to revitalise the education sector, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour has always been committed to a world-class free education ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to work with Queenstown to build more houses
    Labour will work with Queenstown-Lakes District Council, iwi, and the Community Housing Trust to build the modern, affordable housing Queenstown desperately needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats blow the Budget on motels after bowling state houses
    National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • New revelations in Joanne Harrison report
    The State Services Commission’s report into the treatment of whistle-blowers by Joanne Harrison has revealed new accusations against the convicted fraudster, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.  “The report found that four staff inside the Ministry of Transport who had raised ...
    1 week ago
  • Snafu at Princess Margaret
    Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “The Government must accept that Christchurch is still recovering ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s fiscal plan to build a fairer New Zealand
    Labour will re-build our housing, health and education while responsibly managing New Zealand’s finances, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “Under Labour’s Fiscal Plan we will deliver big investments in the services we all need and care about, invest ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats show they’re the tax dodgers’ best friends
    The government is taking the knife to IRD at a time when we need a highly skilled department to ensure that multinationals and speculators don’t get away with dodging tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour secures the future for NZ Super
    A Labour Government will secure the future for New Zealand Superannuation so we can continue to provide superannuation to those retiring at age 65, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “One of the first things a Labour-led Government will ...
    1 week ago
  • Multinationals must pay fair share of tax
    A Labour Government will crack down on multinational companies that are dodging paying their fair share of tax, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealanders are missing out by hundreds of millions according to the IRD because multinational companies can ...
    1 week ago
  • ACT’s approach to children backward and ill informed
    Act’s new deputy leader’s claim that Labour’s support for families could “extend the misery of child poverty and even child abuse” is ill informed and offensive, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Canterbury hatchet job a disgrace
    The Government’s glib acceptance of advice that the Canterbury District Health Board doesn’t need more money is a hatchet job and a disgrace, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “To claim that the DHB was using tactics to leverage more ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Quality for Kiwi kids at ECE
    After more than a decade of rapid growth in the number of children participating in Early Childhood Education (ECE), it’s time to take stock and map out a clear plan for the future, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to boost ECE quality
    Labour will ensure kids get the best start in life by boosting funding for Early Childhood Centres to employ 100 per cent qualified and registered teachers, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will stump up a million dollars for Maniototo Hospital
    A Labour led Government will make a million dollars available to rebuild the Maniototo Base hospital in Ranfurly, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “This will be a much needed boost for a long overdue rebuild that has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No vision for the West Coast
    The West Coast welcomes any Government investment in our region but the lack of any real alternative vision for the West Coast’s economy is disappointing, says Damien O’Connor Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP.  “The establishment of a Mining Research Unit will ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s youth work scheme too little too late
    After nine years, National’s belated attempt to provide work opportunities for unemployed youth should be seen for what it is, a half-hearted, election gimmick from a party that’s ignored the problem till now, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis won’t fall for Joyce’s spin
    Steven Joyce’s embarrassingly obvious spin on Labour’s Families Package won’t fool anyone, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour prioritises families and public services
    Labour’s Families Package delivers a bigger income boost to more than 70 per cent of families with children than Budget 2017. By not spending $1.5 billion a year on tax cuts, Labour is able to do more for lower and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis can’t sleep in your ghost houses, Nick
    The Government’s housing infrastructure announcement is another Nick Smith special – over-promising with no detail on delivery, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour helps older New Zealanders and low income families with winter heating bills
    Labour will further boost its commitment to warm, healthy housing with a Winter Energy Payment for superannuitants and people receiving main benefits, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Everyone deserves a warm, healthy home to live in. But that’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must rule out retrospective override for Ruataniwha
    National must categorically rule out using retrospective legislation to override the Supreme Court’s decision that the land swap of conservation land flooded by the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was illegal, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney General David Parker. “Having not got their ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s failure a win for Māori landowners
    The Māori Development Minister’s admission that his unpopular Ture Whenua Māori Bill won’t pass into law prior to the election is a victory for Māori landowners, but only a change of government will keep the Bill gone for good, says ...
    3 weeks ago