No Correlation Between Reading Difficulty and Popularity?

November 6, 2008
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Paul Ogilvie just started blogging at mSpoke, and his first post asks “What makes a blog post popular? Part I: Comparing popularity and reading difficulty“. Specifically, he explores “whether well-written feed items are more likely to receive attention than poorly-written ones”. At the risk of stealing his thunder, I’ll deliver the punchline: he found no correlations between surface features of reading difficulty an

Paul Ogilvie just started blogging at mSpoke, and his first post asks “What makes a blog post popular? Part I: Comparing popularity and reading difficulty“. Specifically, he explores “whether well-written feed items are more likely to receive attention than poorly-written ones”. At the risk of stealing his thunder, I’ll deliver the punchline: he found no correlations between surface features of reading difficulty and popularity. Fortunately, he’s not planning to give up on writing quality!

Like Paul, I find that the absence of correlation goes against common sense wisdom. I’m curious whether the problem is the measures he’s using (which he admits are crude), or other factors that confound the popularity statistics.

Via Jon Elsas.

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