[Wikimedia-l] making tech journalism easier to read

Jane Darnell jane023 at gmail.com
Wed May 22 07:57:57 UTC 2013

I agree with everyone here and would add that no matter how hard to
read, *any blog entry at all* on this Tech stuff is highly welcome,
because it also serves as a written record to refer back to in various
ongoing technical projects. Any documentation at all is better than
none. I find myself regularly reading old blog entries in order to get
a feeling for the purpose of ongoing work. Once begun, people rarely
talk about the *why* part of their project, just their progress and
the *what*.

Keep up the good work, Sumana!

2013/5/22, Lodewijk <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org>:
> I think what is even more helpful to people, is to avoid abbreviations as
> much as possible, or explain them. For example:
> * Up-Goer 5 (but there was a link next to it - which allows you to guess
> what it means)
> * SMOG (the stuff that is in the air, right?)
> * FKT
> Usually this kind of abbreviations (without in-text explanation) makes
> texts much harder to read. Even a link to an explanation is usually less
> helpful than a few words of what it actually is (especially when reading
> offline - yes, that world still exists).
> Anyway, aside from that, I think Quim has a point that jargon is much more
> dangerous than complicated words. However, don't underestimate the amount
> of non-native volunteers. I have all too often heard at meetings that
> people felt insecure to participate in a discussion because they felt it
> was above their level. Some native speakers have the habit of going all
> wild with complicated words (this is not too common, gladly) and then you
> realize that texts with long sentences with lots of long complicated words
> are much harder to understand, even if you understand each word by itself.
> So this score thing Sumana linked to might indeed be helpful, but probably
> only at longer texts. At short texts there is not enough critical mass to
> be precise.
> Lodewijk
> 2013/5/22 MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com>
>> Sumana Harihareswara wrote:
>> >When you're trying to write a blog.wikimedia.org entry or
>> >wikitech-ambassadors email about a technical topic, but you want to make
>> >sure nontechnical Wikimedians can read it, is there an automated check
>> >you can run through?
>> I'd recommend doing what we do on the wiki to make topics easier or more
>> accessible: include a lot of links. The blog is worryingly low on links in
>> each post, given that it's the blog of Wikimedia, king of [[links]].
>> Perhaps linking needs to be made easier in WordPress?
>> I'm not sure there's much else to be said other than "avoid the use of
>> (unexplained) jargon and write clearly and concisely."
>> The Wikimedia blog is made up of several sub-blogs. The tech blog seems
>> like it would inherently be more... technical than the community blog or
>> the fundraising blog. Unless the larger issue is the audience question.
>> That's a bit of a rabbit hole, though.
>> MZMcBride
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