[Wikimedia-l] making tech journalism easier to read

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Thu May 23 09:15:49 UTC 2013

Yes, use the <ABBR> tag in HTML.

(Apologies for top-posting, on mobile at airport)
On May 22, 2013 8:07 AM, "Lodewijk" <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org> wrote:

> 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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