Introducing @DanZarrella’s Readability Analyzer Plugin for WordPress

Readability is a measurement of how complex a piece of content is. It can be measured as a grade level, the school grade level required to be able to understand the text.

I’ve done a bunch of research in the past into how readability effects sharing, and I’ve found that especially on Facebook, simple language is shared more than complex language.

To help you write highly-readable blog posts, I put together a little plugin that sits in the side bar of your WordPress blog’s post writing page and allows you to analyze the reading grade level of your content with one, quick click.

It’s still very beta, so it may break. But it’s pretty simple code, and doesn’t change anything on your site or store anything, so there isn’t much danger it will mess your blog up.

If you want to download it to test it out, simply subscribe to my blog (either by RSS or by email below). In RSS, you’ll see a link at the end of each post (including this one) that you can click to download the plugin. And if you’ve signed up by email, you’ll get a link to download it once you’ve confirmed your subscription. If you’re already subscribed, look in the sidebar of an email you’ve received from my blog to find the download link.

To install it, simply unzip it, upload the directory to your “wp-content/plugins” directory and activate it in your plugins section. Then when you’re writing a post you’ll see the analyzer.


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New Data: 33% of Facebook Posting is Mobile

For more mythbusting and social media science, don’t forget to register for my Science of Social Media webinar.

Some stats have been published, by researchers and the company themselves, about mobile usage of Facebook. But to content creators, one of the most important uses of the social network is when users create posts, sometimes posting original content, often sharing articles and media found elsewhere on the web. I was unable to find much data about how much of this activity occurs via mobile devices, so I decided to research my own.

I used a random sample set of more than 70,000 Facebook public posts (those from users with open privacy settings). The data includes status updates, videos, links and photos. 32.69% of those posts were created from mobile devices. The mobile Facebook website, m.facebook.com lead mobile usage with more than 18% of posts created through it. Below you can see a breakdown of the mobile applications used.

The official apps for the big three phones: iPhone, Android and Blackberry, were the next most commonly used mobile clients. After them were a slew of less common clients including 3rd party apps for iPad and iPhone as well as Samsung, HP, Windows and Sidekick phone clients. Which together constituted less than 1% of the total postings, and are combined into the “other” slice in the graph above.

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My Unfair Advantage

One of my favorite pieces of social media advice is: “stop talking about yourself” but today I’m going to break that rule. Saturday is my six month wedding anniversary to my lovely wife Alison.

I love what I do. Lots of us in the space do. When I started working in online marketing 9 years ago I thought I lived the job. I would do it all day at work, and into the wee hours of the night at home. Since meeting my wife however I’ve discovered that I have an unfair advantage.

The unfair advantage is that between my coworkers and my wife, I’ve found myself surrounded with the most amazing talent in my industry. She even has a better Twitter username than I do. Our wedding vows mentioned Twitter and Facebook. Even when I’m not sitting at a screen I’m getting better at what I do because of her.

She’s the most brilliant social marketer I know (myself included). She’s also an amazing writer, a skill I’ve spent much time trying to learn. Believe me, if you’ve read something good I’ve written, chances are that her eyes and hands made it that way. Our book is a great example of this. She’s my most honest critic and the best partner I can imagine.

And while I’m a data junky in my element with huge databases, she’s much better with actual humans, being actually social. It’s the perfect compliment. I obsess over Twitter, she obsesses over Facebook. I love giving presentations with PowerPoint, she’s killer at Q&A.

The best advice I can give a social marketer is to find people like this. Find someone who knows what you’re talking about when you’re thinking about the intricacies of retweets and likes. We’re all still learning how this field works. And while you can get better in isolation, you’ll never be as good as you can be until you’re constantly challenged and supported by people better than you.

Oh, and happy anniversary darling.

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