In a previous post I mentioned that I would follow-up to with a calculation for how much jargon WSO2 uses in its ESB marketing when compared to Talend and FuseSource. I’ve now calculated the Arcanicity Index score for WSO2’s ESB marketing copy; and whilst not quite being the answer to life, the universe and everything, it’s not far off – see below.
The Arcanicity Index looks to measure how much jargon a text contains and by extension how much specialist knowledge a reader would need to posses in order to understand it. I’d previously scored both Talend and FuseSource which had shown that Talend’s marketing copy was much less arcane than FuseSource’s but oddly did require a much higher level of grade education to understand it.
It should be said that in a sector of the market where all three of these vendors are presumably targeting overtly technical people, having highly arcane content is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact it’s almost self-selecting. If you’re audience can’t understand your marketing copy then they’re probably not you’re audience. But we do have to recognise that we might be excluding some from understanding the text we write.
Anyway, the results are in and first I have to say that I’ve had to adjust the previous score for FuseSource. I’m now using a different algorithm to detect the number of sentences in a text as well as new code to more accurately estimate the number of syllables in a word. This new algorithm counts less paragraphs for FuseSource which in turn increases the Arcanicity ratings ( as it is a function of acronym density per paragraph ).
And as the table below shows, WSO2 scores somewhere in the middle with an arcanicity score of 45.07 and an arcanicity rating of ‘moderately-high‘ for its ESB marketing copy. The sample text came from WSO2’s ESB product PDF as opposed to their web site because there wasn’t really enough of a sample there.
|Arcanicity Rating||moderately-high arcanicity||low arcanicity||arcane|
|Average Grade Reading Index||15.04||18.10||14.88|
A couple of caveats for these results. Firstly, as mentioned above WSO2’s text came from a product PDF whereas for both Talend and FuseSource I used the ESB product page from their respective web sites. I’d expect product collateral like a mult-page PDF to be more technically-focused than a general product web page and so in all likelihood WSO2’s generic marketing materials would produce a lower result . Secondly, the WSO2 name is being picked up as an acronym in these results which again is certainly increasing the perceived acronym density of WSO2 here.
I’ve actually pushed some code up to Google’s cloud-hosted appspot.com domain that should allow others to calculate the Arcanicity of their own text – as well as a host of other text statistics. If you’re interested it’s at http://arcanicity.appspot.com. But be gentle as it’s alpha software and I’m not a real programmer!
P.S. Here are the respective acronym frequency distribution charts. Click to enlarge.