Are you a stickler for spelling, grammar and syntax? Have you ever turned away from a blog or website because you found a factual error?
gooseGrade Survey: People Care About Typos and Factual Mistakes on Blogs and Social Media
Do your blog readers care whether you can spell Barack Obama?
A 2008 survey conducted by gooseGrade, a crowdsourcing editing tool for bloggers and social media content creators, tried to find out how much consumers of new media content really care about typos and factual mistakes. (See TechCrunch’s database entry on gooseGrade.)
The survey had 175 respondents and resulted in data such as the following:
- 57.5% of respondents said that they get the majority of their new on the Web – but from traditional media “crossovers” like CNN.com, not blogs or social media websites
- More than 42% said that they had “often” or “very often” left a website upon noticing spelling, grammar or factual errors; another 36.2% reported “sometimes” having that experience
- 87.8% of respondents said they find spelling or grammar errors distracting when reading online content and have spent less time browsing a web site than they otherwise would have because spelling or grammar errors on the page became too distracting
The folks at gooseGrade used their survey to justify their service’s existence, emphasizing the large percentage of respondents who said that blogs and social media are not as respected as mainstream media because they are believed to contain more errors.
The Real Traffic and Backlink Killer: Laziness
In some cases, bloggers can plead ignorance. Maybe you just didn’t know that misunderestimated ain’t a word. (Not a “real” one, anyway, although a certain former political leader was known to have employed it.)
But the primary reason blogs have so many mistakes is that their authors get sloppy. It’s just too tempting to hit that Publish button before conducting a thorough fact check.
I just know you’re scouring this post for a doozy – a broken link, a garbled word, a blatant disregard for the truth.
How interesting that you could be the one diligently combing through each sentence while I could be the one carelessly finger-dancing my way through.
Related Resources on Blog Writing and Factual Mistakes
- Problogger: Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar – Quality Control for Bloggers
- ReadWriteWeb: Errors By Bloggers Kill Credibility & Traffic, Study Finds
Do you agree that laziness is the primary cause of error-prone blogging?