I usually don’t have much time to read blogs, so I prefer bloggers that write crisply and get right to their point. The bloggers that I follow are listed on the right hand column of this page, and tend to write in this style. For my own blogs, I limit them to 500 words or so; and in doing so I’ve learned that writing a short blog takes quite a bit of discipline.
As such, I was intrigued when I saw this blog that advocated a short blogging style that did not make use of techno-terms. To my surprise, I found that there was a site that would analyze your text and tell you if any of your words were not among the 1,000 most common in the English language. This site challenged the viewer to write something to verify that this was not an easy task.
Always up for a challenge, I decided to try and explain what NetApp did using this format. I found that words like company, manufacture, storage, cloud, and even the word “data” was not allowed. Hmmm. After a few more tries, I finally passed the test and composed a description that struck me as something a 3th grader would recite in front of the class. I even threw in a picture for good measure. Humorous, yes, but at the same time this helped keep me centered on writing words that could be understood by all. When I first started blogging at NetApp, I was reminded that for many of my readers, English is not their primary language.
In any event, it was a fun exercise and I’d recommend any other bloggers out there try it themselves. So without further ado, here is my description of what NetApp does, using only the 1,000 most common words in the English language:
What the People I Work With Do
The people I work with make boxes that other people use to save their pictures, words, and numbers so that they can remember what they look like. This is important because people can't remember very much and they need a place to save these things so that they can find them later if they need them.
The boxes we make are about as big as a man and are put in big rooms that make a lot of noise and have no windows. The rooms are usually very cold and some people think these rooms should be made warmer. The boxes we make have their own brains that run a lot of blinking lights. Inside our big boxes are other smaller boxes with pieces that turn very fast. These smaller boxes are about as big as a hand and are what hold the pictures, words, and numbers.
Some people think that the smaller boxes that turn fast are too old and they break too much so some other people made boxes that don't turn and don't break as much but can still save pictures, words and numbers for people to remember. We use these new smaller boxes in our big boxes and we also use the old boxes that turn, too.
Some people say that it is easier to save their pictures, words, and numbers in the sky. I tell them yes they can store their things in the sky, but it takes time to put things into the sky and take them back out, and they might want their things faster. I also tell them that other people can put their things into the sky too, so they have to be sure not to get their things into the things of other people.
What a lot of people do not know is that even in the sky, there is still a big box with a brain, blinking lights, and smaller boxes that hold all of the pictures, words and numbers. The people that I work with make big boxes that can go into the sky, or go into big rooms with no windows. Either way, we make sure that people can always find their pictures, words, and numbers without getting them into the things of other people.