“MySpace today announced its intent to restructure its international operations and refocus personnel around a smaller number of territories, while retaining a robust global consumer presence.”
That’s what News Corporation’s MySpace said in their press release yesterday. According to the Flesch-Kincaid reading ease measures that sentence requires about 15 years of formal education to understand it. The average age of a MySpace user is hard to be entirely sure of (younger users have always needed to sign in as 17 or older and many are listed as 99 years old), but to assume that they all have the education required to make sense of this seems ambitious.
In fact, assuming anyone has the interest to read it, is a stretch.
Along with the people who write policies for insurance companies, brochures for banks, and nutrition information on cereal boxes, MySpace now seems to have joined the brigade of businesses who obfuscate to avoid saying things they don’t want to.
In tennis it would be a penalty for time wasting.
Statements like those written above are most likely written for the business media. Journalists and analysts are in the business of decoding this kind of business-speak. So the headlines said:
I think they might have got a better result if they’d made the information simpler. Maybe focused on talking in ways that their users might recognise?