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I wrote a pseudo-technical blog post trying to apply some game theory concepts to s/w startup industry. This is my first serious attempt at tech blog writing. Iwas left feeling disappointed by the result.

In my post am trying to show how some of the abstract concepts of game theory can be applied to the startup industry, to a non-academic(business/tech-founders) reader.

Here's what attributes I would like critiqued:

  1. Is it coherent?
  2. Do my ideas juxtapose well?
  3. Can a non-technical audience understand what I've written?
  4. Is there an overall sense of clarity?

EDIT 2: Hi, Thanks for the feedback, i agree i didn't pay attention to punctuation and formatting. I have started on it(haven't done the whole post though). Regarding the readability,i see i have just written down thoughts rather that how each one led to another. Am re-editing the post part by part(as i find time). Leaving the question open, as i am hoping the latter visitors might give more feedback. If you think, that it's done, drop in a comment and i'll close the question.

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if you want a critique of the technical concepts, then you will need to go over to Answers.OnStartups for start-up expertise and Mathematics for the game theory. Subject matter expertise questions are not on topic. I've edited your question to remove that request and to clarify your question. –  justkt Sep 16 '11 at 19:39

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

In response to Is it coherent? and Is there an overall sense of clarity?, I think you've got a lot of problems that boil down to simple formatting, spellchecking, and proofreading. These make the piece much more difficult to read and understand. Among the problems I noticed:

  • You should use a spell checker. "atleast" is not a word, "I" is upper-case, and there is a space before a parenthesis. Later on: "Ofcourse" is not a word, there is a space after a comma.
  • You begin with After recently seeing the HN post of Entreporn; this was unclear and offputting. Err, what? HN? Enter porn? Is that a name, or do I have to look it up on Urban Dictionary? And why is there a dot between the colon and "I"?
  • You've got some formatting oddities:
    • Why did you put an anchor tag around "wikipedia" (which is written upper-case), when it is not linked?
    • Why don't you use headings for headings? HTML is a markup language.
  • Your outline would be a lot more useful if the headings linked directly to the relevant sections.
  • Also, your casing in the outline is inconsistent. Sometimes it's upper-, sometimes lower-case.

These may seem like minor quibbles, but they add up. Correct formatting will help your audience want to continue reading and show that you care about the subject.

At a wider scope, I also didn't feel your article was coherent or understandable:

  • Your first three paragraphs are a waste of time reading. Come to the point. The internet is a fast medium.
  • I have no clue what you are talking about in your first section, "zero-sum or non-zero-sum." And I know game theory and what zero-sum means.
  • By the second section, "reward-risk profile," I'm already losing interest.
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These are all valid critiques, but I don't think most of them address OP's critique request points. The flip side of setting critique question guidelines is that the answers need to follow them as surely as the questions do. –  Standback Sep 17 '11 at 21:03
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Wait, wait, wait, @Standback. Let me get this straight. He can't say what is wrong and guesses that he was oversimplifying. In justkt's edit it boils down to "can the audience understand" and "sense of clarity". And I tell him that it is unreadable, which is opposed to understanding and clarity, and you tell me I don't address his critique points? –  John Smithers Sep 17 '11 at 21:20
    
I'm saying pointing out specific typos, a site name you don't recognize, and HTML mistakes do not answer either of these points. "Is it coherent?" "Your HTML tags are wrong." -- that doesn't work. Could be made to work, if you presented it as part of a summation explaining why the piece is incoherent/unclear. But you've presented them as an unsorted list of individual mistakes, some of them quite minor. –  Standback Sep 17 '11 at 21:33
    
@Standback: So showing illegibility by example and pointing out that a whole paragraph is just not understandable, does not answer these points? Well, your vote... –  John Smithers Sep 17 '11 at 21:50
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I agree with this. The article was hard for me to follow, and the formatting problems don't help this. You may want to read up on how to format punctuation properly. –  Neil Fein Sep 19 '11 at 13:39

Before one should even address the the questions you asked about it, it should be stated that this blog post reads like a dashed-off email or text message, in part because it seems that you don't care about the common conventions of written English, like capitalization of the word "I" and header words, spelling, proper spacing, punctuation, etc. It makes it painful to read. There is also no attempt to introduce the game theory concepts first to a general audience so that you can then apply them to entrepreneurship.

I'd recommend you reconsider the amount of time and thinking you'll need to put into such blog posts if you want your blog to be useful and read. The topic may be quite interesting, but it demands more care than you seem to have given it on this pass. Good luck.

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This is a response to the piece, but it's not an answer to the question. Methinks this would be better as a comment, not an answer. –  Standback Sep 17 '11 at 21:05

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