Looking for a new word processor I searched the internet only to find one of the worst articles ever written courtesy of tech website Mashable.
Like many people I am fed up with Word, Microsoft’s bloated word processor. It has too many features and is becoming increasingly expensive. I briefly switched to Libre Office, no more than a buggy copy of an old version of Word, but the program is too slow. What I need is something simpler that helps me focus on writing but also can do a bit of basic lay-out. Searching for alternatives I stumbled upon an article from last year published on tech website Mashable about “The 5 Best Free Word Processors” which sounded promising but turned out to be one of the worst articles I have ever read. Commenters on the Mashable website felt the same.
Bite Size Click Bait
After reading the lavishly illustrated “bite size” article it felt more like click bait. “Five things to…” is classic listicle format to lure readers when you have nothing to say. Most of us are looking for actual information dear author. Not in the least bit humbled by her lack of knowledge the author encourages us to “check out the best of the best below” which makes me wonder what qualifies her as an expert on word processors?
The top 5: Google Docs; Textilus – Microsoft Word edition; Text Edit; Kingsoft Office Writer and Pages reads like a random list. Google Docs on top makes it look like a sponsored piece of writing. Not only does Google Docs require an internet connection, the author also encourages us to “look into the Drive’s many other apps.” Unwanted freebies when I was simply looking for a Word replacement. Browsing the list makes me wonder what criteria, other than what pops up in a random Google search, are applied, Operation system of what you want to use the word processor for definitely were not criteria.
Of course the author and I both know this article is not about the content or some giving some serious advice. It is about the “Mashable Velocity Graph which shows how quickly people are sharing this article on the social web.” How do you come up with that stuff? Silly me, I thought content was king, but sharing is. Then again it is always good to see people paint themselves into a corner by sharing stuff they did not actually read.
First and foremost mention which platform each program runs on. The word Apple gets me as a Windowy confused. Also you should make a distinction between online editors and off-line editors. Offline is very important to some of us. Does Google by any chance pays to be included in this list? Your suggestion to “be sure to look into the Drive’s many other apps“: at least points in that direction. To add insult to injury one of the comments points out that Textilus is not free.
If you want to select the five best free word processors how about acknowledging that best means different things to different people. Are you looking for something that is more about distraction free writing or has Word become too bloated and you want to switch. Create categories and come up with appropriate criteria. Then compare the programs and rank them. People do not have to agree with you but at least they understand why.
This is one of those days I am proud to use and add blocker. Mashable should not make a single cent of this article.