Dennis Baron’s book “A Better Pencil” does not only has a nice title, but going by this Salon Interview it seems to well worth the read.
I tend to disagree with him when he proclaims:
And the funny thing is that you could put anything out there, and somebody is going to read it.
I think there is an awful lot of things that get written today and that will never be read. And not only on Twitter. We tend to apply the existing rules, concepts and understandings for way to long. Cars looked as if you were to put a horse in front of them for way to long. In the past if something got written then it indeed got read. Varying audience. But since publication cost was significant filters on many levels made sure that it was recoverable.
Now publication cost is zero. Yet, we still assume that we publish it and they will view it. This does no longer apply, since their is simply not enough readership to go around.
The corpus of unread things we cared to write is not a bad thing in itself. If we were aware then it would regulate itself.
The error of an assumed audience becomes expensive when you pour resources into something that will never find an audience that justifies the efforts that went into it. That video that you crafted so nicely for your company was not worth it when only a couple hundred people will ever watch it. Company websites cost sometimes 5 dollars or more per visitor. A visitor that most of the time will have forgotten about it after 2 seconds.