What’s troubling is the way that time interferes with gaining any insight from our media-making. As it was for Henry Bemis, time is the ultimate factor. It’s the thing that obliges us to let people know how long it will take them to read the thing we wrote. It’s why we make fancy status bars to show them how far along they are in the slog of reading the things we write. It’s why we tag things #longreads, as if to say both, “I am of the literati that reads Moby Dick more than once” and “Warning! Timesuck ahead.” It’s why it has become a legitimate critique to say, “tl;dr.” I used to take pride in my wordcount; as it climbed so did my confidence that I was more clearly communicating myself to the outside world. Now, I fear that with every additional word, I’m less likely to be read. Lost in a sea of words. And as that sea-level rises, what right to I have to expect anyone to read what I write?
Christopher Butler: Everyone is someone else’s marketer.