Readers experience Context Collapse, i.e., not fully understand or misinterpret the meaning, when they read or consume information that was not written for them or for then.
The details: It is likely to happen:
- When talking about under-reported phenomena and slow-moving movements that require a longitudinal outlook to grasp
- When discussing fast-moving topics where the situation is dynamic and information can become stale fast
- When talking across cultural boundaries
What you can do about it?
- Declare your Assumed Audience.
- The Posts format was an acceptable format for the print newspaper. Every day, the reader would trash today’s newspaper and start afresh. Online, articles stay around forever. When we write stories on unfolding events, the information published in the article might not be accurate after a day or two. Yet, this is archived forever and can drive misinformation. One solution for this is to put a message at the top of a dated article.