Slow Web

While combing through my WordPress dashboard this morning I was pointed by Matt in the direction of Jack Cheng’s article on The Slow Web.

The concept really captured my imagination; struggling in the present day and age to keep up with the ever increasing demand both to consume and generate online content I regularly find myself simply desiring escape rather than engagement as the agony of deciding often seems worse then the effort of doing.

By adopting a “batch, refine and consume at leisure” approach it genuinely seems that not only will the pressure to keep up dwindle but that quality and enjoyment will rise at the same time.

Take blogging. I’ve posted in the past about getting my blogging back on track but evidently this hasn’t happened. It’s not for lack of material, or indeed motivation, but the simply overwhelming number of possibilities and equivalent perceived value attached to each prevent suitable desire being channelled into the generation of even one finished item.

Speaking at WordCamp in Manchester three years ago I proposed a solution to this which, in retrospect, I believe was wrong. I stated that as the web sped up, our time available to each task was smaller and thus we should leverage the fast tools available to us (phones, cameras, GPS tracking) and push or pull all of this content automatically into a location (such as a blog) that used to require time, labour and love to maintain, thereby bolstering our web presence and preventing personal burn out.

The sad thing is, this approach is a fraud, a cheap imitation. After all, the nature lover desires not to merely see the sunset and the fact I was there but to catch a glimpse of the poetic thoughts that may have passed through my mind as I gazed upon the vista and compare them to his or her own.

I’m not sure these thoughts and ideas translate easily into a course of action but perhaps that’s the point; given the time and space to merely think, positive and decisive action will surely follow.


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