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.: June 2010 --> The Slow Web (plus: the modern experience of film-watching)

The Slow Web (plus: the modern experience of film-watching)

» Jim Emerson has written a thoughtful post on the ways in which the experience and social element of film-watching have changed, not disappeared--and why that points to a brighter future (and present) than the past. It's a terrific piece, well worth reading for that alone.

Embedded deep in the article is a tangential and thought-provoking idea that is also worth your consideration:

[W]e need a Slow Internet Movement along the lines of Slow Food and Slow Cinema, if we're really going to take advantage of the archival nature of the Web. It's not just about being first and fast and superficial; it's an opportunity to consider a spectrum of arguments and evidence.

As you know, the blogging mainstream has veered 180 degrees from anything resembling a Slow Internet aesthetic[*]. But Jim's phrase "the archival nature of the Web" hits the nail on the head. With so much analysis, reflection, and imagination collected on the Internet, why are there not more writers curating, collating, and synthesizing this vast repository with measured deliberation?

Most popular bloggers will tell you that this is exactly what they do--but they do it at lightning speed. The popular Web most closely resembles a hyper-paced newspaper, with Extra editions required for every new development, regardless of its importance. Publish (and publish and publish) or perish is the credo--and in fact the reality--of any Internet publication that desires mindshare and/or advertising revenue.

The Slow Web would be more like a book, retaining many of the elements of the Popular Web, but unhurried, re-considered, additive. Research would no longer be restricted to rapid responders. Conclusions would be intentionally postponed until sufficiently noodled-with. Writers could budget sufficient dream-time before setting pixel to page. Fresh thinking would no longer have to happen in real time.

I love the Fast Web, and I value the work that is done there. But no matter how informed, intelligent, and talented a writer may be, an idea that has been returned to and then turned away from, repeatedly, is simply different from one that is formed in a few hours, based on that afternoon's best available facts. (via @ebertchigago)

[*] Obviously there are exceptions, but on the Web in general and on blogs specifically, to the "first and fast" belong the spoils traffic.

 [ 06.23.10 ]



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