The other day I was reading Bryce Haymond’s Temple Study blog and came across a reference to “slow blogging.” In his article Temple Study One Year Anniversary Bryce referred to Sharon Otterman’s New York Times article Blogging at a Snail’s Pace. He suggested that with the birth of a “beautiful new baby boy” last September, his priorities shifted and he may become part of a growing movement called slow blogging.
In the New York Times piece, Sharon wrote that slow blogging:
. . . is inspired by the slow food movement, which says that fast food is destroying local traditions and healthy eating habits. Slow food advocates, like the chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., believe that food should be local, organic and seasonal; slow bloggers believe that news-driven blogs like TechCrunch and Gawker are the equivalent of fast food restaurants — great for occasional consumption, but not enough to guarantee human sustenance over the longer haul.
A Slow Blog Manifesto, written in 2006 by Todd Sieling, a technology consultant from Vancouver, British Columbia, laid out the movement’s tenets. “Slow Blogging is a rejection of immediacy,” he wrote. “It is an affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly.” (Nor, because of a lack of traffic, is Mr. Sieling writing this blog at all these days.) Ms. Ganley, who recently left her job as a writing instructor at Middlebury College, compares slow blogging to meditation. It’s “being quiet for a moment before you write,” she said, “and not having what you write be the first thing that comes out of your head.”
Recent studies indicate that slow blogging is catching on:
“I’m definitely noticing a drop-off in posting — I’m talking about among the more visible bloggers, the ones with 100 to 200 readers or more,” said Danah Boyd, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies popular culture and technology. “I think that those people who were writing long, thought-out posts are continuing, but those who were writing, ‘Hey, check this out’ posts are going to other forums. It’s a dynamic shift.”
One of the reasons for this shift are evolving web business models and the introduction of new technologies such as Twitter (see What is Twitter?). Instead of posting a short note about a new article or video, it’s easier to write a short tweet“, share pictures on Flickr, or use the news feed on Facebook.” Then again, maybe slow blogging is just a response to the Internet and its incredible shrinking attention span. Regardless, less frequent posts written with a little more thought seems to be a growing fad.