Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Label it and it exists

According to this weekend’s New York Times, Slow Blogging (caps are essential in this) is in fashion. It is defined as a purposeful movement akin to Slow Food where writers attempt to be thoughtful and reflective rather than simply firing off the first thing on their mind.

It must be so because the article is in the fashion and style section, not the technology section. Like all phenomena, it assumes reality by being named. If you google “slow blogging” you will see an amazing number of posts linking to the article or mentioning it. Interestingly for an article about slow, thoughtful commentary, many of the googled responses are Twitter updates alerting people to its existence. Proof of something perhaps?

I am by practice, if not necessarily by philosophy, a Slow Blogger though not the slowest of slow. Apparently two to three posts a week is considered slow, but some bloggers post only once a month or less. I wonder though, if like many things philosophical, or things identified by trendsetters in the media, if it is not simply a reflection of people’s lives. Many people whose blogs I read are wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful people whose blogging is not central to their daily lives. They have jobs, families, wide-ranging interests -- things that contribute to them having something to say that also keep them busy and not firing off posts multiple times per day.

The NYT acknowledges a technological component to this movement. People interested in immediacy and drawing attention to the thoughts of others have shifted to Twitter, Flickr and Facebook because traditional blogs are “glacial” in pace to use. Yet if there were not thoughtful pieces of actual content on the web, what would these people tweet? You only have to listen to people on their mobile phones in public to get the answer to that. No thoughtful content or background is truly needed for people to fill the air with nothing.

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