The Slow Web

I feel like today there is an overflow of everything. Too many things happening at the same time. Too many articles to read. Endless social network feeds.

As time goes by I’ve been trying to be mindful and more moderate about the amount of information I consume (social networks, newsletters, blogs, etc). I did not know about the concept of slow web before, but it is something I’ll keep in mind for the future while designing/developing products. I think that apps that focus on providing this sort of experience bring a breadth of fresh air to the scene and will be more relevant in the future.

Jack Weng wrote a wonderful piece about the topic. I just quoted it for further reference.

What is the Fast Web? It’s the out of control web. The oh my god
there’s so much stuff and I can’t possibly keep up web. It’s the
spend two dozen times a day checking web
. The in one end out the
other web. The web designed to appeal to the basest of our
intellectual palettes, the salt, sugar and fat of online content web.
It’s the scale hard and fast web. The create a destination for
billions of people web. The you have two hundred twenty six new
updates web
. Keep up or be lost. Click me. Like me. Tweet me. Share
me. The Fast Web demands that you do things and do them now. The Fast
Web is a cruel wonderland of shiny shiny things.

Fast Web is destination-based. Slow Web is interaction-based. Fast
Web is built around homepages, inboxes, and dashboards. Slow Web is
built around timely notifications. Fast Web companies often try to
rack up pageviews, since pageviews mean ad impressions. Slow Web
companies tend to put effectiveness first.

Behavior change, not growth. Behavior change is about improving the
lives of others
, scale is about ego. Getting scale after nailing
behavior change is easier than nailing behavior change (and thus
having a shot at durability) after hitting scale.

Timeliness. Rhythm. Moderation. These things dovetail into what I
consider the biggest difference between Slow Web and Fast Web. Fast
Web is about information. Slow Web is about knowledge. Information
passes through you; knowledge dissolves into you

Timely not real-time. Rhythm not random. Moderation not excess.
Knowledge not information.
These are a few of the many
characteristics of the Slow Web.

Slow Web is concerned as much with production as it is with

Fast Web companies want to be our lovers, they want to be by our
sides at all times, want us to spend every moment of our waking lives
with them, when sometimes that’s not what we really need. Sometimes
what we really need are friends we can meet once every few months for
a bowl of ramen noodles at a restaurant in the East Village. Friends
with whom we can sit and talk and eat and drink and maybe learn a
little about ourselves in the process. And at the end of the night get
up and go our separate ways, until next time.