Slow Down, Internet

I had never heard of the Slow Web Movement. All I knew was that I enjoyed a user-focused experience much more than the instant-post, always on, crazy web.

An example. I get just about 100% of my Apple/Mac/iOS news from just two sites. Daring Fireball and The Loop. I avoid sites like heylookattheseapplerumorsrightnow.com1 like the plague and most general news sites loose the details and just kind of suck.

My point is that well-sourced, well-reasoned2 news/opinion about something that is important to me presented in an easy, even pleasant, to read way is way more important to me than the latest up-to-the-nanosecond rumor. The sites I frequent are more fun for me to visit because they're designed to be simple and elegant. It's a pleasure to read the articles.

The added bonus is that I usually have pretty accurate information because I only trust sources that have earned that trust.

You should definitely read Jack Cheng's full post on The Slow Web, but here is a good snippet:

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. It’s not so much a checklist as a feeling, one of being at greater ease with the web-enabled products and services in our lives.

The Slow Web is what we need (or better, what we're looking for) when we want it. The Slow Web focuses on quality of information over the internet fire hose of tweets and status updates. Think of it as the difference between the twitter public feed and a conversation spanning several emails.

A brand new news service that exemplifies the Slow Web focus on quality product, easy user interaction, and timeliness is Evening Edition. Their description:

The perfect commute-sized way to catch up on the day’s news after a long day at work.

It's essentially a summary of the day's important news items, written by a real journalist, complete with links to relevant articles and sources. It isn't intended to replace long-form journalism so much as to augment it. Evening Edition focuses on the reader by seeing and filling the gap between 140-character news tweets and full-length news articles that get sent to Instapaper without a second thought. The site also looks great on iPhone and iPad.

Evening Edition gives the reader exactly what one wants: the information wanted, in a friendly, easy format, when and where the reader wants it. To me that beats the heck out of pulling up a bloated news site or poorly designed app to find a couple of 'real' news items and a bunch of celebrity gossip stories3.

The Slow Web is the next step for internet services. Focus on the end user coupled with a high-quality product presented in a way that interacts with or adapts to the user rather than barraging us with tricks to increase page views and ad click-throughs. That's the real 2.0 of the web and it's making it a better place.


1Not a real site, OBVS.

2Well-written, as well.

3To be completely fair, the BBC and NPR news apps are pretty good.


Relevant Links:

Evening Edition on Mule Design Blog

Announcing an Audacious Proposal: App.net

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