Are you a fast blogger or a slow blogger?

Filed as Features on March 17, 2008 5:15 pm

The philosophy of one of my favorite bakeries is that they allow the bread to rise up to 36 hours to ensure the best quality. It reminded me of the Italian ‘slow food’ movement as a response to the production and consumption of fast food. The general idea was translated into various aspects of life and gave birth to the ‘slow movement’ which may be considered as “a cultural shift toward slowing down life’s pace.” (Wikipedia)

However, the web seems obsessed with updates, it seems to be in an endless beta state fed by a perceived freshness fetish where updating quickly and instantly is the norm. Blogging may be seen as a medium where the freshness norm is illustrated in the daily update. New York Times science reporter Andrew Revkin recently stated that

Much of the power of the Web lies in speed and reach. But those same properties are the source of its greatest failing as well: the tendency to spread faulty assertions instantly and widely. Maybe it’s time for a “slow blog” movement, just as there’s now a slow food movement — and even a slow life movement, as described in The Times this week.

While blogs thrive on the update , the quick update in order to break the news first may also lead to the “fast-motion flow of misinformation.” A recent example is the Robert Scoble’s quick but inaccurate Twitter message stating that “revision3 just sold to cnet for $58 mil” which was humorously covered by Michael Arrington on TechCrunch.

While freshness is still the norm on the web there are also a few trends that propose to slow down. We are dealing with an increasing amount and speed of information which gave birth to the Getting Things Done hype. Dutch problogger Ernst-Jan Pfauth for example applies GTD to blogging in ‘how to process blog-related email Getting Things Done-style‘.

Both the slow movement and Getting Things Done are a philosopy and a lifestyle. Slow blogging proposes to take a step back, reflect and think. Carl Honore gave an interesting talk on ‘Slowing down in a world for speed’ at Ted 2007 (see video). Of course the Slow Blog Manifesto does not apply to all blogs and bloggers. Slow Blogging is a style and mindset that rejects immediacy:

It is an affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly, and that many thoughts are best served after being fully baked and worded in an even temperament.

News blogs depend on quick and fast updates but depending on what kind of blog you run you have to balance between the speed of information and depth of information:

The best internet experiences balance the tension between speed and ease of access and depth of information. The superficial quality of speed is inherent to the net (just like water is wet) but that doesn’t mean it has to be accepted unquestioningly. The proliferation of information and our consumption and creation of it isn’t something that should be taken for granted. (Jesse)

Mari then distinguishes between two types of blogging:

There is and should be fast and slow blogging. Someone a while back made the point that the real issue is lazy blogging. I think that’s right. Fast blogging has its place in conveying news and starting conversation. Meanwhile, slow blogging is for thoughtful, considered analysis; for weighing all of the news that’s already been reported in fast blogging and by other media outlets. Both are good. Lazy blogging has no place. (Mari)

What kind of blogger are you? A fast blogger or a slow blogger?

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  1. By JW Bobbink SEO posted on March 17, 2008 at 7:44 pm
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    I’m a real fast blogger. I already spent enough time behind my screens so every minute of saving time is worth it!

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  2. By Corvida posted on March 18, 2008 at 12:23 am
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    I think at the same time, Fast blogging caters to a lot people’s needs. It’s usually quick and to the point. Most of the time, we don’t have the time to sit, read, and analyze information to our hearts content. I think slow blogging won’t catch on as much until life slows down: until we have the time to process it all.

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  3. By Ernst-Jan Pfauth posted on March 18, 2008 at 2:11 am
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    Thanks for the link Anne!

    Most of the times I’m a fast blogger. Yet once or twice a week I take my time for a post: I write my thoughts down in a notebook, then think about it for a while and only then the actual blogging starts.

    I enjoy the latter the most.

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  4. By Barbara Ling (aka Owlbert) posted on March 18, 2008 at 8:04 am
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    Morning,

    It depends. Generally I’m a fast blogger and every now and then, I’ll be so swept up by an improvement or challenge I’ll drop everything, blog my how-to tutorial, dash it up, post it, and then return to my normal every day activities.

    My recent success with auto-generating TinyURLs for my blog visitors is a recent example of this.

    Enjoy,

    Barbara

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  5. By Stamford Talk posted on March 18, 2008 at 8:05 am
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    I agree with Ernst-Jan… if I have a clever idea that’s topical and not time-based, letting it sit in my head for a day or two gives me time to think of more clever aspects or lines to include. It’s too easy to get absorbed in the computer screen- slowing down the posting process can only help.

    Many times, I’ve been thankful I didn’t post too quickly about a subject that’s sensitive (murders in my city). It’s hard, when you blog alone, to keep perspective. Slowing down enables you to step back and be your own editor- not grammar, but content. We all know this, but it’s important to be reminded of it.

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  6. By Nina the Bloggett posted on March 18, 2008 at 8:21 pm
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    I am a slow blogger since this is my first ever blog,I was actually looking for something on slow food but this appealed to me and you all seem so approchable,I am also a slow blogger because I donot posess broad band and am still on windows 98
    just to proove I can do it I guess.Most of the time I log on to the net go make a cup of tea,select a topic in google and slice a few onions for dinner,check the page that has crashed and start frying the garlic and beef while the page refreshes,go and feed the dog,and see that the site I chose wasn’t what I was after,go back to google and try again while I reduce a wine sauce and prep the vegetables, check the garden for fresh herbs and pull a few weeds and forget I was evcer on the net, eat dinner and find that I’m still on line as you can see I love to talk and often write madly then reread the subject and edit after. I hope I have sone some light on a novice slow food blogger cheers Nina the bloggett.

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  7. By Jeremy Steele posted on March 18, 2008 at 8:49 pm
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    Depends on how much sleep I get. That’s it.

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  8. By andymurd posted on March 27, 2008 at 9:17 am
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    I’m definitely a slow blogger – about 2 posts per week, each long and often complex. I must mix in a few shorter posts though, it would help me increase my rate and cater for the skim readers.

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  9. By Michael posted on March 30, 2008 at 12:17 am
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    I like to think of myself as blogging at moderate speed. I’m not the first to post about something but I’m not the last to post about it. I spend just enough time to digest the information without waiting too long, to the point where the news is old.

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