Following the New York Times article, there’s been some commentary on the idea of slow blogging, which I make no specific claim to, and some on the manifesto itself. It’s been nothing short of interesting and entertaining to take it all in, and it seems appropriate to respond.
First, Some Thanks
To everyone who stopped by to give the manifesto a read, a heartfelt thanks. Some took away enough from the Times article or the manifesto to write their own thoughtful posts, and I’ve highlighted a few of those below. I’ve been bookmarking these posts as I find them and they now appear in the sidebar with their own RSS feed.
Temporary Note: forgive the compressed formatting in the sidebar; it’s momentarily beyond my skills to fix but will be addressed in good order.
It seems worthwhile to call extra attention to a few of those responses.
- Arti of the Ripple Effects blog offered a thoughtful comparison of the deliberately slower pace in online writing with long takes in film. This post and the commentary that follows are fantastic.
- The Guardian’s Jon Henly tipped his hat to those who are willing to buck the trend of faster. The syndicated version reached readers as far as South Africa, one of left a comment to say Goeie dag.
- A translation of the manifesto into Farsi by bamdadi came shortly after the Times article. This was among the more surprising discoveries, that someone invested the time and effort into the translation itself, and accompanied it with a well-chosen photo. it’s an odd feeling to look on a piece of text that I know well, not only in a different language but a different written form. There’s a certain quiet beauty to know what it says and yet to be unable to read the code.
- Slow Day is a reflection, with photos, on a deliberately unhurried thanksgiving holiday and the joys it held. The post goes on to reflect on the homeschooling experience and how slow days are part of the curriculum.
- In the Blog Herald, a counter-point to the label more than the idea. A commenter suggests that the author’s refusal to read the manifesto before dismissing it makes a point in its own right. Indeed.
- One writer’s thoughts on slow blogging led to reflections on slow reading. This is a take that resonates with me. How well I know that feeling of hurrying through the pages of a book just to have it done with. Inspired, I tried a deliberately slower pace at reading the next day at breakfast, letting myself pause after sentences that took some work to unpack. I found it changed reading from pure intake of words to more of a see-saw between active scrutiny and short meditation. It’s something i’ll be trying more, especially with more difficult texts, instead of imagining that I can think harder to keep up with my eyes.
Those are just a few, and I encourage you to check out the other linked items as they’re definitely worth reading.
What Comes Next?
For one, I’ve moved the manifesto here, under my personal site, for now. I’ll continue to bookmark things I find elsewhere on the slow blog idea, and those will automagically appear in the sidebar and the links RSS feed.
There have been some direct inquiries about how to go about making a slow blog work beyond the intentions set out in the manifesto. I started to respond to these directly, but realize it makes more sense to offer what practical advice I can in a page of its own.
I’ve also found that some ideas I’ve wanted to write about for a while haven’t really found a home yet, and that maybe that alone qualifies them as grist for a slow-blog mill. With that, the goal is to post at minimum once per season and mark the four major points of the year with a written offering.
I’ve been using the web in some way since about 1995. It’s where I work and some of the glue I use to keep my personal and social life together. My passion for it comes and goes, and more often than I’d like to admit I descend into a bland kind of cynicism over what I find there. The slow blog experience though has reminded me that the best thing about the web when I first used it is still the best thing about it 13 years later: connecting with people on an idea and shared values.