Slow Blogging

Interesting article in the Sunday Styles section of today's New York Times about "slow blogging" and the apparent shift in blogging patterns. Turns out that Todd Sieling, a technology consultant from British Columbia, wrote a "Slow Blog Manifesto" in 2006 positing that "not all things worth reading are written quickly." Hard to disagree with that.

Later in the article someone who studies popular culture and technology says that bloggers who tend to write short posts -- ones that mainly point readers to something they should read or see -- are moving to other venues, like Twitter or Facebook. Barbara Ganley, the blogger featured in the article, seems to agree. Her motto is "blog to reflect, Tweet to connect." As for me, I've yet to Tweet. For one thing, I like to communicate in complete sentences.

I suppose it's inevitable that there would be a blogger shakeout. Burn-out, lack of time, and loss of interest are probably the major factors for those who stop blogging. I'm certainly guilty of the second, and very occasionally the third.

I wonder how arts/artists' blogs fit into the discussion? Most of them, I find, are less about analysis (e.g., political blogs) and more about sharing and inspiration, and that may set them apart. I blog about books and book arts (and occasional asides) partly because the passion I have for these encourages me to share what I learn with others who have similar interests. And over the months that I've blogged, I've been so inspired and delighted by other bloggers' contributions that I feel a certain responsibility to give back, to contribute to the whole.

I'll be interested to see how this develops.


MadSilence said...

Hey Bookgirl. Interesting article that touches on a number of issues I've been thinking on. Social-networking via IM, Facebook, MySpace & Twitter (which I don't do)seems designed for short bursts of info frequently applied. The blogs I frequent provide opportunity for more meaningful sharing of info (user-generated content) & reflective thought. Blogger shakeout or Web 2.0 evolution? Reminds me of the early days of eBay.

Art/artists blogs that deal with the fine arts, literature, humanities etc. may attract a different public interested in thinking & sharing "deep" thoughts. For me blogging gives the opportunity to meet people I would never otherwise meet, learn from them, perhaps engage in dialogue. I gravitate away from blogs with little narrative content.

I've been reading the book Click by Bill Tancer. Tancer discusses visitors to online communities. He estimates that 90 percent of online visitors are "lurkers" who never contribute or leave comments on a blog. He estimates that only one percent are active contributors.


Sue said...

A very interesting post, further interesting points by MadSilence and the NYT article itself very thought provoking too. Thanks all. I personally can't stand all the Twitter business, and prefer to do everything in a Slowish way (although I've been doing it like this for a long time before everyone discovered Slow with a capital 'S', as I suspect many have). Thank you Book Girl for a great post. I like your blog a lot :-)

Adam Cope said...

Hello Bookgirl

Thanks for the fascinating article.

Re-arts blogs. I've been thinking about this for the last three or so years.When I did finally take the plunge & start 'a painting a day' blog it was a painting a week, with the proviso: 'FAST...SLOW...FAST.

Creativity is pretty mercurial but a blog can help discpline output by the simple fact of having a deadline. Some types of creations respond well to this. Others don't. No matter what speed.

Then there's also fast readers & a few slow readers, as any website's stats will confirm. Most visitors on the web read, or rather surf, at crack-neck speed, skimming for key words & make assumptions about content by filling in & padding out.

Nice blog :-)

Clara said...

MadSilence and Adam Cope, you make some good points about the consumers of blogs. Readers gravitate to what interests them, both as to content AND style.

Adam, I agree that blogs can be very helpful to the creative process by imposing deadlines. Would that I had more discipline in that respect.

And Sue, isn't it nice to have been ahead of a "movement"?

Casey Klahn said...

Great stuff, here. My friend Adam routed me here.

Alas, I would enjoy slower blogging, but I do like to be read.

There is a place in the world for art essays, and I think they can fit quit well into the blogging media. It helps, of course, to have something to say!

Off topic: Hey, Book Girl! I recently bought a book in my favorite genre, WW II, and after getting it home I realized that the jacket cover had a completely mistaken design. A book about a US Army general, with a picture of Soviet tanks superimposed! He never saw Soviet troops!

My question to you is, should I write a snarky comment to the publisher of this freshly minted book? I wanted to say something like I am waiting for them to send me a new redesigned cover.

Excuse the diversion, and nice to meet you.