We all know what fast content is, right? Status updates, tweets, and up to the second reporting on blogs like Techcrunch and Huffpo. Content produced so fast that you can barely skim it fast enough to keep up. Not only can you consume this content, but with todays media you're expected to participate, it's a two way street. You need to reblog or retweet the article, and then write something smart in the comments ( if you have time). This is the world of "fast content". The problem is time. We don't have enough of it, and eventually we get sick of all the low quality crap. You can conginue to run the rat race, or we can start making the effort to take more than a few minutes to enjoy all the slow content out there.
So who else cares about slow content? Marcos Arment , creator of Instapaper, made a stand when he launched his simple reading tool encouraging people to spend more time consuming long form high quality conent. Check out what he says in the Instapaper FAQ:
What does Instapaper do?
Instapaper facilitates easy reading of long text content.
We discover web content throughout the day, and sometimes, we don't have time to read long articles right when we find them.
Instapaper allows you to easily save them for later, when you do have time, so you don't just forget about them or skim through them.
From a personal perspective, I appreciate great writing, but I've become frustrated with the quick-consumption nature of many devoted blog readers. Authors are encouraged to cater to drive-by visitors hurrying through their feed readers by producing lightweight content for quick skimming.
There's no time to sit and read anything when you're going through 500 feed items while responding to email, chatting, and watching bad YouTube videos....
This is a great tool in fighting the addiction of multiple tasking and RSS feeds full of posts. Find a few well written articles, click the "read later button" and then set aside some time later in the day just to focus on reading.
Another big player in this apace is the kindle ( which actually plays quite well with instapaper). As I've said in the past, the kindle OS really was designed to replace the book. It's too slow to do much else, making it the device of choice for the slow content consumers. Whether you're reading a novel or articles you've carefully currated via instapaper, the kindle is a refuge from all the distractions.
On the production side we're also seeing some tools to help slow things down (not that I need tools to write blog posts any slower). Rather than encouraging content farms through hyper speed publishing, writing apps like Focused and WriteRoom strip away everything but the text and encourage publishers to focus more on what they're writing.
Since leaving San Francisco for Paris, I've been enjoying the break from the center of the web world, and I've been slowing down my content consumption. Before I used to just blindly read feed upon feed of news trying to keep up, now I'm spending more time on the good stuff. Anyone else?