Welcome to the Slow Internet

UK2 Group 2015 – on Resell.biz

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 16.52.45Welcome to the Slow Internet
Is the Slow Internet the future? Those of us who remember crackly dial-up lines, watching web pages load at a crawl, may well feel alarmed at this prospect. But the Slow Internet isn’t about speed, rather it is about how we choose to consume content. In the same way that the “Slow Food” movement from the 1980s was a backlash against fast food, this could be the Slow Internet: a backlash against information overload.

After all, too many BuzzFeed quizzes will leave a bad taste, much like too many BigMacs will. Opting for a bit more quality in our internet diets may be the way forward, as it’s increasingly impossible to keep track of everything. 90% of all the data in the world has been generated in just the last two years, according to research from Sintef, and the pace is quickening.

So what’s the solution? Ditch the chicken nuggets and have a steak instead. Be picky in your internet consumption and search for the stuff you love, and ignore the rest. Start with some newsletters from your favourite companies or publications, listen to some podcasts on your favourite subjects, and read some long articles on fascinating topics. This way, the internet is your oyster:

Newsletters are the best kind of email
When it comes to curating your online experience, nothing is more personal than email. In an effort to keep bulging email inboxes from getting out of control, most people reach for that “unsubscribe” button on an unwanted circular pretty quick. But when an email comes in that we actually want to read, we pay proper attention to it. And if there’s something we want to make sure not to miss, email subscription is the best thing – the best newsletters seem to be coming via TinyLetter. Another great thing about email is that it translates great to mobile, plus it’s cross-platform so anyone can access content without needing to download yet another app.

The golden age of podcasts
All of a sudden, everyone is into “Serial’. In the car, while making dinner, on the train, or walking down the street – Serial is in people’s ears, thrilling them with the story of a 1999 Baltimore murder mystery. Podcasts have never been more popular, as people like being able to choose what they listen to, instead of just having to go with whatever’s on the radio. Granted, podcasts aren’t as high in quality as the radio, but they have come a long way over the past few years. Today, there’s so many great ones to choose from, covering every conceivable topic.

The revival of longform reporting
It isn’t really fair to single out BuzzFeed as a villain for bombarding us with all those quizzes, as BuzzFeed is actually doing some amazing work to promote longform reporting. That means putting longer, more heavily researched articles on the web, as the click rates show that people are hungry for quality content on the internet again. Writing and editing more informative or complicated stories takes time, and hence costs more money, but as it turns out, people can’t live on short, snappy lists alone. Sometimes we want to read a story. After years of lamenting the decline of quality journalism, this tentative revival of proper reporting is great news – not just for journalists, but also for readers.

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