Fast Blogging v. Slow Blogging

Atlantic Monthly is the only print publication whose numbers went up last year. A good part of their success has to go to their bloggers and extensive use multi-media.

In this video, Sullivan and Ambinder discuss the frenetic pace of blogging.

On the flip side, here's a group of people who are devotees of the slow blogging movement. Sounds like an oximoron to me.

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8 thoughts on “Fast Blogging v. Slow Blogging

  1. Hmmm. Is Doug mocking me because I really am a slow blogger, taking long breaks from the blog and writing, for the most part, indefensibly lengthy blog posts (that take me hours or days to finish) when I do? Or is he mocking me because of my slowness/simplicity/crunchiness pretensions, always looking to turn my laziness into a theoretical argument of the sort that the New York Times might profile, hopefully with attractive photos of my new haircut? One wonders…
    In between the slow bloggers and the rapid-fire ones, there is a vast middle, hundreds of thousands of writers who are not trying to attract advertising or buzz but do want to reach like-minded colleagues and friends. These people have been the bedrock of the genre since its start, yet recently there has been a sea change in their output: They are increasingly turning to slow blogging, in practice if not in name.
    “I’m definitely noticing a drop-off in posting — I’m talking about among the more visible bloggers, the ones with 100 to 200 readers or more,” said Danah Boyd, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies popular culture and technology. “I think that those people who were writing long, thought-out posts are continuing, but those who were writing, ‘Hey, check this out’ posts are going to other forums. It’s a dynamic shift.”

    As much as I hate to agree with anything that appears in the NYT Style section, this sounds about right to me. (Though I never would have thought that a readership of 100-200 equals a particularly “visible” blog.) Actually, didn’t you touch on this with your post about how Facebook is killing the blogs, Laura. My wife’s on Facebook know; so are practically all my students and everyone at church. When my blog came up once in class, the kids, rather than looking at me like ‘Oh man, what weird habit is Dr. Fox going to confess to now?,’ they actually kind of laughed. (‘Blogging? That is SO 2004!’)

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  2. I think that blogs still have a lot of promise. Not sure about slow v. fast blogs being the future. (RSS feeds have saved the slow bloggers. The article didn’t mention that.) If I am really jobless in May, I may decide to blog full time and see what happens. It would definitely be the over-caffeinated, fast blogging with the aim of highlighting the excellent slow bloggers, like yourself.

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  3. No, no, Laura. Russell is being *appreciated*.
    FB and, though I don’t use it (yet?) Twitter, seem to be current venues for up-to-the-minute stuff. Are Twitter streams publicly visible? Is there an equivalent of a blogroll?
    FB is sorta good for chat among people who already have some sort of connection, which I think is rather different from blogs. I don’t want to fb-friend the thousand or so people who read Fistful; I first got to know Russell when he did a guest stint for us; and while I might have heard about Laura through our mutual friend Henry, it’s unlikely that much more would have come from it. So for me, blogging has brought about lots of new connections with interesting people. It’s also a way of putting things out there, a forum for writing that doesn’t necessarily have a paying audience in mind, or something that I’m still turning over in my mind.
    Group blogs also allow slow-ish bloggers to boost each other. With about half a dozen active writers on Fistful, we manage a post or two most days. We’re not as prolific as LG&M is right now, or indeed as we were right at the beginning (Edward Hugh is now occasionally rather than constantly posting), but the steady stream of new content makes us look collectively somewhat speedier.

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  4. If I am really jobless in May, I may decide to blog full time and see what happens. It would definitely be the over-caffeinated, fast blogging with the aim of highlighting the excellent slow bloggers, like yourself.
    Much as I’d appreciate a regular boosting from a funny and much-read blogger like yourself, Laura, I really hope it doesn’t come to that for your sake–unless, of course, you’re thinking “Hell, if Dooce and Anne Marie Cox can do this, so can I,” in which case, go for it. Either way, fingers crossed.
    FB is sorta good for chat among people who already have some sort of connection, which I think is rather different from blogs….[Blogging is] a way of putting things out there, a forum for writing that doesn’t necessarily have a paying audience in mind, or something that I’m still turning over in my mind.
    Right. My main resistance to FB thusfar is that, so far as I can tell, there’s no room in it for exploring ideas, leaving detailed messages, and responding to others when they do the same. Maybe it’s a personality thing? I’m an essayist, someone who wants to invite people over for long conversations over brunch or dinner; chatting in the hallway seems somewhat artificial to me. Though I love e-mail, so what does that say?
    Group blogs also allow slow-ish bloggers to boost each other….[T]he steady stream of new content makes us look collectively somewhat speedier.
    This is why I maintain my distant grudge against Micah Schwartzman, who was invited onto Crooked Timber back when they started, when he was just as unknown a blogger as me. By any measure he a better fit with CT–for a little while anyway–than I probably would have been, but I still suspect that they snapped him up mainly because his blog name was pronounceable.

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  5. I found myself enjoying FB much more than I expected I would (and I don’t think I ever sent you my syllabus for the course I teach on Facebook Culture, Laura, but maybe I will today), to the point where I thought about giving up blogging. But I think I’m like Dr. Fox (what a great name!) in that while I love the chatter back and forth that FB provides, especially with non-blogging friends, I still need a space for rumination and reflection, that kind of space that only blogging provides for me anymore. I am going to switch blogging spaces, but I’ll still be blogging in the slow lane.

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