The speed of the medium

image of slow signI just read an interesting article on "slow media" over on Joe Lamantia's blog. He draws upon the analogy of the slow food movement to wonder if there is a way of dealing with online media in a less frenetic way. As part of that he plugs "dawdlr" (clearly too fast and too web2.0 to make time for all its vowels). In some ways dawdlr is an old trope grounded in the success of PostSecret and so on yet I wonder if Lamantia is onto something here or whether this is just a piece of whimsy.
There have been previous attempts to consider slow media, particularly "slow email" and it's interesting to check out what "slowlab" are up to. I think a transliteracy perspective could be useful. A lot of attempts at applying "slow" concepts to online media are essentially transliterate in that they attempt to port slow literacies onto these media. What transliteracy seems to say, however, is that after you try mashing-up your literacies these ways what you end up with is not something that is simply the sum of its parts and may indeed be quite unpredictable.
What I find quite fascinating about the links Lamantia makes are that they all point to experiments in putting "old" media (chalkboards, postcards etc) online. Yet, of course, all of these media were new once too and perhaps they seemed "fast" to those for whom they were new. At some point perhaps they were all disruptive technologies which have now been safely tamed and suffused with the sepia glow of nostalgia. I suspect that if we are to take "slow" media seriously that we have to think more deeply than "oh look, it's stick figures on postcards, isn't that nice." It's an area where I think transliteracy has interesting contributions to make.


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