The Slow Web

Disappearing down a digital rabbit hole is easy to do on the web.

Information access is so fast now that  spending lots of time repeatedly checking updates and sites is the norm.

I’m trying to create a better user experience for myself that’s more enjoyable by slowing down how I access the web. A good analogy might be the trend away from fast food towards slow food. The slow web.

It’s easy to build up a backlog of sites, articles, blogs, and emails. What seemed like it might make your life better, winds up adding  stress. It’s the newest version of the growing stack of magazines you’d keep adding to with the best intentions of reading each one, but never actually got around to them.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

First, trash most of your “stack of stuff” you’ll never get around to and create a “Backlog” folder for the stuff you can’t justify trashing. You can keep some expiration date in mind and trash the Backlog file later.

I’ve created six other files on my browser.

One file is called “Daily.”

And the five others are labeled for each day of the workweek, “Monday” through “Friday.”

I grouped the stuff I check everyday like email, the NYT, and Seth Godin’s blog and put them into the “Daily” file. Infrequently updated sites were randomly put into the “day” folders, with each folder holding three to ten sites.

Now each day of the week, I check in on the “Daily” and that day of the week’s folder. Saturday and Sunday don’t have folders. I’m trying to use the computer even less on the weekends, so I only open the “Daily” folder. It’s pretty simple.

So far I’ve found a week is enough time to allow a site’s material to accumulate. For sites  that aren’t very active, I made a “15th of the month” folder and I check it on the 15th.

When I stumble across a new site I like, I bookmark it and it stays there. Later, if I like it,  I’ll move to a day of the week folder.

There’re still the other older folders in my browser for reference, like: Doctors, Spanish, Travel, etc. Usually, I open those as needed.

This slow web idea is working out well for me; and it’s still fun to disappear down a digital rabbit hole.