Part of the idea was to put a positive frame on one of our most glaring shortcomings. But the reason why we believed that an MVP didn’t have to include real-time processing is that we wanted to build a site whose value-added was independent from the number of times that a user interacted with the site. With something as quick and simple as one email a day, a person could build up a whole record of her accomplishments.
Real-time interactions happen as they happen. Timely ones, on the other hand, happen as you need them to happen. Some real-time interactions, like breaking news about an earthquake, can be timely. But not all timely interactions are real-time. I’d argue that most are not. And where the Fast Web is built around real-timedness, the Slow Web is built around timeliness.
The internet has a current: a way of doing things right; a trend towards a new business model and a new discursive formation. And going against that current is, in the long run, generally not well-received. It may be received with curiosity, good intentions, and a surge of initial interest, but the internet is not fueled by any of these things, and someday everybody will move on.
It takes active, continuous effort to run against the grain of the internet.
I have been thinking about this more and more in terms of what the right interaction models and software experiences are now that we are asymptotically approaching the the previous science fiction of instantaneous communication and information access at all times.
Just because we can express things instantly doesn’t mean it’s best for our brains and bodies.
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