Slow media

Slow media is patient. It's not on a deadline. It isn't measured in column inches. It can be calm instead of sensational, deep instead of superficial.

In the age of "Breaking news, Emmy nominations announced!" and 140 characters, it's sort of surprising to realize that we are also living in the golden age of slow media.

For years, on Sunday mornings, you could find me sitting in my driveway, recently arrived home from one errand or another, listening to Krista Tippett's extraordinary interviews on the radio. Thanks to the web, there's no need to sit in your car any longer, and Krista's groundbreaking approach is spreading. Spending 90 minutes in the studio with her to create this week's show was, for me, one of the highlights of my career. (download).

When there's unlimited shelf space allowing unlimited podcasts, which can be of unlimited length, the goal isn't to get the show on the air faster or to make it noisier. Instead, the goal, like the goal of a good book, is to say something worth saying, and to do it in a way that's worth waiting for.

The challenge used to be to promote your idea enough to get on the radio or get into the newspaper. Of course, along the way your idea was truncated, edited, misconstrued, amped up and dumbed down, because scarce media space often demanded this.

Today, the challenge is, as Krista has shown, to be insightful enough and patient enough to use the (unlimited) time to create slow media that people actually want to listen to. Not all people, of course, but enough. Not media for the masses, but media for the weird, for people who care. It might not be obvious media, or easy to understand media, or easily digested media, but that's okay, because slow media is not mass media. Slow media is not for the distracted masses, it's for the focused few.

One of the greatest privileges of publishing The Icarus Deception and V is for Vulnerable is that I've had the chance to talk with some amazing podcasters. And to do it slowly. With focus.

Go ahead and subscribe to a few. Slow media is good for us.