This is a republishing of an article written ten years ago that was formalizing for the first time the idea of a slow web..
Three years ago, I started Jolicloud to reinvent our computing experience and make the cloud a better place. I discovered a world that is miles away from the social media industry.
I've observed myself following less Twitter and Facebook, spending less time trying the new new thing, getting away slowly from the fear of missing out in the social world.
I think we define the world we want to live in, and I believe the current pace of the social Internet is not sustainable in the long term for the human brain: too much stimulation, too much noise, too much stress.
The ability to understand and live in a high-density information world is what divides the world today. For us, the world is about data; for the majority of the people living on this planet, it's something they no longer understand.
But even for the small elite that we are, there's a form of resilience to the obligations of the socially connected world: We can't be at our best all the time, and our life is not just the storytelling we curate to our followers and friends.
For most of us, this social life is not fulfilling. I see some people leaving Facebook, people moving away from any form of Internet connection, but in fact, what we need is a new set of services that helps us slow down. I have been advocating for such services for the last years, hoping that more people would join the Slow Internet Movement and start synchronizing their digital life with their inner pace.
We are entering a post-social, post app, post-hyper-consuming era: the age of emotion.
The age of emotion is the third age of the Internet. It marks a certain maturity in how we as application developers should serve the user and respect its inner emotional balance.
The first age of the Internet was the age of convenience. It has been dominated by Google and Apple. It was about simplifying the actions that we did in real life: commoditizing search, access to software, commerce, payment. Many companies have made their way into success by making all aspects of our lives more convenient.
But convenience has a low perceived value: I can search for something that it's perfectly OK to forget 5 minutes later.
The second age is the age of conviviality ruled by Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and whoever facilitates the creation of new relations between people. The result is a dramatic increase in our social environment and the emergence of social pressure: not only the number of "friends" has increased, but all our interactions with them are memorized. Because the business model of social is to understand and monetize our intimacy, it's in the interest of these services to keep the conversations open. It impacts the depth of what we communicate, and If we don't restrain ourselves, we can spend hours watching other private moments instead of living ours.
The new age of emotion is centered around ourselves and our lives. It's about what matters. It's about cherishing the moments, connecting with things that make us feel good, and share them with people that can fully receive and enjoy them. It's not about how much you consume or how many people you know; it's about the unique experience of lives. It's about quality, happiness, and emotions.
It means building slow products putting the users first, and, instead of being the conductor of their lives, are silent observers, coaches.
It's all about being there without altering the experience.
Some services are in this space or moving there.
My friends at Path and Evernote are already in that space, and with the coming update of Jolicloud, we will redefine the experience of your personal life. We believe the cloud is a natural extension of our life and that we can help people organize it in a way that provides more emotional response and less stress.
I am sure we will see more products coming in the next year. To start a slow internet product, it should respect these three rules:
To be beautiful and feel personal.
To recognize and appreciate the user's inner pace, especially regarding notification and virality.
To never alter the Genuity of the experience or emotions.