Longer Web Manifesto

Love curling up with a good book?

Spending lazy afternoons with the latest book from an author you enjoy? Getting lost in a new world and a new story?

Enjoy reading an essay that the opposes your opinion so you can see if you can rip its arguments to shreds?

Don't mind that the author may start changing your mind on a topic? In fact you look forward to the possibility.

Find yourself lost in non-fiction books that explain a whole new world in a way you've never considered?

Happy when you discover more about history or science? Thrilled when someone shares their enthusiasm and knowledge and you end up completely absorbed in something new?

Not afraid of lots of words and big ideas as long as they are well written, well considered, and worth reading?

Me too.

We are constantly reminded we live in a fast paced world. Faster and more efficient seems to be the underlying motto of the modern age. We have instant access to information. We carry phones and other devices that give people immediate access to us regardless of where we are or what we're doing. We're always online and always accessible. Getting things done seems more important than taking our time. Today's todo list is more important than our list of long term goals and dreams. We can't stop to smell the roses unless it's scheduled months in advance.

We all live in that world. The world grabs us and doesn't let go as we careen through our days. I like the immediacy of email and phone calls. I'm not against the fast paced modern world. I swim through it without feeling like I'm just treading water.

But... phones have voice mail. Email can wait in the inbox. Time can be spent on long meals after which the discussions keep going and the ideas keep coming. Even in a fast world there is time to be found. Maybe we don't have to schedule taking the time to unwind. Maybe... just maybe... we can allow ourselves to spend some of our precious time reading and learning. Talking and discussing. We know there are concepts and ideas out there that deserve more than a few bullet points and more than a casual mention. Once in a while the rest of the world can run the rat race and speed nowhere fast while we take some time to contemplate.

The internet is the most widespread communication system in history. It links computers together around the world. At work and at home we stay connected with our computers and phones.

The web is the largest publishing platform in history. More people around the world have shared more ideas and thoughts than ever before. A surprising number of those ideas are well written and worth exploring. People worldwide take immense amounts of time to labour over missives, rants, manifestos, books, lectures, videos, and presentations. In a web filled with two sentence blog posts there is a surprising amount of longer material out there.

I started to call these larger bits of the web The Longer Web and I created this site to share what the best of what I come across.

If you aren't scared of ideas that need room to be explored - then welcome.

If you don't mind having your mind engaged and don't run from opinions and facts that may challenge your view - then welcome.

Welcome to a window on a world that is hidden in plain site on a web that only seems to be entirely shallow and pithy.

Welcome to The Longer Web.

  David Govoni - david @ thelongerweb . com
     March 2010