Remixing the routes

Archive for the ‘Long Tail’ Category

Long Tail on Second Life by Chris Anderson

Posted by annplugged on May 3, 2007

Let’s revisit Chris’ keynote on his book entitled The Long Tail:

Chris Anderson’s animated figure talked to an audience of animated figures on the virtual landscape of Second Life (October 2006), and here’s a somewhat eerie snippet of that conversation made by Millionsofus:

Ilya Vedrashko gives a nice transcript of the dialog between Chris Anderson and Hamlet Au (of New World Notes):

Hamlet Au: If “The Wisdom of Crowds” was the cocktail buzzword of the last few years, then “The Long Tail” is the term for today. When Chris Anderson coined it, he was describing an Internet-driven economic phenomenon, but since then it’s been applied to various pursuits, from foreign policy to education……Don’t the realities of corporate management make the Long Tail fairly irrelevant? Take the film industry.

Chris Anderson: But hits are unpredictable. Why risk your career on the toss of a dice when you can spread the risk over a larger portfolio of smaller investments? The profits in the back catalog (which is just one form of the LT) aren’t slow–they’re *steady*!

Hamlet Au: Obviously the purchase of YouTube by Google is the big Internet news this week. Reflect on it for us. What does it say about the Long Tail phenomenon?

Chris Anderson: It’s a huge vote of confidence. Media learned how to compete with the LT in the 90s … then the music industry learned to compete with the LT around 2000 … Now TV is going to have to compete with web video. They thought we wanted 30 min and 1 hr dramas and high production content that only they could created. The truth is that we do, but we also want more.

Ariel Spoonhammer: If long-tail revenues of any significance are spread over time, what are the short-term incentives to producers who can often get a higher short-term return on investment?

Chris Anderson: Yikes. Okay, I’ll try to answer that one. There are two LTs in content. One is broad appeal down to narrow appeal. The other is new vs. old. So the LT revenues that you describe as being slow mostly refer to the second, the monetization of archives over time.

Read the complete discussion on Hill Holliday.


Posted in Long Tail, Marketing, Online, Presentation, Video, YouTube | Leave a Comment »

The Long Tail keynote by Chris Anderson

Posted by annplugged on May 3, 2007

As part of the Authors@Google series, Chris Anderson visited Google (July 18, 2006) to discuss his book, “The Long Tail.” The title refers to a phenomenon describing a well-known feature of statistical distributions (Wikipedia: also known as heavy tails, power-law tails, or Pareto tails) and has been capitalized popularized and creatively applied for web trends by Chris Anderson in an October 2004 article (Wired magazine) to describe business and economic models, especially referring to wealth distributions or vocabulary use.

The main idea is that those businesses that are caring to serve the millions of niche markets (neglected and untapped by most of the (big) companies working with large numbers), besides catering for the masses, are the tenets of business successes in the future that is becoming more and more digitalised and trackable.

The revolutionary idea has been developed into a blook (blog book), and is still evolving well after its first edition on the Long Tail Blog: e.g. from 18th April, 2007: “Those of you who have seen my speeches on the legal dimensions of the Long Tail know that I consider the absurdly complicated and expensive process of rights clearance to be the primary barrier to unlocking the latent Long Tail value in content archives. The example I usually give is WKRP in Cincinnati, not because there’s necessarily a lot of value in that 1970s sitcom, but because it’s often cited as one of the hardest TV series to clear. ” Chris has already given a speech on Second Life as a virtual Long Tail author. As Ilya writes: “Chris Anderson’s avatar talked about the effects of the long tail on media, the future of 3D printing, the incentives behind niche content production, and the implications of the recent YouTube-Google deal.” So this book will just go on and on, with a long tail.

Just to highlight two slides:

1, Does more choice mean more sales?


  • Isn’t the Long Tail full of crap?
  • Yes. But so is everything else.
  • Sturgeons Law: Ninety percent of everything is crud.

It is a pity that “Adding comments have been disabled for this video.” It seems like Google is applying the same no-comment approach in its YouTube communication as in its Official Google Blog, which I cannot agree with (even if there is a 60% chance for flame war, it is better to see the freedom for adding comments than one single note).

Oh, yes, the keynote starts in medias res (the beginning, or the head belonging to the long tail has been cut off by the editors for some reason).

Posted in Google, Long Tail, Marketing, Online, Presentation, Talks, Video | 2 Comments »