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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.


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