It’s Friday night and my poor, sick husband fell asleep before 9:00 PM. Not wanting to waste time, but also not wanting to violate my long-standing (dating back to high school) personal rule of no homework (or work-work) on Friday night, I decided that I might tackle an unfinished blog post. So . . . .
Several months ago, I finished reading Long Tail, The, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson. My husband, when he saw the book on my bedside table, gave me a puzzled look. A book about selling things? He didn’t think it fit with my usual reading interests, and in many ways it didn’t; I’m not particularly interested in selling less (or more) of anything . . . at least not right now. However, at least some of the book’s themes did fit in with my interests in networks.
Fundamentally, the long tail is another expression of the power rule so common in networks. The long tail phenomenon is fueled by network effects. The existence of long tails (and even tails within tails) in music, movies, etc. allow for creation of niches of interest and lead to the troublesome possibilities of echo chambers, tribes, and ego-casting.
My fellow student, John Hilton, posted his (more thorough) review of the book over a month ago. You can also learn more about the book by visiting The Long Tail blog. As usual, I’ve included my mind map notes, mainly for my own benefit.