The Long Tail, look the personal blog of Chris Anderson who is Editor in Chief of Wired magazine and author of, malady surprisingly enough, The Long Tail : Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More has become one of my favorite morning reads. What better way to start mornings than by drawing the curtains open on how our world is changing.
Chris Anderson’s attitude is I think clear in this excerpt from his answer to the The Edge Annual Question — 2007
WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT? WHY?
Metcalfe’s Law says that value of a networks grows with the square of the number of nodes. Today’s Web, which is as much about contributing as it is consuming — two-way links, as opposed to the old one-way networks of broadcast and traditional media — allows the same to apply to people. Connecting minds allows our collective intelligence to grow with each person who joins the global conversation. This information propagation process, which was once found in just a few cultures of shared knowledge, such as academic science, is now seen online in everything from hobbies to history. The result, I think, will be the fastest increasing in human knowledge in history.
The 2.0 idea is surprisingly difficult to accurately define, but I think this previous paragraph goes a long way towards formulating what is happening in good old English.
Exponentially expanding networks of shared knowledge and learning via networks of exponentially decreasing restrictions of the directions of that flow of intelligence. It is hard not be excited by that picture.
Back to Chris’s blog, almost every post has a gem of humorous insight, e.g. 2006: The worst year for hit albums since 1983
What does it say about the music industry that the soundtrack to what was originally a Disney afterschool TV special was the bestselling album in the country last year?
For more of info about Mr Anderson and The Long Tail, or if like myself you haven’t gotten around to reading the book, The Long Tail yet (gave it to Owl as xmass prezzy so now that he’s done I can borrow it :), see his about page which features a in-a-nutshell explanation of the Long Tail.
…our economy and culture is shifting from mass markets to million of niches. It chronicles the effect of the technologies that have made it easier for consumers to find and buy niche products, thanks to the “infinite shelf-space effect”–the new distribution mechanisms, from digital downloading to peer-to-peer markets, that break through the bottlenecks of broadcast and traditional bricks and mortar retail.
PS. Your’s truly received a subscription to Wired as a xmas gift from father-in-law. Thanx Andrew, you rock! :-)