I always love to look at people their bookcases when I visit them. It normally tells quite a lot about someone what books they have collected over the years (and read of course).
Therefore it is quite interesting to see how sites like LibraryThing try to connect people by collecting information about the books you have read and how you tag them. This information is than used to connect people, get recommendations based on others input and yours. And of course show of your library on you blog (you guessed right, look in the left lower corner .
I wonder what yo can conclude by looking at the latest books I have read.
In a post from “The long tail” a small movie director has written an interesting e-mail to Chris Anderson.
But the reality at this time for me and my company is that I need to find multiple large national distributors if I hope to even come close to making a living at this game. And I need to produce fresh content on a reasonably frequent basis. In short, I am a much smaller and more struggling version of the giants that have preceded me.
Your Long Tail theory is a basic and profound truth that I happily embrace AS A CONSUMER. But as a producer and creator of Long Tail content it is basically spelling out my doom. Other than your book examples which are still basically about VERY LARGE entities and aggregators, I am finding very few self supporting examples of independent Long Tail producers.
The general idea of the e-mail is that the long tail with niche content is nice for the consumer but that it is hard for the producer. Fundamentally there are only a few customers in the long tail so it is hard to make money for producers. Since when you produce it takes almost the same amount of time and money to make a blockbuster than to make a niche product. It is a great niche product when you have three really dedicated fans but how much money will you make.
Most of the success stories in the long tail are from distributors for whom it does not matter what item they sell since their business model is based on the total amounts of all products sold together (in the end they are all bits on a platter). And fact is that due to small world effects it is the big “hub-distributors” that are getting bigger and bigger. This might mean that in the end we end up with only a few and powerful distributors since they are the only one with a large enough audience to make your niche product profitable. Somehow that has a familiar smell to it…
I think we all know the sorry feeling that we lost track of people we knew and worked with in the past but lost sight of. In the past it a was always very hard to find them again. Since some time now there is a new social network called LinkedIn. The idea is that you can find people by name and that they themselves keep their profiles up date. Meaning you can find them on their current e-mail address.
By using it I already found some old friends from the places I worked, colleagues, customers and partners. It even integrates into outlook and recognizes people you may know from all the old e-mails you have sent (I have an archive of all my mails from 1997 and on)
This linking to each other creates an interesting web. You can normally see the acquaintances of other people and and have a look at their network. Potentially you can get an introduction for people you wish to contact. One of the other interesting features is that you can pose a question that others can try to answer.
It seems to be growing explosively, especially in the Netherlands…
I think one of the reasons it works is that the identity of the people involved is (on average) accurate. People are who they say they are. After all, the network is also meant for finding real people and real jobs. So there is no use in providing false identities. I am really curious in how this network is evolving. Another interesting aspect is that the network that people build based on their role is becoming more their own instead of their employers. This may create a feeling of independence (which is a good thing in my book). Potentially the added value for the users is much bigger than it is in networks like facebook since it keeps track of how your career evolves after graduation.
I sent them an e-mail to find out if it is possible to get (anonymously) their data on the linkages between people. This of course is a small world network but it is interesting to find out what kind of people are the connectors, what is the average separation, and so on. I have not yet received an answer…
You can find me on linkedIn .