Posts Tagged ‘The Long Tail’


Matching Niches

July 25, 2008

The Long Tail

I am fascinated with the topic Shannon raises in her blog entry on “The Long Tail & Dating“, because I just realized I have been there. I am a living example of The Long Tail applied to dating. I did indeed find my special one on little less than a year ago. Also, there is one more person I know, who did this successfully, after I encouraged her to try, based on my positive experience with the online dating service. Even though I often joke about that I should be a paid spokesperson/endorser of – no, I do not receive a fee to promote it. I have not even considered taking the time to go back to and share my “success story”. Instead, I just informally encourage single people who do not want to be single anymore to try it with the warning that it is what you make of it. The service is just a tool, but it is up to you to be honest about who you are and be specific about who you are looking for. As with all things, destiny and luck play a role, but they are definitely aided by your conscious attempt to change the situation for yourself.

Filling out a form to find that special someone seems hilarious. It did seem mechanic to me at first – marking with checks my preferred options. Almost like ordering a meal or choosing a piece of clothing. That is why I like to say that my boyfriend came to me “out of a catalogue” and “tailor-made”. Now that I think of it – he is as imperfect as my own online search criteria 🙂 But seriously, the system works in a very customized way, which saves you many questions/doubts you would have for someone you met the traditional way. I am not saying it is safer. I am only saying it’s easier.

In her blog Shannon quotes The Long Tail that “there is something for everyone” out there to find on the web. When we apply The Long Tail to dating and relationships, it would sound like: There is someone for everyone. Reminds me of a Bulgarian saying from the pre-Internet era: “There is a passenger for every train”. And if we are talking about niches, what could be more specific and authentic than another human being. There are no replicas of people and even the most rare products/things on the (online) market have copies. So, the web simply helps us find this unque one person for us, when he/she is missing in our life. An almost devine function, isn’t it?! The amazing part is how random and yet precise online matching is.

I agree with Shannon that the Internet has changed markets and has influenced our personal lives as well. And to the opponents or disbelievers of online dating I would respond: If we are as picky as to what piece of software or pair of shoes we want (to buy online), why would our search for a relationship be less careful than that? I did it once and it worked at once. So, I am a believer. 

There is one questions that people in love ask each other, when they finally meet: “So, where have you been all this time?”. My “Long Tail” answer to today is: “In a special niche, waiting to match your search criteria”.


The Long Tail Reaction

June 26, 2008

My reaction to Chris Anderson’s idea of The Long Tail is: I wish read it two years ago, when someone recommended it to me!!! I could be running a profitable business by now, had I the knowledge and insights that the book offers. Or at least I could have attempted to start a business, based on the model Anderson describes. I could have failed in my hypothetical business undertaking, but could still retain the learning that this experience could have given me. If only I had read it back then… Well, this reminds me of the retrospective French saying: With “if” we can fit Paris (not Hilton!) in a bottle. Avec si on peut metre Paris dans un bouteille… It is too late for regrets now.

The Long Tail is the ultimate revelation of how the market works now and how dramatically it has changed with the advent of the new web technologies. It describes how the hit-minded marketing has collapsed under the flood of availability (at low storage cost) of many more different products. Anderson reveals how market niches get narrower, but are still able to bring profit by virtue of their multiplicity. Or as Kevin Laws is quoted on page 23 of the book: “The biggest money is in the smallest sales.” The data about Rhapsody having 40 percent of their sales coming from products not available in traditional offline retail stores was striking to me. Same goes for Amazon’s 25 percent –  this is just brilliant! Who could have known?

The Long Tail gives us everything we may desire to find out there. My own discoveries along the Tail include for example finding new to me collections of short plays from David Ives – a playwright I adore since 1996 on the basis of one single book. The Long Tail gave me the chance to get many more of his brilliant works and want even more that he has not written yet! It helped me rekindle my college passion for theater and utter delight in play reading.

My introduction to podcasts came late. I guess I am not an early adopter, sorry. It was for Professor Mark Story’s class on the Intersection of Offline and Online Public Relations last fall semester. So, by assignment and later on by sheer interest I have chosen to listen to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report– a twice weekly wekly commentary on public relations and technology.