Life in the Long Tail

This blog lives in the Long Tail.

If you are reading this blog you too are dwelling in the the Long Tail.

The concept of The Long Tail was popularised by Chris Anderson of Wired. There’s even a book, and it’s been around for a while now.

Here’s a really clumsy explanation of the concept. The top 20% of a probability curve of popularity are very popular, but there is more volume in the other 80% of the less popular. In other words, for those watching in colour, the yellow bit is bigger than the green bit.

I know that some people get millions of visitors to their site, and still others get tens and hundreds of thousands.

I’ve been writing it for years, and I enjoy doing what I do, but I don’t get tens of thousands of visitors. On my busiest month I got 1261 visits.

There are some pop-star blogs, this isn’t one of them, but there are a set of regular readers and I get comments from all sorts of people. I’m not invisible, I’m just out there in the Long Tail.

The other day Seth Godin talked about being Famous to the family:

The way my family plays 20 Questions is that one person silently chooses a famous person and then everyone in the car has 20 yes or no questions to figure out who it is.

A variation that was briefly popular was to redefine "famous" as "famous to the family." You could announce that you had chosen this variation and then pick, say, Ziggy the painter. Zigmund might not be known to the public or the history books, but in our family, he’s famous.

I’m fascinated by a new category, though. "Famous to the tribe." Is Xeni Jardin famous? Merlin Mann? What about Anne McCrossan? Never mind that Warhol thing about 15 minutes…

Everyone is famous to 1,500 people.

Welcome to the tribe folks it’s great to have you along for the journey.

2 thoughts on “Life in the Long Tail”

  1. I just wondered, can you track visitors to your blog who read through RSS readers or is it just direct visits?

    Like

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