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Books & Articles I wrote.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Long Tail of Culture

I've read The Long Tail and just finished reading a book about the long tail poster child, in Ebay - "The Perfect Store". A lot of the discussion is on niches and filters to access those niches, but in reading the books, something else occurred to me. Uniform access to address those tails is almost impossible - in some cases because no single person or entity can really understand all of the cultures as you move down the tails.

As i read both books, i got increastingly irritated (particularly in Alan Cohen's book) of the mixing between "British" and "English" as though they are the same thing. Now, i'm neither anti English not anti British, but i DO live in Scotland and am aware it is also apparently part of the UK. IN short, these books address long tail issues, but within them isolated readers in that long tail who happen to live in Scotland. In short, if they were content sites in the long tail, they'd lose 5 million potential customers.

I expect such issues arise across a multitude of cultures in the long tail and wonder whether it will ever be possible to provide a google type search that actually is culture aware in the long tail. It's fine searching content, but if it starts isolating or irritating consumers due to cultural indifference then they won't be using it for long.

Oh, the long tail of weird stuff gets longer every day... http://www.bedjump.com/

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