The long tail is here – now what? 10:47 on Monday
Novel tools for finding information will be an interesting area to follow — again. Search used to be hot, then tags and other forms of “social filtering” used to be hot. But what’s next?
My friend works in the games industry, and last week he was telling over coffee how some of his iPhone game developer friends have been disappointed in the sales through the iPhone App Store. The problem is not demand, the problem is getting noticed.
Interestingly, this is the exact same problem that music industry has been facing: digital distribution makes it possible for small players to add their products to the inventory available to consumers, entering the long tail at the end or the middle. The problem is that only the head of the long tail is within easy reach for the consumers, the rest of the tail is in the databases of the digital stores. You either need to browse the database — and who has time for that — or you need to search the database, which means you need to know what you’re looking for. The small players lack the resources to market their products, which would push their offering towards the “visible” head of the long tail while pushing their profits up.
And this will be a problem for many fields to come: movies is an obvious candidate. The same happening to books should not be far with all the possibilities for self-publishing.
So, what will be the “killer app” of not search, but find? How do you effectively and effortlessly find things you don’t even know exist?
Inspired by these links (in Finnish):