Listening to Satellite Radio…

I was poking through the satellite radio stations on my Sirius radio when, whoa, Jason Calacanis’ voice was speaking at Maryam and I over Gillmor Gang. OK, that’s weird.

But then I switch over to NPR and, whoa, Chris Anderson is on talking about the Long Tail.

Hey, Chris, can you get the Wall Street Journal to say our book sucks too? ;-)

All your media are belong to us. Or, there’s snakes in the ************* plane. Or something like that.

Anyway, there is a serious (er, Sirius) point to all this.

The online (er “new”) media is starting to leak into the mainstream “old” media.

What I think everyone is missing in the “Digg” version of the world is that we’ve built a farm system for media now that anyone can make media.

I’ve been listening to a LOT of “anyone media” and I can tell you that the Long Tail will NOT roar here. Most video blogs and podcasts just aren’t high enough quality to get a large audience. But, don’t write them off cause of that. The Long Tail does have a huge positive aspect:

The Long Tail is a stair system to the head!

Someone who does have talent can use it to walk up the curve from where only family and friends will watch all the way up to main stream media where millions are listening.

If you think Ze Frank is gonna remain in the Long Tail for very long your latte is a lot stronger than mine is today — by the way, don’t miss the announcement that he made in today’s show, he’s building social software to let you do things with people near you. We all know that people who don’t blink are gonna take over the media world.

Now, if you’re content to have your video blog stay at #1309 out of the 1,400 on vlogmap, then that’s cool. But some really have dreams of being at the head of the tail. Why? Cause that’s where the money is.

I learned that in the book business. The books who are in the top 5 on Amazon make many times more than books that hang out around #1,000 to #5,000 as we’ve been doing lately. And, being at #5,000 is a great honor cause there’s more than one million books on Amazon.

I’m looking for people who are walking up the Long Tail. Are you? Give me a call.

Oh, and unlike other community sites I believe deeply that you should get paid for the value you’re creating for the company that you’re adding to (Leo Laporte makes a good case for the other point of view). There are ways to hand out goodies equally to all members, but to say “I ain’t paying anyone” seems to me to be the kind of capitalist who just wants free materials and huge profits. It’s why I hated the time I heard all the CEOs say “user generated content” at the Google Zeitgeist conference last year since they were all seeing huge profit possibilities by having users do the work and they just collect the profits.

Anyway, we’re here in Silicon Valley and I’m overwhelmed with email. So, I’m gonna take a few days off of blogging and catch up with that.

Comments

  1. welcome to the Bay Area. and welcome to the most HEAT in 50 years. This is not normal here. You might wish for A/C this week.

  2. welcome to the Bay Area. and welcome to the most HEAT in 50 years. This is not normal here. You might wish for A/C this week.

  3. Robert,

    You snaked me.

    “we’ve built a farm system for media now that anyone can make media.”

    That’s pretty much what I was going to say in my blog today–with the retraction of the film industry, maybe the video blogging/podcasting would turn into the farm club for the film/tv industry.

    Which isn’t a bad thing.

  4. Robert,

    You snaked me.

    “we’ve built a farm system for media now that anyone can make media.”

    That’s pretty much what I was going to say in my blog today–with the retraction of the film industry, maybe the video blogging/podcasting would turn into the farm club for the film/tv industry.

    Which isn’t a bad thing.

  5. Robert, I too believe that you should be paid in some form for the value you are bringing to a company or site, but in terms of outcome I’m at a loss. Going with netscape’s idea to pay those who give them the most content… Well how much of that will be garbage? For example, I’m a fairly regular poster over at Microsoft’s ProjectOrigami forums, and well despite sheer number of posts i’d say that 30% or so of them were responses to something in a thread, and maybe not the most informative.

    Now in terms of the way a person is paid or rewarded, do you say per post, per click, per comment? I’d much more see a person who rarely updates but always has an interesting bit of news or advice over the kid who posts countless times a day about irrelevant stuff.

    Do you reward someone who creates greater volume of content, or someone who provides higher quality content? I think that is the issue here really.

  6. Robert, I too believe that you should be paid in some form for the value you are bringing to a company or site, but in terms of outcome I’m at a loss. Going with netscape’s idea to pay those who give them the most content… Well how much of that will be garbage? For example, I’m a fairly regular poster over at Microsoft’s ProjectOrigami forums, and well despite sheer number of posts i’d say that 30% or so of them were responses to something in a thread, and maybe not the most informative.

    Now in terms of the way a person is paid or rewarded, do you say per post, per click, per comment? I’d much more see a person who rarely updates but always has an interesting bit of news or advice over the kid who posts countless times a day about irrelevant stuff.

    Do you reward someone who creates greater volume of content, or someone who provides higher quality content? I think that is the issue here really.

  7. No, the long tail (if you buy the theory) is self-sustaining – the items on it will never sell very much and will never reach the head but Chris Anderson suggests that you can build profitable businesses around it.

    I think what you’re discovering/saying is that you’re in the content-provision business, albeit with lower costs and I applaud your stand re paying contnetn generators. But the keys to the content provision business are still the same – find talented content and connect it to an audience. The internet offers new ways of making the connections, but it also magnifies the amount of content trying to make those connections.

  8. No, the long tail (if you buy the theory) is self-sustaining – the items on it will never sell very much and will never reach the head but Chris Anderson suggests that you can build profitable businesses around it.

    I think what you’re discovering/saying is that you’re in the content-provision business, albeit with lower costs and I applaud your stand re paying contnetn generators. But the keys to the content provision business are still the same – find talented content and connect it to an audience. The internet offers new ways of making the connections, but it also magnifies the amount of content trying to make those connections.

  9. Hmmm… funny…

    The ones in favor of paying users are the ones who’ve been charged with making a profit out of this new world (podtech, netscape, etc).

    Meanwhile, those who started with an good idea and no business plan (Leo, Kevin, etc.) are getting all the traffic.

    Who’s right? If the masses have the answer, the latter ones are. Masses seem to appreciate sincerity…

    Will it stay that way after Scoble and Calacanis are done? Who knows…

    Maybe the next step should be to pay free software developers, who has the right to abuse this por guys by using their software to add value without retribution.
    =)

  10. Hmmm… funny…

    The ones in favor of paying users are the ones who’ve been charged with making a profit out of this new world (podtech, netscape, etc).

    Meanwhile, those who started with an good idea and no business plan (Leo, Kevin, etc.) are getting all the traffic.

    Who’s right? If the masses have the answer, the latter ones are. Masses seem to appreciate sincerity…

    Will it stay that way after Scoble and Calacanis are done? Who knows…

    Maybe the next step should be to pay free software developers, who has the right to abuse this por guys by using their software to add value without retribution.
    =)

  11. What staion on Sirius carries Gilmor Gang? I listened to CNet Radio all the time on XM a couple years ago and pretty much cancelled my service when that station was suddenly and mysteriosly dropped (niether XM or CNet really ever explained why the srvice was discontinued, but both promised some sort of replacement in the future, I got tired of waiting).

    I get a lot of this type of thing now with podcasts, which allow me to control when and where I listen a lot better. But it was also nice to have something I could just turn on and listen (especially in the car).

  12. What staion on Sirius carries Gilmor Gang? I listened to CNet Radio all the time on XM a couple years ago and pretty much cancelled my service when that station was suddenly and mysteriosly dropped (niether XM or CNet really ever explained why the srvice was discontinued, but both promised some sort of replacement in the future, I got tired of waiting).

    I get a lot of this type of thing now with podcasts, which allow me to control when and where I listen a lot better. But it was also nice to have something I could just turn on and listen (especially in the car).

  13. Long Tail as our Farm League

    Yes – it’s a day of Long Tail news – what can I say – the idea has legs AND from it spawn lots of other great observations and ideas.
    The latest of which come from tech geek Uber blogger Robert Scoble (the guy who LITERALLY wrote the book on cor…

  14. “What I think everyone is missing in the “Digg” version of the world is that we’ve built a farm system for media now that anyone can make media.”

    I thought we had developed a system of juveniles who are willing to trash a quality traditional portal to replicate the lame digg site, resulting in a silly juvenile fight of web site defacing and name calling. All within a small pool of geeks who think they are “influencers”, but really nobody cares.

  15. “What I think everyone is missing in the “Digg” version of the world is that we’ve built a farm system for media now that anyone can make media.”

    I thought we had developed a system of juveniles who are willing to trash a quality traditional portal to replicate the lame digg site, resulting in a silly juvenile fight of web site defacing and name calling. All within a small pool of geeks who think they are “influencers”, but really nobody cares.

  16. “I’m looking for people who are walking up the Long Tail. Are you? Give me a call.”

    This is an interesting thing. How do you walk up the long tail? How do you go from just being read by a few friends and relatives to being read (or viewed) by millions? (You can leave random comments on popular blogs and hope that people check out your blog, but that takes some work)

    Sure, if your content is good, then that is a start.

    However, there are plenty of blogs and vlogs that are very popular, but are they really interesting? Take Michelle Malkin’s blog for example. It is very popular, but is it interesting? In my opinion, it is not, however she has tons of readers. Why? Because she is a known person in the media, so people figure that her blog must be interesting, since she is a known figure and is highlighted in Technorati. (That is how I first heard her name) If she was “just some random blogger”, would her content be good enough to garner all the readers she has? I am not sure, but I doubt it.

    For another example, take Maryamie’s blog. Yes, I subscribe to it and I find it interesting. Why? Because we get to find out all the juicy stuff about you, Robert! (Robert does not share his wireless modem on road trips! Robert lies about his schedule!) Now, if Maryamie was just some random blogger, would we care about what her husband does? I am not sure, but I don’t think so. I am sure she would have readers, but would the numbers be as high as the numbers that she has now? Maybe they would, but it would take a lot longer time for this to happen.

    Because she is associated with your name, her blog popularity gets turbo charged.

    So instead of waiting to find “Someone that is walking up the long tail”, why don’t you help people do just that?

    I bet you could pick a random blogger/vlogger and if you kept saying.. “This person is great! You all need to pay attention to what this person is saying”, then that person would start to walk up the long tail, even if they did not really have anything important to say.

    Anyway, I think you should do just that, and I am willing to be the guinea pig!

    Greg
    gregsvideoblog.blogspot.com

  17. “I’m looking for people who are walking up the Long Tail. Are you? Give me a call.”

    This is an interesting thing. How do you walk up the long tail? How do you go from just being read by a few friends and relatives to being read (or viewed) by millions? (You can leave random comments on popular blogs and hope that people check out your blog, but that takes some work)

    Sure, if your content is good, then that is a start.

    However, there are plenty of blogs and vlogs that are very popular, but are they really interesting? Take Michelle Malkin’s blog for example. It is very popular, but is it interesting? In my opinion, it is not, however she has tons of readers. Why? Because she is a known person in the media, so people figure that her blog must be interesting, since she is a known figure and is highlighted in Technorati. (That is how I first heard her name) If she was “just some random blogger”, would her content be good enough to garner all the readers she has? I am not sure, but I doubt it.

    For another example, take Maryamie’s blog. Yes, I subscribe to it and I find it interesting. Why? Because we get to find out all the juicy stuff about you, Robert! (Robert does not share his wireless modem on road trips! Robert lies about his schedule!) Now, if Maryamie was just some random blogger, would we care about what her husband does? I am not sure, but I don’t think so. I am sure she would have readers, but would the numbers be as high as the numbers that she has now? Maybe they would, but it would take a lot longer time for this to happen.

    Because she is associated with your name, her blog popularity gets turbo charged.

    So instead of waiting to find “Someone that is walking up the long tail”, why don’t you help people do just that?

    I bet you could pick a random blogger/vlogger and if you kept saying.. “This person is great! You all need to pay attention to what this person is saying”, then that person would start to walk up the long tail, even if they did not really have anything important to say.

    Anyway, I think you should do just that, and I am willing to be the guinea pig!

    Greg
    gregsvideoblog.blogspot.com

  18. If you start paying users this is what will happen: people will just start randomly digging on things to get on dig’s top list so that they can make money, not caring to shift through the garbage.

  19. If you start paying users this is what will happen: people will just start randomly digging on things to get on dig’s top list so that they can make money, not caring to shift through the garbage.

  20. Calacanis’ offer was to the “top 50″ contributors on social news/bookmarking sites.

    Laporte responded that the defection of “10 contributors” would make no difference at all.

    Notice the two numbers are not the same.

    If you want to destroy a scale-free network, you don’t randomly remove nodes: you remove the highly-connected hubs.

    Scale free networks are characterized by power laws. The 80/20 rule. Calacanis is after the 20% doing 80% of the work. He’s cream-skimming. This strategy is three days older than dirt.

    The hippies will tell you all the contributors to Digg are equal, they’re doing it for love not money, it won’t matter if the n top users defect, new ones will take their place, etc.

    The hippies are wrong.

    If you are trying to take down a scale-free network, you can’t randomly remove nodes; you have to disable hubs with lots of connections. (i.e. on Digg, the best contributors) And you have to remove the hubs simultaneously (because the network will “route around” a single loss).

    How many of the top users would Calacanis have to steal in a short period of time to take down Digg? Ten? Fifty? One hundred?

    I don’t know. For me the interesting question is NOT, as Laporte suggests, “Do the top 10 contributors on a social networking site determine its success?” but rather, “Do the top n contributors determine success?” where n is some small number.

    Probably yeah. :-)

    As for the contributors not being paid, I think this is not entirely true. Most volunteers get some kind of satisfaction out of volunteering, but some may be motivated to achieve some kind of social status: Microsoft MVP, Amazon Top Reviewer, etc. There’s an entire page of statistics where top Digg contributors can compare themselves. How many quarters will you put in the machine to make it onto the “High Scores” page?

    Major League Gaming recently signed a Halo 2 player, Tsquared, for $250,000. What Calcanis wants to do seems almost as crazy — pay a video game player? why pay for what people will do for free? — but this is just the natural progression of things:

    - AVOCATION: Wow! I would do this for free!

    - VOCATION: Wow! You’ll pay me money for doing this? Cool!

    - INDUSTRY: Man, we need some kind of certification to keep the riffraff out.

    Calacanis may or may not succeed. The $1,000 he is offering might be lowballing. (In which case Calacanis is actually the “exploiting capitalist,” which is an improvement over the Digg SLAVE OWNER who wants his work for free. LOL)

    Even if Calacanis doesn’t succeed, probably someone like him will….

  21. Calacanis’ offer was to the “top 50″ contributors on social news/bookmarking sites.

    Laporte responded that the defection of “10 contributors” would make no difference at all.

    Notice the two numbers are not the same.

    If you want to destroy a scale-free network, you don’t randomly remove nodes: you remove the highly-connected hubs.

    Scale free networks are characterized by power laws. The 80/20 rule. Calacanis is after the 20% doing 80% of the work. He’s cream-skimming. This strategy is three days older than dirt.

    The hippies will tell you all the contributors to Digg are equal, they’re doing it for love not money, it won’t matter if the n top users defect, new ones will take their place, etc.

    The hippies are wrong.

    If you are trying to take down a scale-free network, you can’t randomly remove nodes; you have to disable hubs with lots of connections. (i.e. on Digg, the best contributors) And you have to remove the hubs simultaneously (because the network will “route around” a single loss).

    How many of the top users would Calacanis have to steal in a short period of time to take down Digg? Ten? Fifty? One hundred?

    I don’t know. For me the interesting question is NOT, as Laporte suggests, “Do the top 10 contributors on a social networking site determine its success?” but rather, “Do the top n contributors determine success?” where n is some small number.

    Probably yeah. :-)

    As for the contributors not being paid, I think this is not entirely true. Most volunteers get some kind of satisfaction out of volunteering, but some may be motivated to achieve some kind of social status: Microsoft MVP, Amazon Top Reviewer, etc. There’s an entire page of statistics where top Digg contributors can compare themselves. How many quarters will you put in the machine to make it onto the “High Scores” page?

    Major League Gaming recently signed a Halo 2 player, Tsquared, for $250,000. What Calcanis wants to do seems almost as crazy — pay a video game player? why pay for what people will do for free? — but this is just the natural progression of things:

    - AVOCATION: Wow! I would do this for free!

    - VOCATION: Wow! You’ll pay me money for doing this? Cool!

    - INDUSTRY: Man, we need some kind of certification to keep the riffraff out.

    Calacanis may or may not succeed. The $1,000 he is offering might be lowballing. (In which case Calacanis is actually the “exploiting capitalist,” which is an improvement over the Digg SLAVE OWNER who wants his work for free. LOL)

    Even if Calacanis doesn’t succeed, probably someone like him will….

  22. “learned that in the book business. The books who are in the top 5 on Amazon make many times more than books that hang out around #1,000 to #5,000 as we’ve been doing lately. And, being at #5,000 is a great honor cause there’s more than one million books on Amazon.”

    Scoble, clearly you don’t think your audience is so dense has to have to condescend to them with these kinds of obvious statements do you? I think they expect more insight than explaining the obvious to them.

  23. “learned that in the book business. The books who are in the top 5 on Amazon make many times more than books that hang out around #1,000 to #5,000 as we’ve been doing lately. And, being at #5,000 is a great honor cause there’s more than one million books on Amazon.”

    Scoble, clearly you don’t think your audience is so dense has to have to condescend to them with these kinds of obvious statements do you? I think they expect more insight than explaining the obvious to them.

  24. LayZ: has everyone in my audience compared sales at Amazon? Sorry you took that as condescension. I just assumed that not everyone might know just how extreme the head of tail drop off might be. It suprised me, actually. I thought that being at #800 would be a lot closer in sales than it was. Really the entire book industry makes the serious money on the first 100 (and I’d argue, the first 10, based on our passalong sales from Long Tail — when LongTail was at #2 we were seeing a LOT more sales than now when it’s hanging out at 10 or so).

  25. LayZ: has everyone in my audience compared sales at Amazon? Sorry you took that as condescension. I just assumed that not everyone might know just how extreme the head of tail drop off might be. It suprised me, actually. I thought that being at #800 would be a lot closer in sales than it was. Really the entire book industry makes the serious money on the first 100 (and I’d argue, the first 10, based on our passalong sales from Long Tail — when LongTail was at #2 we were seeing a LOT more sales than now when it’s hanging out at 10 or so).

  26. JL: >>Meanwhile, those who started with an good idea and no business plan (Leo, Kevin, etc.) are getting all the traffic.

    If you think Leo and Kevin don’t have a business plan I have a nice red bridge to sell you in San Francisco.

    Leo has ALWAYS had a business plan. And, Digg wouldn’t have gotten funded without one.

  27. JL: >>Meanwhile, those who started with an good idea and no business plan (Leo, Kevin, etc.) are getting all the traffic.

    If you think Leo and Kevin don’t have a business plan I have a nice red bridge to sell you in San Francisco.

    Leo has ALWAYS had a business plan. And, Digg wouldn’t have gotten funded without one.

  28. Greg:>>So instead of waiting to find “Someone that is walking up the long tail”, why don’t you help people do just that?

    I’m definitely trying to do just that, but to keep my own credibility I need to pick people who have some inherent talent that needs to be developed not just a random video blog. Otherwise the rest of you will stop clicking on my links and the effect will be gone anyway.

  29. Greg:>>So instead of waiting to find “Someone that is walking up the long tail”, why don’t you help people do just that?

    I’m definitely trying to do just that, but to keep my own credibility I need to pick people who have some inherent talent that needs to be developed not just a random video blog. Otherwise the rest of you will stop clicking on my links and the effect will be gone anyway.

  30. The Long Tail is just a faddish neo-Cluetrainny Clay Shirky-lucid-dreaming-like way of Excel charting High School popularity blog games. You want an Economics slash Management lesson from a WIRED Editor? I can hardly think of a worse source…

    The more niche, the more incestuous and unchanging the system is, which is why the Chris Anderson blog sampling template is wholly and fundamentally flawed.

    As the world doesn’t work in such neat pretty boxes, it’s not an easy slope-up Long Tail, it’s a random spectrum throbbing scope — humans are fickle and emotional, fads and fashions come, go and return and go again, cultures, customs and generations change, events are shaped and changed by historical events, even if any Long Tail truth (tho not an iota), it’s but a snapshot, as nothing is ever static. I mean just pull out some of the faddish New Econ books from 1999, how so embarrassing for the authors.

    One basic truth, overrides every new biz management and economic fad, life is but absurd. Quality is king, yes, but then tons of quality that never makes it, who you know too, but then if no quality, who you know won’t start anything. It’s all just a big mixed up puzzle…the game of life, nothing ever works like it is supposed to.

    But working way up to top…all for that. But even if top, might not stay there, a new film, a new trend, a singer…a new whatever will be there next month, or next week to knock you down. You have to work up to top and work thrice as hard to stay there.

  31. The Long Tail is just a faddish neo-Cluetrainny Clay Shirky-lucid-dreaming-like way of Excel charting High School popularity blog games. You want an Economics slash Management lesson from a WIRED Editor? I can hardly think of a worse source…

    The more niche, the more incestuous and unchanging the system is, which is why the Chris Anderson blog sampling template is wholly and fundamentally flawed.

    As the world doesn’t work in such neat pretty boxes, it’s not an easy slope-up Long Tail, it’s a random spectrum throbbing scope — humans are fickle and emotional, fads and fashions come, go and return and go again, cultures, customs and generations change, events are shaped and changed by historical events, even if any Long Tail truth (tho not an iota), it’s but a snapshot, as nothing is ever static. I mean just pull out some of the faddish New Econ books from 1999, how so embarrassing for the authors.

    One basic truth, overrides every new biz management and economic fad, life is but absurd. Quality is king, yes, but then tons of quality that never makes it, who you know too, but then if no quality, who you know won’t start anything. It’s all just a big mixed up puzzle…the game of life, nothing ever works like it is supposed to.

    But working way up to top…all for that. But even if top, might not stay there, a new film, a new trend, a singer…a new whatever will be there next month, or next week to knock you down. You have to work up to top and work thrice as hard to stay there.

  32. Karim, permission to extend and revise?

    EVANGELISM: Wow! I would do this for free! Because I got a title (MVP) and I get noticed (bloggers link to me) and I am oh so-so popular and get freebies and tech conference invites (and plush marketingese trinkets). Shazzam!

    VOCATION: Wow! Money! Cool! But once a job, it loses it’s luster, becomes churn. Do pro-baseball players, play baseball on time off? Most often introduces in the ‘losing my religion’ stages.

    INDUSTRY: Man, we need some kind of dogma certification standardization, to robotize everyone into one bland mode of thinking, no deviations accepted. No riff-raff, but all cookie-cutter too.

    SCAMMERS: Man, you NEED this expensive never-ending training certifications to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. Doncha know? You don’t get it. Attend this conference, goto this seminar, buy this thing, show up at these gatherings, start a blog. And, oh, to make things easy, just FedEx your credit card…

  33. Karim, permission to extend and revise?

    EVANGELISM: Wow! I would do this for free! Because I got a title (MVP) and I get noticed (bloggers link to me) and I am oh so-so popular and get freebies and tech conference invites (and plush marketingese trinkets). Shazzam!

    VOCATION: Wow! Money! Cool! But once a job, it loses it’s luster, becomes churn. Do pro-baseball players, play baseball on time off? Most often introduces in the ‘losing my religion’ stages.

    INDUSTRY: Man, we need some kind of dogma certification standardization, to robotize everyone into one bland mode of thinking, no deviations accepted. No riff-raff, but all cookie-cutter too.

    SCAMMERS: Man, you NEED this expensive never-ending training certifications to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. Doncha know? You don’t get it. Attend this conference, goto this seminar, buy this thing, show up at these gatherings, start a blog. And, oh, to make things easy, just FedEx your credit card…

  34. maybe the video blogging/podcasting would turn into the farm club for the film/tv industry.

    Ok, now that’s the real gold…wow, keep that Brooke on thy good side, she’s a gem. :)

  35. maybe the video blogging/podcasting would turn into the farm club for the film/tv industry.

    Ok, now that’s the real gold…wow, keep that Brooke on thy good side, she’s a gem. :)

  36. Speaking of selling books on Amazon, which is something I do, I will say this: When I list a top 10 book for sale, it invariably sells within roughly the next 20 minutes, and sometimes sooner. Think about the implications of this. It’s almost enough to make you become an author, no?

  37. Speaking of selling books on Amazon, which is something I do, I will say this: When I list a top 10 book for sale, it invariably sells within roughly the next 20 minutes, and sometimes sooner. Think about the implications of this. It’s almost enough to make you become an author, no?

  38. Podcasts and blogging is just in its infancy now. Sure, 90% of the video podcasts don’t hold the standard compared to mainstream media, but that’s not the point. Give them some time, and you will see new stars out there. Stars that wouldn’t have been discovered if podcasts and blogging didn’t exist. The point is that you can get a poscast about the subject that really interest you. If you spend the evening in front of a TV, you are interested in 10% of what you hear and see. With podcasting you can see it whenever you want, and it’s about your exact interests. I personally think that we see a silent revolution right now. It will change the media landscape in fundamental ways. No one can predict how, but things will happen, and it happens fast.

  39. Podcasts and blogging is just in its infancy now. Sure, 90% of the video podcasts don’t hold the standard compared to mainstream media, but that’s not the point. Give them some time, and you will see new stars out there. Stars that wouldn’t have been discovered if podcasts and blogging didn’t exist. The point is that you can get a poscast about the subject that really interest you. If you spend the evening in front of a TV, you are interested in 10% of what you hear and see. With podcasting you can see it whenever you want, and it’s about your exact interests. I personally think that we see a silent revolution right now. It will change the media landscape in fundamental ways. No one can predict how, but things will happen, and it happens fast.

  40. Robert>> If you think Leo and Kevin don’t have a business plan I have a nice red bridge to sell you in San Francisco.

    =) You are right Robert, however that’s not what I was trying to say… my mastery of english past tenses has room for improvement.

    I meant that they both started out thinking “This is the next thing, let’s do this”, with a vague idea on how to monetize it. They were focused in creating a good product/service and assumed money would follow. So they became hits and money came.

    Now, if you are a company focusing in the money part first, before building a community and just cloning another product, it won’t work.

    Would Ask a Ninja be a hit if they have charged one dollar for each episode from the beginning? If they have paid some amount to each person who came up with a good question for the ninja? I don’t think so…

    First you become popular, then you think about the money…

    I could be wrong

  41. Robert>> If you think Leo and Kevin don’t have a business plan I have a nice red bridge to sell you in San Francisco.

    =) You are right Robert, however that’s not what I was trying to say… my mastery of english past tenses has room for improvement.

    I meant that they both started out thinking “This is the next thing, let’s do this”, with a vague idea on how to monetize it. They were focused in creating a good product/service and assumed money would follow. So they became hits and money came.

    Now, if you are a company focusing in the money part first, before building a community and just cloning another product, it won’t work.

    Would Ask a Ninja be a hit if they have charged one dollar for each episode from the beginning? If they have paid some amount to each person who came up with a good question for the ninja? I don’t think so…

    First you become popular, then you think about the money…

    I could be wrong

  42. @17 It just seemed to me you were recited from a high school econ text book. “Hey, Kids! Not sure if all of you know this, but when someone sells considerably more of their product than someone else, they make more money! Why? Because more people are buying their product than the other guy” Why? Because their product is obviously better. Why? Because they figured out how to produce a better product. Why? Because they likely are smarter. Why?…”

    Hey! Look at that! Me figure out how to write like Scoble.. within incorrect grammar and everything!

    Seriously, ff you were trying to make a more subtle point, I must have missed it. Why? There must have been something I wasn’t getting.

  43. @17 It just seemed to me you were recited from a high school econ text book. “Hey, Kids! Not sure if all of you know this, but when someone sells considerably more of their product than someone else, they make more money! Why? Because more people are buying their product than the other guy” Why? Because their product is obviously better. Why? Because they figured out how to produce a better product. Why? Because they likely are smarter. Why?…”

    Hey! Look at that! Me figure out how to write like Scoble.. within incorrect grammar and everything!

    Seriously, ff you were trying to make a more subtle point, I must have missed it. Why? There must have been something I wasn’t getting.

  44. Yeah, I’m clawing my way up the tail. I have a show, the Financial Aid Podcast, which at first glance sounds like the most interminably boring podcast ever, but most of my listeners (all 2,900 of them) enjoy it enough to keep coming back. Yesterday my first major corporate sponsor besides my underwriter approached me tentatively – so the faster I can walk up the tail, the better. If you’ve got ideas, let me hear em! financialaidpodcast at gmail dot com!

    Thanks.

  45. Yeah, I’m clawing my way up the tail. I have a show, the Financial Aid Podcast, which at first glance sounds like the most interminably boring podcast ever, but most of my listeners (all 2,900 of them) enjoy it enough to keep coming back. Yesterday my first major corporate sponsor besides my underwriter approached me tentatively – so the faster I can walk up the tail, the better. If you’ve got ideas, let me hear em! financialaidpodcast at gmail dot com!

    Thanks.

  46. Fantastic post Robert. Critics of the long tail, and even Chris himself, totally miss the fact that the long tail is making PRODUCTION hyperefficient and not necessarily CONSUMPTION. It’s fascinating there is demand for the 25% of stuff consumed on amazon that will never sell again but the real miracle is that the stuff was available for sale in the first place.

  47. Fantastic post Robert. Critics of the long tail, and even Chris himself, totally miss the fact that the long tail is making PRODUCTION hyperefficient and not necessarily CONSUMPTION. It’s fascinating there is demand for the 25% of stuff consumed on amazon that will never sell again but the real miracle is that the stuff was available for sale in the first place.

  48. @29 I missed have been sick that day in Econ class where they taught how to make money on PRODUCTION alone. Can you go over the theory for me?

  49. @29 I missed have been sick that day in Econ class where they taught how to make money on PRODUCTION alone. Can you go over the theory for me?

  50. “Do we want to be at the head of The Long Tail?”

    What’s the head of the long tail? The head of the long tail is hardly negligably different than the theoretically infinite end of the tail, isn’t it?

    Yeah, I want to be the 5% instead of the 1%.

    I love how people misuse this rather basic premise. Somehow, the Head can be discounted because it’s always changing, always requires being replenished. But people then claim they can break out of the tail and become popular or mainstream from being marginal? Doesn’t that just make you a part of the “head” which needs to be replenished and will be something different in a year or two? Why yes, yes, it does.

  51. “Do we want to be at the head of The Long Tail?”

    What’s the head of the long tail? The head of the long tail is hardly negligably different than the theoretically infinite end of the tail, isn’t it?

    Yeah, I want to be the 5% instead of the 1%.

    I love how people misuse this rather basic premise. Somehow, the Head can be discounted because it’s always changing, always requires being replenished. But people then claim they can break out of the tail and become popular or mainstream from being marginal? Doesn’t that just make you a part of the “head” which needs to be replenished and will be something different in a year or two? Why yes, yes, it does.

  52. “maybe the video blogging/podcasting would turn into the farm club for the film/tv industry”–

    (include in this statement “online-streaming”)

    Yesterday, Variety reported that NBC-U (Universal) has allowed a pirated copy of Warner Bros. pilot “Nobody’s Watching” to remain on YouTube and last week decided to revive the show for the NBC Network. Also, WBTV is selling its failed Fall’06 pilot “Aquaman” online-marking the first time a TV studio has launched programming on iTunes without any connection to a broadcast or cable network.”

  53. “maybe the video blogging/podcasting would turn into the farm club for the film/tv industry”–

    (include in this statement “online-streaming”)

    Yesterday, Variety reported that NBC-U (Universal) has allowed a pirated copy of Warner Bros. pilot “Nobody’s Watching” to remain on YouTube and last week decided to revive the show for the NBC Network. Also, WBTV is selling its failed Fall’06 pilot “Aquaman” online-marking the first time a TV studio has launched programming on iTunes without any connection to a broadcast or cable network.”

  54. Mapping an oligopoly popularity curve as an indicator of eventual economic success is just “grassrooty eyeballs economics” all over again, we have been here before and before that even (Alvin Toffler). But the Emperor still hath no Clothes, even if the focus has merely shifted to the “other half”.

    Even if in a Long Tail, why work your way up to top of a niche? Point is to break out of that wholesale, If numbers are low, claim quality of listeners, when numbers high claim popularity, you can never lose with fools-gold metrics like that.

    And, well outside of LayZ and Gobbels, it seems everyone needs an Economics refresher, as the most popular, the most “hyperefficient”, the best quality…don’t mean a thing by itself. Working your way up a mythical marketingese popularity chart is no insurance of success either, nor is staying in the now-revered productional niche. Needs, wants, supply and demand curves, management of said company, expenses and costs, resources and etc. etc. all factor into this grand puzzle.

    Economic behavior, which is emotional, is impossible to predict, as past results don’t always indicate future trends, and all the technical charting and historical pattern recognition maps still can’t predict the future, in spite of what the Options trader types like to think.

    Life is absurd, no nice even slopes, up to anything.
    The Blockbuster is still there, but so is the runaway Sleeper hit.

  55. Mapping an oligopoly popularity curve as an indicator of eventual economic success is just “grassrooty eyeballs economics” all over again, we have been here before and before that even (Alvin Toffler). But the Emperor still hath no Clothes, even if the focus has merely shifted to the “other half”.

    Even if in a Long Tail, why work your way up to top of a niche? Point is to break out of that wholesale, If numbers are low, claim quality of listeners, when numbers high claim popularity, you can never lose with fools-gold metrics like that.

    And, well outside of LayZ and Gobbels, it seems everyone needs an Economics refresher, as the most popular, the most “hyperefficient”, the best quality…don’t mean a thing by itself. Working your way up a mythical marketingese popularity chart is no insurance of success either, nor is staying in the now-revered productional niche. Needs, wants, supply and demand curves, management of said company, expenses and costs, resources and etc. etc. all factor into this grand puzzle.

    Economic behavior, which is emotional, is impossible to predict, as past results don’t always indicate future trends, and all the technical charting and historical pattern recognition maps still can’t predict the future, in spite of what the Options trader types like to think.

    Life is absurd, no nice even slopes, up to anything.
    The Blockbuster is still there, but so is the runaway Sleeper hit.

  56. All I know is this…I have a great voice for reading and poetry. I write it. I have a sense of the ways things drip off the tongue or rip your mind and heart out. But I have nary a technical nerve in my body. AGGGGGhhhh! Okay. I need a coach. I need step by step directions. Is anybody willing to help?

  57. All I know is this…I have a great voice for reading and poetry. I write it. I have a sense of the ways things drip off the tongue or rip your mind and heart out. But I have nary a technical nerve in my body. AGGGGGhhhh! Okay. I need a coach. I need step by step directions. Is anybody willing to help?

  58. @29 – Banking on production alone be the Marxist ‘Labor Theory of Value’. But is wholly flawed, as value is determined by the random Adam Smithian invisible machinations of the market, and not by the mere effort put into production.

    A would you claim “miracle” in the Soviet mass production of widgets with no market? If the Soviets had listed them on Amazon, would that be “fascinating”?

    Kinda funny, seeing all these Valleyese Libertarians expose a Marxist view, when you slap a techy tone onto it. Irony abounds.

    I think the real lesson here, is in marketing to certain niches, just speak in their language and use their own buzzwords. They will drink pure poison and claim it the next new new big thing, it’s all in how you spin it.

  59. @29 – Banking on production alone be the Marxist ‘Labor Theory of Value’. But is wholly flawed, as value is determined by the random Adam Smithian invisible machinations of the market, and not by the mere effort put into production.

    A would you claim “miracle” in the Soviet mass production of widgets with no market? If the Soviets had listed them on Amazon, would that be “fascinating”?

    Kinda funny, seeing all these Valleyese Libertarians expose a Marxist view, when you slap a techy tone onto it. Irony abounds.

    I think the real lesson here, is in marketing to certain niches, just speak in their language and use their own buzzwords. They will drink pure poison and claim it the next new new big thing, it’s all in how you spin it.

  60. Christopher: I think I’d call “SCAMMERS” just a late (possibly terminal) phase of “INDUSTRY” ;-)

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but I really didn’t think Scoble was advocating working one’s way up to the top of a niche. Yes, he did say “head of the tail” at one point, but I read that as “head of the power law distribution to which the tail is attached.” Perhaps I was being generous. :-)

    If the distribution is a mouse, I don’t think he was talking about walking up the tail until you get to the mouse’s butt.

    He specifically talked about being in the “top 5″ and having “millions” of listeners. Which doesn’t sound he is talking about being the most popular of the least popular….

    But people then claim they can break out of the tail and become popular or mainstream from being marginal?

    Goebbels, lots of things start off “marginal” and then become popular, don’t they? IIRC, your National Socialist German Workers Party was pretty marginal back in 1920.

    What’s the head of the long tail?

    I think our friend mujeres desnudas nude women amateur said it best when he said, “Mujeres desnudas amateur sex nude women.”

    That’s the head of the long tail, amigo. ¿Comprende?

    Well, either that or a mouse’s butt.

    Man… why do all these posts sound like “Well gosh, why would you want to be popular? You’ll be rich and loved, yeah sure, but then one day you’re just gonna DIE, so what’s the point?” :-)

    I have a sense of the ways things drip off the tongue or rip your mind and heart out.

    How are you with some of the other organs? Say spleen, kidney?

  61. Christopher: I think I’d call “SCAMMERS” just a late (possibly terminal) phase of “INDUSTRY” ;-)

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but I really didn’t think Scoble was advocating working one’s way up to the top of a niche. Yes, he did say “head of the tail” at one point, but I read that as “head of the power law distribution to which the tail is attached.” Perhaps I was being generous. :-)

    If the distribution is a mouse, I don’t think he was talking about walking up the tail until you get to the mouse’s butt.

    He specifically talked about being in the “top 5″ and having “millions” of listeners. Which doesn’t sound he is talking about being the most popular of the least popular….

    But people then claim they can break out of the tail and become popular or mainstream from being marginal?

    Goebbels, lots of things start off “marginal” and then become popular, don’t they? IIRC, your National Socialist German Workers Party was pretty marginal back in 1920.

    What’s the head of the long tail?

    I think our friend mujeres desnudas nude women amateur said it best when he said, “Mujeres desnudas amateur sex nude women.”

    That’s the head of the long tail, amigo. ¿Comprende?

    Well, either that or a mouse’s butt.

    Man… why do all these posts sound like “Well gosh, why would you want to be popular? You’ll be rich and loved, yeah sure, but then one day you’re just gonna DIE, so what’s the point?” :-)

    I have a sense of the ways things drip off the tongue or rip your mind and heart out.

    How are you with some of the other organs? Say spleen, kidney?

  62. I don’t spend a lot of time on Digg, so can someone please tell me why there has been such a big uproar/outcry against the pay-to-post proposal from Jason C.? Quality won’t automatically go down just because money is involved…

  63. I don’t spend a lot of time on Digg, so can someone please tell me why there has been such a big uproar/outcry against the pay-to-post proposal from Jason C.? Quality won’t automatically go down just because money is involved…

  64. Zefrank just rocks! I had not heard of him before. (Call me out of it.) Thank you for the tip.

  65. Zefrank just rocks! I had not heard of him before. (Call me out of it.) Thank you for the tip.

  66. @42 We have a winner! Brooke hits the nail on the head! And whaddya know? Someone that actually knows what quality entertainment is telling geeks what works and what doesn’t. It seems podcasting geeks think the medium is the product people will want to buy.

    “But it’s a PODCAST!!! A PODCAST!!!, Man!!! Nevermind what it contains!!! IT’S A PODCAST!!!!”

  67. @42 We have a winner! Brooke hits the nail on the head! And whaddya know? Someone that actually knows what quality entertainment is telling geeks what works and what doesn’t. It seems podcasting geeks think the medium is the product people will want to buy.

    “But it’s a PODCAST!!! A PODCAST!!!, Man!!! Nevermind what it contains!!! IT’S A PODCAST!!!!”

  68. 1) There’s competition at the head. The appeal of the long tail isn’t getting super-rich, it’s about being able to be competitive enough to get enough revenue to exist without having the outlay of trying to start at the top. When you’re supplying a niche product to a niche audience, you can be at the head of that part of the tail. Rather than thinking of it as a single tail, think of it as a tree structure.

    2) Money influences how things will be presented by those people who are paid. A great example for those familiar with Slashdot is Roland Piquepaille. He blogs about tech-related topics, then submits his blog as the article. He pushes traffic to his blog (which has advertising on it), and provides links from there to the actual articles. While he’s not paid by Slashdot, there’s no reason to believe that a paid Digger won’t be more easily corrupted into similar traffic-pushing techniques.

  69. 1) There’s competition at the head. The appeal of the long tail isn’t getting super-rich, it’s about being able to be competitive enough to get enough revenue to exist without having the outlay of trying to start at the top. When you’re supplying a niche product to a niche audience, you can be at the head of that part of the tail. Rather than thinking of it as a single tail, think of it as a tree structure.

    2) Money influences how things will be presented by those people who are paid. A great example for those familiar with Slashdot is Roland Piquepaille. He blogs about tech-related topics, then submits his blog as the article. He pushes traffic to his blog (which has advertising on it), and provides links from there to the actual articles. While he’s not paid by Slashdot, there’s no reason to believe that a paid Digger won’t be more easily corrupted into similar traffic-pushing techniques.

  70. Just let me know when someone videobloggs, YouTubes, or streams anything as good as a Seinfeld episode.

    Only when they start employing scripters and WGA-quality types, will that ever click in. I have noticed, that it be all “Producers” and “talent”, so something missing. ;)

    Not that the Fall Season is looking much better. CBS and Fox are weakest, imho, Fox with 3 chord songs, twice. CBS is totally insipid. NBC strongest, but all too similar, ABC heavy on comedy…but with
    very weak Drama…

    Tho Eurkea be amusing, has some life, if SciFi geeky styled. ‘Honey I Blew Up the TV Show’ crossed with ‘Mayberry RFD’. But my winning pick is on ‘Jericho’, not even global thermonuclear war can crumble those Walls, my prediction at least. It’s gonna be fun watching the ‘Studio 60′ and ’30 Rock’ wars, and ‘The Nine’, ‘Six Degrees’ and ‘The Class’ warfare. ‘Heroes’ is such a 4400 ripoff. And ’20 Good Years’ will be Gone in 20 Seconds. Generally tho, I am with Tim Goodman, not on all, but most.

    Tho some returning goodie hits….LOST, Battlestar, 4400, The Unit, Rescue Me, Earl, Prison Break and Blade…

  71. Just let me know when someone videobloggs, YouTubes, or streams anything as good as a Seinfeld episode.

    Only when they start employing scripters and WGA-quality types, will that ever click in. I have noticed, that it be all “Producers” and “talent”, so something missing. ;)

    Not that the Fall Season is looking much better. CBS and Fox are weakest, imho, Fox with 3 chord songs, twice. CBS is totally insipid. NBC strongest, but all too similar, ABC heavy on comedy…but with
    very weak Drama…

    Tho Eurkea be amusing, has some life, if SciFi geeky styled. ‘Honey I Blew Up the TV Show’ crossed with ‘Mayberry RFD’. But my winning pick is on ‘Jericho’, not even global thermonuclear war can crumble those Walls, my prediction at least. It’s gonna be fun watching the ‘Studio 60′ and ’30 Rock’ wars, and ‘The Nine’, ‘Six Degrees’ and ‘The Class’ warfare. ‘Heroes’ is such a 4400 ripoff. And ’20 Good Years’ will be Gone in 20 Seconds. Generally tho, I am with Tim Goodman, not on all, but most.

    Tho some returning goodie hits….LOST, Battlestar, 4400, The Unit, Rescue Me, Earl, Prison Break and Blade…

  72. Hey Robert, I think you’re overlooking a significant point. Sure, there is the broad-sweep popularity thing. But the Web environment also improves coverage for niche stuff. Another dimension to the long tail.

    Someone may not be in the top 10,000 blogs, but they might have the most popular 3-legged dog blog. For fans of three-legged dogs that will be highly important.

    Old media is what the head looks like: mass appeal = lowest common denominator. Do you really want to be there?

  73. Hey Robert, I think you’re overlooking a significant point. Sure, there is the broad-sweep popularity thing. But the Web environment also improves coverage for niche stuff. Another dimension to the long tail.

    Someone may not be in the top 10,000 blogs, but they might have the most popular 3-legged dog blog. For fans of three-legged dogs that will be highly important.

    Old media is what the head looks like: mass appeal = lowest common denominator. Do you really want to be there?

  74. Robert, therein will lie your dilemna. Not being able to judge something that could be insanely popular. If you go simply on your personal tastes you might make some very costly decisions. I hate rap music but I recognize good rap talent when I hear it.

    Danny, I would think he would want to be where the money is.

  75. Robert, therein will lie your dilemna. Not being able to judge something that could be insanely popular. If you go simply on your personal tastes you might make some very costly decisions. I hate rap music but I recognize good rap talent when I hear it.

    Danny, I would think he would want to be where the money is.

  76. LayZ: there’s a lot of money in the long tail.

    As to popular, oh, I watch my share of popular stuff too. Keep in mind that I’m separating out my own interests from those that the market is telling me about. For instance, I sense that online cooking shows will be extremely popular, even though I’m really not that interested in the topic (albeit I love great food and presentation).

  77. LayZ: there’s a lot of money in the long tail.

    As to popular, oh, I watch my share of popular stuff too. Keep in mind that I’m separating out my own interests from those that the market is telling me about. For instance, I sense that online cooking shows will be extremely popular, even though I’m really not that interested in the topic (albeit I love great food and presentation).

  78. I’m confused (again) – if there’s a lot of money in the long tail, why do you want to find people who are marching up to the head?

  79. Robert:

    “we’ve built a farm system for media now that anyone can make media.”

    Here’s the point: For the writers/(film & tv) I know (and I know quite a few), it takes years and years and years of hard work–honing their craft–to have the capacity to tell a compelling story. And yes, we can all point to some junk in the industry and say “what about that?” but the reality is that the junk gets washed out quickly, and major hits (like tv shows that last 10 years) only happen because someone’s work is so compeling that it resonates with millions and millions of people.

    Yes, you’ve built a farm system so that anyone can make media . . . but very few can make great, or even good– media.

  80. Robert:

    “we’ve built a farm system for media now that anyone can make media.”

    Here’s the point: For the writers/(film & tv) I know (and I know quite a few), it takes years and years and years of hard work–honing their craft–to have the capacity to tell a compelling story. And yes, we can all point to some junk in the industry and say “what about that?” but the reality is that the junk gets washed out quickly, and major hits (like tv shows that last 10 years) only happen because someone’s work is so compeling that it resonates with millions and millions of people.

    Yes, you’ve built a farm system so that anyone can make media . . . but very few can make great, or even good– media.

  81. @51, Robert. Not denying there’s some money to be made in this proverbial “long tail”. I was simply commenting on Danny’s point about being selective about where one “wants to be”. If there is money in mass appeal and lowest common denominator and you have a product to sell to them, not wrong with chasing that market. Just ask Ron Popiel. If there is money in a more niche market, chase that too. The key is undertanding what your customers want, or will want. Agreed the possible potential of the cooking “shows” Probably is some upside there. Like Mark Cuban has been quotes as saying: “Don’t give customers what the do want, give them what the will want”

  82. @51, Robert. Not denying there’s some money to be made in this proverbial “long tail”. I was simply commenting on Danny’s point about being selective about where one “wants to be”. If there is money in mass appeal and lowest common denominator and you have a product to sell to them, not wrong with chasing that market. Just ask Ron Popiel. If there is money in a more niche market, chase that too. The key is undertanding what your customers want, or will want. Agreed the possible potential of the cooking “shows” Probably is some upside there. Like Mark Cuban has been quotes as saying: “Don’t give customers what the do want, give them what the will want”

  83. Yet another great point made by Brooke. How refreshing it is to have someone with some real insight into this market, rather than a bunch of geeks thinking they can simply apply technology to everything and it will be a success. (But its a PODCAST!!! And you can download it! And it’s searchable on the web!! Isn’t that compelling enough??? Oh! you mean I need to have talent, too)

    Robert saying you have built a farm system, is almost like saying I can start another professional basketball league and get more professional basketball players. At some point the talent gets diluted. Quick, name me the most popular CBA player? What’s the average attendance at a CBA game.

    Brooke is right. This is tough, dog-eat-dog business. You’d be surprised at how many movie scripts get purchased and buried just so some other studio won’t get it. And hell, even making the right descion on what sucks can cost you your job. Just ask Nina Jacobson. She said “Lady in Water” wasn’t good. Disney went with it anyway. Turns out she was right, but she takes the fall for it anyway

    And there are enough players out there to make it very difficult for one to start taking money off their table. For example, I think it won’t be long before YouTube goes the way of Napster. They have huge borderline copyright issues they have to deal with. And their fair use defense is weak at best.

    But I’m not sure Scoble is going to care as much about quality as he is about the number of ad clicks he gets.

  84. Yet another great point made by Brooke. How refreshing it is to have someone with some real insight into this market, rather than a bunch of geeks thinking they can simply apply technology to everything and it will be a success. (But its a PODCAST!!! And you can download it! And it’s searchable on the web!! Isn’t that compelling enough??? Oh! you mean I need to have talent, too)

    Robert saying you have built a farm system, is almost like saying I can start another professional basketball league and get more professional basketball players. At some point the talent gets diluted. Quick, name me the most popular CBA player? What’s the average attendance at a CBA game.

    Brooke is right. This is tough, dog-eat-dog business. You’d be surprised at how many movie scripts get purchased and buried just so some other studio won’t get it. And hell, even making the right descion on what sucks can cost you your job. Just ask Nina Jacobson. She said “Lady in Water” wasn’t good. Disney went with it anyway. Turns out she was right, but she takes the fall for it anyway

    And there are enough players out there to make it very difficult for one to start taking money off their table. For example, I think it won’t be long before YouTube goes the way of Napster. They have huge borderline copyright issues they have to deal with. And their fair use defense is weak at best.

    But I’m not sure Scoble is going to care as much about quality as he is about the number of ad clicks he gets.

  85. funny, i actually am walking up the long tail, with sirius as help. my show plays there now, every week. can’t say i’m complaining. want a call? :)

  86. funny, i actually am walking up the long tail, with sirius as help. my show plays there now, every week. can’t say i’m complaining. want a call? :)

  87. For the writers/(film & tv) I know (and I know quite a few), it takes years and years and years of hard work–honing their craft–to have the capacity to tell a compelling story.

    Granted, but not sure what that implies. Do you have to have a job as a writer before you learn how to write? Is a blog or a podcast a poor sharpening stone for honing one’s craft?

    but very few can make great, or even good– media.

    Isn’t that what Scoble meant by, “Most video blogs and podcasts just aren’t high enough quality to get a large audience?”

    How refreshing it is to have someone with some real insight into this market, rather than a bunch of geeks thinking they can simply apply technology to everything and it will be a success.

    Who said technology makes anything a success? All technology does is lower the barrier to entry. It means more people can play. If anyone can create media, isn’t that a good thing? Sure, the amount of crap goes up, but doesn’t the amount of good stuff go up too?

    Don’t we want to give crayons to all the kids, even the ones who have no artistic talent?

    Spike Lee once described himself as “blessed with the opportunity to express the views of Black people who otherwise don’t have access to power and the media.”

    What if you didn’t need a publishing house to publish a book?

    What if you didn’t need a record deal to make an album of music?

    What if you didn’t need a TV network to make a TV series?

    What if everyone had access to the media?

    More people creating stuff. More choices. Is this a bad thing? Is this somehow threatening, in the same way widespread literacy was once threatening to professional scribes?

  88. For the writers/(film & tv) I know (and I know quite a few), it takes years and years and years of hard work–honing their craft–to have the capacity to tell a compelling story.

    Granted, but not sure what that implies. Do you have to have a job as a writer before you learn how to write? Is a blog or a podcast a poor sharpening stone for honing one’s craft?

    but very few can make great, or even good– media.

    Isn’t that what Scoble meant by, “Most video blogs and podcasts just aren’t high enough quality to get a large audience?”

    How refreshing it is to have someone with some real insight into this market, rather than a bunch of geeks thinking they can simply apply technology to everything and it will be a success.

    Who said technology makes anything a success? All technology does is lower the barrier to entry. It means more people can play. If anyone can create media, isn’t that a good thing? Sure, the amount of crap goes up, but doesn’t the amount of good stuff go up too?

    Don’t we want to give crayons to all the kids, even the ones who have no artistic talent?

    Spike Lee once described himself as “blessed with the opportunity to express the views of Black people who otherwise don’t have access to power and the media.”

    What if you didn’t need a publishing house to publish a book?

    What if you didn’t need a record deal to make an album of music?

    What if you didn’t need a TV network to make a TV series?

    What if everyone had access to the media?

    More people creating stuff. More choices. Is this a bad thing? Is this somehow threatening, in the same way widespread literacy was once threatening to professional scribes?

  89. “Goebbels, lots of things start off “marginal” and then become popular, don’t they?”

    Certainly, they do. That does not change anything. It does not validate the “long tail”. It’s always been the case has nothing to do with the “long tail”. That’s my point.

    The “long tail” has nothing to do with mainstreaming, but Scoble apparently continues to get that wrong over and over again.

  90. “Goebbels, lots of things start off “marginal” and then become popular, don’t they?”

    Certainly, they do. That does not change anything. It does not validate the “long tail”. It’s always been the case has nothing to do with the “long tail”. That’s my point.

    The “long tail” has nothing to do with mainstreaming, but Scoble apparently continues to get that wrong over and over again.

  91. It does not validate the “long tail”. It’s always been the case has nothing to do with the “long tail”.

    Not sure what you mean exactly, but I didn’t read him as saying that there was some magical property of power law distributions or their Long Tails. Crap content is still crap content.

    What I assumed he meant is that because this particular Long Tail is on THE INTERNET, you get network effects (which are proportional to the size of the network). It’s those network effects that allow good, but unpopular stuff languishing in the Long Tail to get noticed and move toward the Head of the distribution.

    Van Gogh, for example, had good content, but low popularity while he was alive. He was in the Long Tail of the popularity distribution. His network was very small: a handful of close friends, art dealers, and art critics who happened to be geographically proximate. He sold one painting in his life, to the sister of one of his friends. Small network, small network effects, stuck in the Long Tail.

    Whereas if Van Gogh had put his paintings up on Flickr… or sold them on eBay… :-) Well, hopefully someone would have noticed and pulled him out of obscurity. Big network, big network effects, much easier for truly good stuff to float to the top. Or “walk up the tail” (of the snakes, on the m—–f—ing plane).

    There’s nothing magical about Long Tails. There is something magical about the Internet, which is where this particular Long Tail is located…. :-)

    The “long tail” has nothing to do with mainstreaming

    Well the keys to becoming popular don’t lie in being unpopular, if that’s what you mean. :-)

    I thought “mainstreaming” was when they took handicapped kids and put them in the same classes as normal kids? (Though at my school “mainstreaming” meant taking all the geniuses and putting them in with the normals….)

  92. It does not validate the “long tail”. It’s always been the case has nothing to do with the “long tail”.

    Not sure what you mean exactly, but I didn’t read him as saying that there was some magical property of power law distributions or their Long Tails. Crap content is still crap content.

    What I assumed he meant is that because this particular Long Tail is on THE INTERNET, you get network effects (which are proportional to the size of the network). It’s those network effects that allow good, but unpopular stuff languishing in the Long Tail to get noticed and move toward the Head of the distribution.

    Van Gogh, for example, had good content, but low popularity while he was alive. He was in the Long Tail of the popularity distribution. His network was very small: a handful of close friends, art dealers, and art critics who happened to be geographically proximate. He sold one painting in his life, to the sister of one of his friends. Small network, small network effects, stuck in the Long Tail.

    Whereas if Van Gogh had put his paintings up on Flickr… or sold them on eBay… :-) Well, hopefully someone would have noticed and pulled him out of obscurity. Big network, big network effects, much easier for truly good stuff to float to the top. Or “walk up the tail” (of the snakes, on the m—–f—ing plane).

    There’s nothing magical about Long Tails. There is something magical about the Internet, which is where this particular Long Tail is located…. :-)

    The “long tail” has nothing to do with mainstreaming

    Well the keys to becoming popular don’t lie in being unpopular, if that’s what you mean. :-)

    I thought “mainstreaming” was when they took handicapped kids and put them in the same classes as normal kids? (Though at my school “mainstreaming” meant taking all the geniuses and putting them in with the normals….)

  93. Karim, I’m not suggesting they think technology ensures success. But I rather doubt movie makers started making movies for the sake of solely using color, or Dolby when those technologies came out. I just seems many of the geeks are focusing on the technology first and foremost and hope the quality just happens. Those in entertainment field I think do the opposite. Produce quality content, then let the distribution method take care of itself.

  94. Karim, I’m not suggesting they think technology ensures success. But I rather doubt movie makers started making movies for the sake of solely using color, or Dolby when those technologies came out. I just seems many of the geeks are focusing on the technology first and foremost and hope the quality just happens. Those in entertainment field I think do the opposite. Produce quality content, then let the distribution method take care of itself.

  95. I’m not suggesting they think technology ensures success.

    Earlier, you said, “…a bunch of geeks thinking they can simply apply technology to everything and it will be a success.”

    But I rather doubt movie makers started making movies for the sake of solely using color, or Dolby when those technologies came out. I just seems many of the geeks are focusing on the technology first

    Kind of like George Lucas, when he decided to go all digital? ;-)

    The motivation (doing something “for the sake of” x) is irrelevant. In most cases you can’t know the motivation without mind reading, and half the time people don’t know their own motivation for doing things anyway. What counts is whether it’s a good product. If it’s a good product, it hardly matters whether you did it for love, for money, or because you were enamored of the technology that helped you make it.

    When new technology appears, there is an initial phase where people do use it “because they can.” When PCs first got 16 colors, every screen seemed to use all 16 colors. When people got mobile phones, you’d hear people gushing, “Guess where I’m calling from! My cellular phone!” Eventually people habituate and it settles down.

    Those in entertainment field I think do the opposite.

    Professionals are certainly highly motivated to produce high quality stuff, because if they don’t, they’ll be looking for a new job. But it’s no guarantee of quality. People whose only motivation is having fun can turn out things that are just as good (or bad) as professionals whose motivation is a fat paycheck. On the whole, restaurant food is probably better than home cooking; but the best home-cooked meal is far better than the worst restaurant meal.

    And what do people say to those who consistently cook great meals at home? “You should open a restaurant” (i.e. get paid for your work, become a professional)

    Produce quality content, then let the distribution method take care of itself.

    Well, that’s exactly what was wrong with the way things were — the distribution didn’t take care of itself. Distribution was concentrated in a handful of extremely powerful distribution companies, TV networks, record companies. Van Gogh never got a “distribution deal” and so he shot himself.

  96. I’m not suggesting they think technology ensures success.

    Earlier, you said, “…a bunch of geeks thinking they can simply apply technology to everything and it will be a success.”

    But I rather doubt movie makers started making movies for the sake of solely using color, or Dolby when those technologies came out. I just seems many of the geeks are focusing on the technology first

    Kind of like George Lucas, when he decided to go all digital? ;-)

    The motivation (doing something “for the sake of” x) is irrelevant. In most cases you can’t know the motivation without mind reading, and half the time people don’t know their own motivation for doing things anyway. What counts is whether it’s a good product. If it’s a good product, it hardly matters whether you did it for love, for money, or because you were enamored of the technology that helped you make it.

    When new technology appears, there is an initial phase where people do use it “because they can.” When PCs first got 16 colors, every screen seemed to use all 16 colors. When people got mobile phones, you’d hear people gushing, “Guess where I’m calling from! My cellular phone!” Eventually people habituate and it settles down.

    Those in entertainment field I think do the opposite.

    Professionals are certainly highly motivated to produce high quality stuff, because if they don’t, they’ll be looking for a new job. But it’s no guarantee of quality. People whose only motivation is having fun can turn out things that are just as good (or bad) as professionals whose motivation is a fat paycheck. On the whole, restaurant food is probably better than home cooking; but the best home-cooked meal is far better than the worst restaurant meal.

    And what do people say to those who consistently cook great meals at home? “You should open a restaurant” (i.e. get paid for your work, become a professional)

    Produce quality content, then let the distribution method take care of itself.

    Well, that’s exactly what was wrong with the way things were — the distribution didn’t take care of itself. Distribution was concentrated in a handful of extremely powerful distribution companies, TV networks, record companies. Van Gogh never got a “distribution deal” and so he shot himself.

  97. I dunno. things seemed to work out fine for “The Blair Witch Project”, and “The Passion of the Christ”.

    Still and all, I don’t thing PodTech will care as much about quality as they will about ad clicks.

  98. I dunno. things seemed to work out fine for “The Blair Witch Project”, and “The Passion of the Christ”.

    Still and all, I don’t thing PodTech will care as much about quality as they will about ad clicks.

  99. Robert,

    You’ve nailed the reality that a lot of new media and Web 2.0 professionals have a hard time dealing with: Their businesses would be substantially stronger if they partnered with or embraced old media.

    We work with old media stalwarts like CBS and National Geographic and new media companies like XM, Electronic Arts and even small companies in the mobile space, and the one constant I find is that when our clients are able to bridge the divide, great things happen.

    I wish it weren’t so damn hard to do that, though.

  100. Robert,

    You’ve nailed the reality that a lot of new media and Web 2.0 professionals have a hard time dealing with: Their businesses would be substantially stronger if they partnered with or embraced old media.

    We work with old media stalwarts like CBS and National Geographic and new media companies like XM, Electronic Arts and even small companies in the mobile space, and the one constant I find is that when our clients are able to bridge the divide, great things happen.

    I wish it weren’t so damn hard to do that, though.

  101. [...] I was reading Robert Scoble’s entertaining and educational blog, and he brought up the interesting point that he had recently heard the Web 2.0 insider talking head group the Gilmoor Gang on Sirius and then “long tail” evangelist Chris Anderson on NPR. This made him wonder about the cross-pollination of new media into old media. [...]

  102. Jim Kerr,

    Your comment “Their businesses would be substantially stronger if they partnered with or embraced old media” is an excellent point.

    Recently Fox Entertainment’s television production group sold the syndication rights to canceled sitcom “Arrested Development” to MSN, establishing the first time a major Hollywood production studio has turned to the Internet as a bona fide buyer of syndicated shows. This was a creative solution for “Arrested,” a show which didn’t have enough episodes (53) to be sold into traditional domestic syndication.

    It appears that the entertainment industry–the “Old Media”– is more than willing to embrace the new media companies as–at the very least–a secondary platform for their under-performing content (See also the examples in my comments at #36 above).

    I look forward to the “new media’s” continued solutions at “bridging the divide” with the old media, especially if the bridge can be done in a manner that fairly compensates the original creator of the old media content (which would be the opposite of what Apple has done with its video IPOD streaming of episodic tv and–in the near future–film and books.)

  103. Jim Kerr,

    Your comment “Their businesses would be substantially stronger if they partnered with or embraced old media” is an excellent point.

    Recently Fox Entertainment’s television production group sold the syndication rights to canceled sitcom “Arrested Development” to MSN, establishing the first time a major Hollywood production studio has turned to the Internet as a bona fide buyer of syndicated shows. This was a creative solution for “Arrested,” a show which didn’t have enough episodes (53) to be sold into traditional domestic syndication.

    It appears that the entertainment industry–the “Old Media”– is more than willing to embrace the new media companies as–at the very least–a secondary platform for their under-performing content (See also the examples in my comments at #36 above).

    I look forward to the “new media’s” continued solutions at “bridging the divide” with the old media, especially if the bridge can be done in a manner that fairly compensates the original creator of the old media content (which would be the opposite of what Apple has done with its video IPOD streaming of episodic tv and–in the near future–film and books.)

  104. Brooke, you nailed the essence of where we are now: Embracing “other” media distribution channnels is happening when there is little to lose–underperforming content is a good example you point out.

    Frankly, I’ve seen more push back from new media and Web 2.0 companies in dealing with traditional mass media than vice versa. Mass media doesn’t understand monetizing new media, and that scares them and makes them tentative in investing the money. New media appears to have an outright distrust of mass media, despite an enormous opportunity to leverage its strengths.

    MySpace has 40+ million monthly users. That is one-fifth the reach of good old terrestrial radio.

  105. Brooke, you nailed the essence of where we are now: Embracing “other” media distribution channnels is happening when there is little to lose–underperforming content is a good example you point out.

    Frankly, I’ve seen more push back from new media and Web 2.0 companies in dealing with traditional mass media than vice versa. Mass media doesn’t understand monetizing new media, and that scares them and makes them tentative in investing the money. New media appears to have an outright distrust of mass media, despite an enormous opportunity to leverage its strengths.

    MySpace has 40+ million monthly users. That is one-fifth the reach of good old terrestrial radio.