The Drooping Tail

Jakob Nielsen offers a different way to view Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory:

“I’m amazed at how often articles analyzing Web traffic or “long tail”-type businesses use linear plots that fail to show what’s really going on.”

Jakob champions the idea of paying close attention to Web metrics when targeting long tail revenue:

 “… pursuing the tail’s end might be valuable if a site meets one of two conditions: it has a better way than low-value ads to monetize traffic, or it has so many users that the total income would be substantially more than the cost of developing the new functionality.”

Update: lots more commentary on tail length and shape via Nicholas Carr.