The Long Tail Long Interview

Folio: magazine interviews Wired editor, and Mr. Long Tail himself, Chris Anderson.  Some excerpts: 

“Once upon a time I used to compete with magazines and newspapers. Now I compete with magazines and newspapers and 20 million blogs. Readers have choices out there—some of them professional, some of them amateur. The name of the game is attention and I’m fighting for attention share with a vast, increasing number of competitors.”  “Let’s put aside the print version. No, it’s not dead but it’s not enough. The day when you could shovel your stuff onto the Web site and people would bookmark it and come back are pretty much gone. The fact is, you are one of dozens of content sources that people are consuming in an omnivorous media menu.” 

“Increasingly, it’s not people coming to your Web site. It’s people seeing you mentioned elsewhere. It’s not people coming to your front page but coming directly to a story because someone linked to it. Maybe it’s not people coming for your content but for your community—contact and engagement with other readers.” “The new model of media relevance is determined by the community. It matters less and less what’s on your front page. What matters is what’s struck a chord, and what strikes a chord sees people linking to stories. A study recently showed that half the traffic to Web sites is after 36 hours. The old model of newspapers was that 100 percent of their readership is within first 36 hours and zero after that. The extraordinary interest in things we previously discounted, like archives, is the real lesson of the search and blog traffic era.” 

“ With publishers, they’re missing an opportunity in extracting value from their archives. A lot of this is obvious stuff. You need to bring in the community, you need to open up content, you need to take down the walls. You need to recognize that word-of-mouth from the blogs is an increasingly powerful driver. Look at the importance of search to drive demand to the archives.”  


Leave a comment