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A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
A problem with the Long Tail
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A problem with the Long Tail

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A talk by Chris Anderson at SciFoo (in Google) on whether the long tail a power law distribution or a lognormal distribution.

A talk by Chris Anderson at SciFoo (in Google) on whether the long tail a power law distribution or a lognormal distribution.

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  • Please read these notes to get a sense of what I’d be saying while talking through these slides. Needless to say, I talk a lot more than I’m writing here, but you’ll get the main points.
  • Transcript

    • 1. A problem with the Long Tail (Although an amazing number of things are powerlaws, a lot of things aren’t. How can you tell the difference?) (Read the text in the notes panel at the bottom for narration)
    • 2. A powerlaw
    • 3. Shown another way
    • 4. WTF?
    • 5. The Missing Market
    • 6. Source: Morris Rosenthal
    • 7.  
    • 8.  
    • 9. The problem
    • 10.  
    • 11.  
    • 12. Examples of phenomena that follow powerlaw distributions <ul><li>Species distribution among plants </li></ul><ul><li>Square footage of Alaskan Inuit homes </li></ul><ul><li>Forest fires, by size </li></ul><ul><li>Cities, by population </li></ul><ul><li>Death toll in wars </li></ul><ul><li>Earthquakes </li></ul><ul><li>Word use </li></ul><ul><li>Number of papers published by scientists </li></ul>
    • 13. Examples of phenomena that follow lognormal distributions <ul><li>Concentration of elements in the earth&apos;s crust </li></ul><ul><li>Latent periods of infectious diseases </li></ul><ul><li>Survival times after cancer diagnosis </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution of chemicals in the environment (including pollution) </li></ul><ul><li>Species distribution among moths and diatoms </li></ul><ul><li>Crystals in ice cream </li></ul><ul><li>Length of words in spoken conversation </li></ul>
    • 14. What’s the difference? <ul><li>Powerlaws : created by “preferential attachment” in scale-free networks. </li></ul>
    • 15. <ul><li>Lognormal distributions : created by &amp;quot;proportionate effects&amp;quot; (like growing by a proportion of your weight). </li></ul>
    • 16. Question <ul><li>Assuming it all comes down to network effects, how can you predict whether the “natural shape” (free of bottlenecks and other scarcity distortions) is a powerlaw or a lognormal distribution? </li></ul>

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