Long Tail&Power Law

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Long Tail&Power Law

  1. 1. MIS 373 – Social Networking The Long Tail & The Power Law MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  2. 2. Power Law Distributions <ul><li>Occur in socio-technical systems </li></ul><ul><li>Very different from bell curve distributions </li></ul><ul><li>Examples include traffic to internet sites, weblog readership, page views, content downloads, etc. </li></ul>MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  3. 3. Weblogs arranged by #of inbound links. MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  4. 4. All mailing lists in the Yahoo Groups Television (ranked by number of subscribers) MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  5. 5. LiveJournal users ranked by number of friends listed. MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  6. 6. Dynamics of Social Systems <ul><li>When many people express their preferences among many options inequalities arise </li></ul><ul><li>Most elements are below average </li></ul><ul><li>As the number of option rises, the curve becomes more extreme </li></ul><ul><li>People are affected by others </li></ul><ul><li>Any tendency towards agreement in diverse and free systems creates power law distributions </li></ul>MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  7. 7. Is this Inequality Fair? <ul><li>What is the cost of failure? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there talented people who don’t get the traffic they deserve? </li></ul><ul><li>Are new users more likely to go to top sites or to niche places? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the gap between the most and least popular increase or decrease? </li></ul>MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  8. 8. But is Small Necessarily Bad? <ul><li>When most creators/contributors get below average traffic, audience size cannot be the only metric of success </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing a self-made video and having only twenty random people watch is disappointing </li></ul><ul><li>But publishing a video of Lola’s first birthday and getting comments from twenty of your best friends and family feels great </li></ul><ul><li>The larger you get the more you resemble big media because you can no longer hold personal conversations </li></ul>MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  9. 9. The Long Tail vs. The Fat Middle <ul><li>Traditional stores </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on mainstream needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target the average customer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., Blockbuster </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-Tailers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can focus on niche markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., Netflix </li></ul></ul>Information Systems Today: Managing in the Digital World 5-
  10. 10. Everything has an Audience MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  11. 11. The Long Tail: Stocking Up MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  12. 12. Making Money from Everything MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  13. 13. LT: Information Sharpens Taste MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill
  14. 14. Net Neutrality <ul><li>Data sent over the Internet is handled in a neutral manner </li></ul><ul><li>All traffic treated the same way </li></ul><ul><li>ISPs and telephone companies argue for prioritization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional Internet traffic suffers due to high bandwidth applications (esp video content) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should YouTube have to pay for bandwidth use or get deprioritized? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-tier Broadband consumer plans? </li></ul></ul>MIS 373 - Social Networking, SP09, Cho, Lang, McCaskill

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