“It turns out to be absolutely ubiquitous in human affairs, economies and nature itself.” – Chris AndersonSo I’m going to explain a bit about the long tail.
What is the long tail?
Well as Chris Anderson put it on his website, it’s “… the theory that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from the focus on a relatively small number of ‘hits’, at the head of the demand curve and towards a huge number of niches in the tail.”
A really good example is comparing your local bookstore, be it a locally run one, or Barnes & Noble to Amazon’s book collection.
Your bookstore in the current vicinity will not carry books on anything and everything that you may want, say you have an infatuation with the architecture of British Amusement Parks in the 1900s, or you’re really into the history of the brand Chanel.
Amazon is more than likely ready and waiting for you to put that book into your cart.
Amazon’s shelf space is the long tail. While your local bookstore will eventually run out of niche books to put on their shelves due to scarcity, Amazon will never run out as long as there is supply and demand.
How does this factor into the internet?
When you’ve got media platforms you can also see this phenomenon. With youtube the huge channels such as Pewdiepie and the like dominate viewership, they’re the head, and the videos on youtube from medieval swordsmanship to urban hiphop artists occupy the space of the Long Tail, the niche audience that doesn’t cater for the largest audience possible.
With my digital artefact (shameless plug) I came into it assuming it’d be for a more niche audience.
To think that I’d create content that would appeal to a vastly distributed audience without any prior experience in content creation would be ludicrous.
So the end plan for my digital artefact with relation to the long tail is to just roll with the punches, hopefully get attention from my niche audience through instagram, tumblr and the like, possibly through aggregation sites such as Reddit or Imgur as well.