Danny Kim makes a good point in this comment:
I think that there is a fourth long tail business: tool-makers. For a long tail to have niche content producers, like amateur bloggers or podcasters, they need tools which will lower the barrier-to-entry to content-producing for those niche producers.
You could say long tails might be a natural byproduct of those already-existing tools, including gadgets like camera phones and mp3 recorders. But in reality, there's a good number of companies that are jumping into the business of making tools so that "we" can produce content easily. Some examples from the blogging world: Movable Type, Typepad, Blogger, Odeo (podcasting).
think he's right. It also dovetails nicely with a point I've been
making in speeches of late (and fleshing out in the first chapter of
the book): there are three ascendant forces that are creating an era of Long Tails.
- Democratizing the tools of production (example: the PC)
- Lowering the transaction costs of consumption (example: the Internet)
- Connecting consumers to drive demand to niches (example: filters)
The first extends the tail to the right, the second raises the volume of sales/use in the tail, and the third drives demand down the tail, from hits to niches. Like this:
In the past, I've correlated each of the three main Long Tail business categories to one of these forces:
Now, although it's less neat, I should probably revise that to this: