[LINK] docking the internet's tail
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Mon May 18 18:04:32 AEST 2009
Kim Holburn wrote:
> It has been for some time (2004 is a long time ago on the internet) a
> dream of the internets, that it would allow people to get access to
> all sorts of exotic, esoteric, non-mainstream stuff:
>> The Long Tail
>> Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the
>> charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche
>> markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.
> There was some debate last year started by Anita Elberse:
> Naturally it's difficult because getting statistics about something
> that might by definition not have very much data is not necessarily
> going to lead to accurate results.
> Now here is an article showing that the "blockbuster" effect (the
> opposite of the long tail) works in P2P networks.
> One thing everyone is happy using P2P for is finding out what's
> popular. But protocols like bittorrent tend to skew data away from
> the long tail. Bittorrent works better the more popular a thing is.
> The more people interested in a piece of data, the more torrenters,
> the faster the file moves. Files that are rare and have few people
> interested in them, may as well be on a single server, bittorrent
> doesn't add anything to help, in fact it may even hinder compared to
> say html or ftp.
Wow ... funny thing, I wrote something anti-long-tail fairly recently, and
copped a right shellacking from the various kinds of true believer.
But it never even remotely occurred to me that there might be a technical effect
at work! A sort of protocol feedback loop ...
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