[LINK] docking the internet's tail

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Mon May 18 17:14:19 EST 2009


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:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html
> 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:
http://hbr.harvardbusiness.org/2008/07/should-you-invest-in-the-long-tail/ar/1
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026873.300-online-shopping-and-the-harry-potter-effect.html

debate:
http://springboardmedia.blogspot.com/2008/07/long-tail-not-so-debunked-after-all.html

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.

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/05/report-challenges-long-tail-theory-on-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.

Kim


-- 
Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request








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