"long tail" entries

Four short links: 26 January 2011

Four short links: 26 January 2011

Identifying Communities, Web Principles, Wiring Library, and Instapaper Interview

  1. Find Communities — algorithm for uncovering communities in networks of millions of nodes, for producing identifiable subgroups as in LinkedIn InMaps. (via Matt Biddulph’s Delicious links)
  2. Seven Ways to Think Like The Web (Jon Udell) — seven principles that will head off a lot of mistakes. They should be seared into the minds of anyone working in the web. 2. Pass by reference rather than by value. [pass URLs, not copies of data] […] Why? Nobody else cares about your data as much as you do. If other people and other systems source your data from a canonical URL that you advertise and control, then they will always get data that’s as timely and accurate as you care to make it.
  3. Wire Itan open-source javascript library to create web wirable interfaces for dataflow applications, visual programming languages, graphical modeling, or graph editors. (via Pete Warden)
  4. Interview with Marco Arment (Rands in Repose) — Most people assume that online readers primarily view a small number of big-name sites. Nearly everyone who guesses at Instapaper’s top-saved-domain list and its proportions is wrong. The most-saved site is usually The New York Times, The Guardian, or another major traditional newspaper. But it’s only about 2% of all saved articles. The top 10 saved domains are only about 11% of saved articles. (via Courtney Johnston’s Instapaper Feed)
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Four short links: 15 October 2010

Four short links: 15 October 2010

Long Tail, Copyright vs Preservation, Diminished Reality, and Augmented Data

  1. Mechanical Turk Requester Activity: The Insignificance of the Long TailFor Wikipedia we have the 1% rule, where 1% of the contributors (this is 0.003% of the users) contribute two thirds of the content. In the Causes application on Facebook, there are 25 million users, but only 1% of them contribute a donation. […] The lognormal distribution of activity, also shows that requesters increase their participation exponentially over time: They post a few tasks, they get the results. If the results are good, they increase by a percentage the size of the tasks that they post next time. This multiplicative behavior is the basic process that generates the lognormal distribution of activity.
  2. Copyright Destroying Historic Audio — so says the Library of Congress. Were copyright law followed to the letter, little audio preservation would be undertaken. Were the law strictly enforced, it would brand virtually all audio preservation as illegal. Copyright laws related to preservation are neither strictly followed nor strictly enforced. Consequently, some audio preservation is conducted.
  3. Diminished Reality (Ray Kurzweil) — removes objects from video in real time. Great name, “diminished reality”. (via Andy Baio)
  4. Data Enrichment Service — using linked government data to augment text with annotations and links. (via Jo Walsh on Twitter)
Comments: 2
Long Tail iTunes Book Apps Are More Expensive

Long Tail iTunes Book Apps Are More Expensive

In an earlier post, I examined the average price of the Top 100 PAID apps and noted that the relationship between price and popularity was somewhat dependent on the category. But in the Book category, I concluded that the Top 10 PAID apps were on average cheaper than those ranked 91-100. But what if we examine all Book apps, will the long tail apps be pricier?

Comments: 7

Three Paradoxes of the Internet Age – Part One

In the circles that I travel the Internet is often breathlessly embraced as the herald of all things good; the bringer of increased choice, personal empowerment, social harmony… and the list goes on. And yet, as with any powerful technology, the truth of its consequences eludes such a singular and happy narrative. More access to information doesn’t bring people together, often it isolates us.

Comments: 15

How Long is Your City's Tail?

A city that has totally open, unrestricted access to data and partnerships with business has the best chance of becoming the healthy, "long tail" city of the future, with head, "meaty middle" and tail, all working together, all reinforcing each other, all driving each other forward. That's the future of cities. It might be time to ask yourself: how long is your city's tail shaping up to be? The answer may determine, to a large degree, how much your city is a thriving place to live in decades to come.

Comments: 10

Anecdotal Evidence from the Digital Shift

Back in 2004, when I spent most of my time doing format conversions and production automation, I had the privilege of turning much of what I learned doing things like batch running Word macros from the DOS command line with Ruby into a book, Word Hacks. Like our other Hacks books, it's a lesson in the value of curation and…

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Four short links: 21 September 2009

Four short links: 21 September 2009

Bad Writing, Tech Immigration, Long Tail Fail?, and The Real McKoi

  1. Dan Brown’s 20 Worst Sentences — awful awful writing, and glorious glorious mockery of it.

    Deception Point, chapter 8: Overhanging her precarious body was a jaundiced face whose skin resembled a sheet of parchment paper punctured by two emotionless eyes.

    It’s not clear what Brown thinks ‘precarious’ means here.

  2. From Australia to the World: The Story of Google Maps and Google Wave (PDF, HTML Cached here) — history of Google Maps and Wave, from the creator. This particularly struck me: I know few matters more frustrating than finding funding for a start-up. Immigration tops the list.
  3. Rethinking The Long Tail: How to Define ‘Hits’ and ‘Niches’ — the argument comes down to absolute vs relative measurements of popularity. Anderson says that relative hides too much, because percentages are meaningless in a world of infinite inventory. Researchers respond that hits and niches are defined in absolute numbers (top 10, bottom 100). The real takeaway is that infinite inventory requires excellent discovery tools drawing upon collective intelligence systems (hence the Netflix recommendation contest). (via timoreilly on Twitter)
  4. The Mckoi Database MckoiDDB is a database system used by software developers to create applications that store data over a cluster of machines in a network. It is designed to be used in online environments where there are very large sets of both small and big data items that need to be stored, accessed and indexed efficiently in a network cluster. The focus of the MckoiDDB architecture is to support low latency query performance, provide strong data consistency through snapshot transaction isolation, and provide tools to manage logical data models that may change dramatically in physical network environments that may experience similar dramatic change. (via joshua on delicious)
Comments: 5

Long Tail Evidence from The App Store

Last week we released 16 of our books as iPhone Apps (and on Saturday added The Twitter Book), and there's some interesting Long Tail data coming in. We've seen Long Tail behavior in the data from Safari Books Online and from Google Book Search, though in this case it's about geography: even though regions like Colombia, Belgium, and Greece are…

Comments: 5

Open Question: What is the Best Use for Print on Demand?

Is print on demand best suited for short print runs and Long Tail plays, or can it be used for more? Come share your thoughts on POD.

Comments: 6

Borders Stores Turn Back on Long Tail

Borders is using its limited shelf space to give top selling books the "face-out" treatment. Poor sellers need not apply.

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