Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Long Tail?

From PoynterOnline: via Loic Le Meur.

"Google unleashed a beta version of its video-hosting service yesterday. Users can upload videos of any size and Google will host it for free. Amazing as that is, it isn't the most interesting feature. It also will allow you to charge whatever you want for users to download the videos."

So you have a video on: short french basketball players trying to make it into the NBA, you upload it onto the google site, and charge $3.00 for it. Somebody in Timbuktu has been looking all over for a video about short sports teams, and has $3.00 burning a hole in his pocket. Suddenly, you become this guys supplier for short sportsman videos. He tells all the people on his "we love short sports" blog, and then they all decide to buy your video - you are a de facto entrepreneur with a worldwide customer base, and a market for your product. You send a nice thank you letter to google, and quit your day job. This is an example of the "long tail" starting to take effect (hopefully) in a way all of us can benefit, if we so choose.

As an amateur filmmaker, I am interested in the potential of this new development and while I still question Google's business practices enough to not keep my gmail account (see a few posts below) I am not above looking into this new development, and hoping that other web companies will follow suit. I hope that isn't too hypocritical of me.


I've noticed the obvios lately: Whenever I go to read the Newspaper, I am always dissatisfied with the fact that I'm reading Yesterday's news in todays paper. Honestly, I'm just a little surprised that anyone subscribes to newpapers at all, what with so many available up to date journalistic sources on the web. As Nigel said last post, however, there is something nice about that ritual of newspaper + coffee. That I suppose is almost entirely responsible for keeping the newspaper business alive. That and technophobia.

So in Video, Search Engines, News, and everything else, choice is a good thing. It does mean, however, that if what you are selling is not different or remarkable, you are going to have a hard time.


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