From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.
This site documents the process and the results.
I blogged notes and commentary from Chris' discussion during the netpublics seminar and shorter notes from his public presentation downstairs.
I'll quote my sort of Talmudic meta-question:
Why do I blog this? The Long(er) Tail is a steamroller meme with lots of resonance and entirely legible in the context of digital dissemination networks. And the netpublics seminar I'm participating in is drawn to the topic of social formations that arise in the context of such dissemination and communication networks. I'm also made profoundly nervous by things that seem to absorb lots of phenomenon into a graph. But there are questions wanting here. For instance, what are the consequences for innovation? How does the Long Tail miss comprehending the circulation of culture? What is the limit of The Long Tail — when does it break down or skid off into the bushes? Where are the ethics of The Long Tail, particularly if it's easy to say that insurgency is The Long Tail of warfare? How can The Long Tail sustain itself when we make the safe assumption that the operators/aggregators at the head will behave selfishly to sustain their enterprises' influence, power and economies? What happens when the head (aggregators) eats the tail - why wouldn't that happen so that aggregators can reap more of the sum of the area below the graph? Finally, why do I get nervous that so much fits into that graph there?