I am a little behind in blogging. Last week I have went a few
separate but all very interesting events. Last Friday was the Long Now Foundation's seminar The Long Time
Tail by Chris Anderson with Will Hearst. Chris has introduced an
influential concept of long
tail. This time he has extended the concept in the time dimension.
The sales of an item would decline over time. Traditionally an item
would become unavailable or go out of print because it becomes
uneconomical to continues to sell it. But in the world of unlimited
virtual inventory with a searchable, discoverable front end, Chris
discovered that the demand, though diminished, would extend well into
the future. This is the same as the original long tail framework. And it
applies very well to the time dimension.
The business implication? A content archive has great and untapped
economic value. The implication to the consumers? We will enjoy a much
wider selection of quality works. And we will be less subject to
marketing hype that tries to push hits to make money in a flash of time.
Chris' presentation was full of studies of different markets. One
study of Netflix users says the customers are a lot more satisfy with
old movies than new movies. There is a logical explanation for this.
Good movies stand the test of time. I for one are very glad to find the
old collections available on the market again. For some time old Hong
Kong movies have been release in VCD format, a lower quality, lower cost
predecessor to DVD. Despite the lack of a searchable online front end
and generally available only in a uncategorized, flea market like retail
outlets, I still manage to amass a good collection great movies over
time. I have fond memory of many old movies I have seen one or two times
when they were released years ago. It is great to be able to enjoy them
again many years later. The old releases also reportedly turning a good
profit. Yet another confirmation that there is a demand of the long