Of tails and walls [International Herald Tribune]

The Long Tail
“The old model [of the global marketplace] was one of control,” said Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine and author of the book “The Long Tail“, while he was recently in Paris. “Companies could control the user experience, and they could control the marketplace.”

“The new model is we all exist in this big mush, this big heterogeneous conversation out there,” he said. “You can’t control how people get to you, you can’t control where they go, you can’t control what they say about you. You can only participate.”

Anderson said most Web sites, including that of Wired magazine, were now getting more than half of their traffic from search engines and blog links.

“So the traffic is being driven not by our brand or our internal navigation system,” he said. “It’s being driven by the fact that we are part of the conversation, that there are links out there to our content because there are no barriers and that Google can find our content.”

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