Jeff Jarvis is liveblogging a DLD panel discussion between Jimmy Wales (Wikia) and Jason Calacanis (Mahalo), with Marissa Meyer (Google) in the front row. They're discussing human-driven search (Mahalo and Wikia) vs. algorithmic search (Google). And then comes this fascinating exchange:
"Esther Dyson says the problem with their model is the long tail. If she were starting a company she’d do something else. “Ok, I’m going to kill myself now,” laughed [Calacanis] He says that the fat tail will be human, the medium tail social, the long tail algorithmic. And he says that the advertising interest is in the fat tail."
As Kevin Marks and Julian Bond rightly point out in the comments here, Jason slightly mangled the nomenclature, so that should actually be "The short head will be human, the fat middle social and the long tail algorithmic" Still, that single sentence is worth another book. I won't write it, but I'll bet someone else does.