The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has just released a seven-minute movie called “I Am the Long Tail”. Here’s an excerpt of their description:
Analysts estimate there are as many as 1.2 million Web sites that support themselves by selling advertising, through their own sales forces or ad networks. Most of them constitute the vaunted "long tail" -- small sites serving the refined interests of niche audiences, whose existence is premised on the Internet's near-barrierless opportunity to create and distribute content. But the term "long tail," based as it is on such abstruse mathematical concepts as Pareto's law, can seem bloodless. It hardly does justice to the countless lives made better because of the ad-supported Internet.
That's where IAB came in. We made a seven-minute movie to put a human face on the long tail. We call it I Am the Long Tail.
Actually, I lied. The IAB didn't make this documentary about the long tail. The long tail made the movie about itself.
We reached out to sites we'd come across, and to online networks, for help in showcasing the almost limitless diversity of the ad-supported Internet. Our purposes were varied. As I noted in the YouTube video I made (I even downloaded the software that turned my Macbook into a Teleprompter) seeking contributions to our documentary, "The IAB wants advertisers to understand that small publishers are a foundation of their businesses -- that you're a vital channel to reach the American consumer. We also want policymakers and regulators in Washington and our state capitals to recognize that small digital publishers are critical to American economic growth, nationally, and in every Congressional district.
This is really cool, and one of the things I like best about it is that they didn’t feel the need to link to me, mention the book or even link to the Wikipedia entry. The Long Tail is now just part of the parlance—no more needing a credit than an invocation of the Tipping Point requires a link to Malcolm Gladwell. Which is as it should be.