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The Long Tail

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At the very top, a small number of A-list blogs have thousands of sites with inbound links pointing toward them, driving huge amounts of traffic. Everyone else—the B-list and C-list blogs—has very few links and thus a much smaller readership. Curves like this exist in many fields: A tiny number of movie stars get more roles than all the others, and a small number of rich people own the vast majority of all the world’s wealth.

Is all lost for the B- and C-list bloggers? Not according to “long tail” theory. Wired magazine editor-in-chief Chris Anderson has made a study of the geometry of the curve and argues something surprising: Because the tail goes on infinitely, the C-list, in aggregate, has a much larger audience than does the thin A-list section. This means there are infinite niches for B- and C-size blogs: The TiVo blog! The Minnesota Republicans blog! The Lost blog! Each will have much smaller audiences than the A-list—Gawker, Engadget, Daily Kos—but advertisers will pay to reach such well-focused niches.

The Blog Establishment
• Blogs to Riches: The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom
• Linkology: How the 50 Most Popular Blogs Are Related
• The Early Years: A Timeline of How Blogging All Began
• Five Cool Blogs to Check Out Now
• Meet the Bloggers
• The Long Tail Theory: Why B-list Blogs Can Make It, Too


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