Monthly Archives: October 2006

The Long Tail means Fewer Heads

(It’s Diwali, the least I am allowed is a Ramayana pun)

long-tail.jpgAnyway, so as you might have guessed, I just finished The Long Tail by Chris Anderson (downloaded the audiobook illegally on eMule and heard it on my iPod, but since I wanted to write this blog post, and as a consequence, refer back to the book – I had to go and buy a paperback. Damn Blogging !). I am now raring to sing my tune on the topic, and considering we are talking the Long Tail here, it is totally warranted. Here is some top of the mind stuff in Guy Kawasaki’s Top-Ten (or whatever number I can reach) format. I think it’s a great format both from a readability and writability perspective.

1. At the end of the audiobook, there is an interview with Anderson himself, and the interviewer asks him the a question about YouTube, which at that point was evidently only 6 months old. The interviewer notes that YouTube, even though it’s a ‘tiny start-up that makes no money’ (smirk), has been getting more eyeballs than the likes of Yahoo, AOL and Google and asks Anderson why such companies can create traffic that big media companies can’t. Anderson notes that really interesting innovative ideas tend to come from the fringes, and while earlier they had to go through the traditional media which had a stronghold on the channels of distribution, but now thanks to democratization of distribution by the internet, that idea can get out there a lot more easily. He thus attributes the success of fringe ideas (and thus YouTube) to this democratization. So I think he missed the interviewer’s point, which I think was a lot less about YouTube’s success in isolation and a lot more about it’s success inspite of other video sharing services such as Google Video. Continue reading


How Google is killing Good Design

Fucking annoying. Google killed Writely. Never knew there was something called downgrading good design.

As much as I like the Google simplicity and look of things all things Google, it’s an absolute delight working with an application which not only has good features and an intutive UI, but also a pleasing design – and Writely was all that, until now.

Hopefully in due time I will get used to it. For starters, just let me set my document titles myself, as against making the first line the title, autosaving after 30 nanoseconds and then not updating the title at the next autosave.