Monday, December 25, 2006

YOU: Time Magazine's Person of the Year, and LONG TAIL

The increasing influence of Web 2.0 has permeated the spirit of Long Tail into every aspect of human life. Probably Web 2.0 itself is nothing but the demonstration of Long Tail: an aggregation of nobodies eventually becomes somebody. With this philosophy, the person of the Year 2006 (as elected by the Time Magazine) becomes reasonably understandable. Although YOU are (most likely) a nobody by yourself, YOU can be part of a somebody through the effect of Web 2.0. Therefore, every one of YOU is the person of 2006 because YOU are somebody!

Web 2.0 is changing the world. Long Tail demonstrates its power. In history we have never been so close to the real power of collectivism.

The Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle once said that the history was about "Great Man." But every "Great Man" came out of dozens or hundreds of "less greater man," who again came out of thousands or millions of nobodies who were long tails. We often overlook the impact of these long tails because the impact from every one of them is so tiny comparing to the power brought by a "great men."

Fortunately, the rise of Web 2.0 changes the history. The beautiful Web 2.0 allows everybody to have a chance being a "Great Man" through engaging the effect of Long Tail about many others. The great diversity of the Web brings the world tremendous opportunities. Through Long Tail, Web 2.0 constitutes a real fantasy that "I work for everybody; and everybody works for me." Or it may be restated in a more fashion style: I am in your long tail; and you are at my long tail.

So, the person of the year 2006 might better be YOU with a Long Tail!

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