The Long, Dark Tail

Heard of the Long Tail Theory of Media Consumption? Chris Anderson, editor and chief of Wired explains “The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail.”

Cool, right? But what exactly do those niches at the end of tail look like? Many are dark, strange, and probably offensive to many. Take Nihilist Arby’s as one example. This is a Twitter account (@nihilist_arbys) that “Officially, has nothing to do with Arby’s” but also purports “Unofficially, everything is nothing.” No point in me telling you what this is all about. Check it out for yourself and see an example tweet below.

Did you find this account humorous? Doesn’t matter. As of writing this, the account has 66.6K followers (Coincidence?).

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I know, 60 thousand followers isn’t that many when the Justin Bieber’s of the world have 60 million but remember, we’re talking about the end of the tail here. We’re talking about 60 thousand people who find the same thing funny or stupid or whatever but they have something in common. Is another thing they have in common what they may buy? Or maybe a show they would watch online? Probably, yes.

Think of it: Nihilist Arby’s as a Web series. Crazy? Maybe not so much if you have 60 thousand people already on board.

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