I just spent a few epochs at Ester Dyson's Release 1.0 Conference.
“Esther Dyson's PC Forum is one of those events where you can feel the pulse of the industry (at least the top of the pyramid, judging by the number of corporate jets) and get a sense of what is fashionable, if not profound or disruptive (buzzword from last year). The award for the most frequently bandied about term must go to the longtail, which has risen, in my book, to the status of one word. It all started with Wired Editor Chris Anderson's article in his magazine last year. “
In case anyone just woke up after a long sleep, Dan quotes ” a kind of description from a posting on Chris’ blog“:
The Long Tail, on the other hand, is about nicheification. Rather than finding ways to create an even lower lowest common denominator, the Long Tail is about finding economically efficient ways to capitalize on the infinite diversity of taste and demand that has heretofore been overshadowed by mass markets. The millions who find themselves in the tail in some aspect of their life (and that includes all of us) are no poorer than those in the head. Indeed, they are often drawn down the tail by their refined taste, in pursuit of qualities that are not afforded by one-size-fits-all. And they are often willing to pay a premium for those goods and services that suit them better. The Long Tail is, indeed, the very opposite of commodification
Of course I like “longtail” thinking because it makes writing a blog like this one seem rational. When certain people ask me how many readers I expect to get with a subject like this, I can just say, “Hey man – I'm longtail. Get hip.”
And in fact, at PC Forum identity conversations were going on everywhere, from morning to night, day after day. Doc Searls and Marc Canter, who I now realize know everyone in the world on a first-name basis, did a fantastic job of introducing, facilitating, and bringing people together – the proverbial “herding of cats”. The conversations ranged all the way from discussions of protocols to brainstorming on how to find ways for technologists to get input, feedback and validation from those thinking deeply about issues of governance and cyberspace.
I expect these discussions will continue to build until everyone gets together at the next big identity event – the Digital Identity World (DIDW) Conference coming up in May. If you are interested in identity – which you must be since you are reading this – try and get there.
Between the Lines’ David Berlind, who has serious depth in the identity area, did a podcast with me about the laws and their implications. He's very good at concretizing things and I enjoyed getting to know him. He and Dan are podcasting like crazy! Give it a try. Look for the Podcast buttons on their site. And don't forget Doug Kaye's IT Conversations as well (just saw Doug has posted an interview with Marc Canter that I have to download ASAP).