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June 21, 2006


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Prokofy Neva

Cory, how can we escape the lash of this long tail and the accompanying Social Darwinism that goes with your creator-centric world?

It's good as far as it goes as a corrective to the other top-down external conformism you wanted to avoid but...Without that freedom and corrective from even "power curves" you cannot get accidental inspiration or deliberate innovation. Going to that link you provide, I see a good critique of this concept from Nick Carr at the NYT:

"'Carr writes: "It's not a sure thing, in other words, that an a la carte menu will end up giving us the widest possible array of choices. Rather than promoting the creation of a "long tail" of diverse products, unbundling may end up pushing even more economic rewards to the "hits," squeezing out a lot of the good stuff.'"

SL is just that a la carte. What is the effect of a Linden picking up on a few excellent examples of niching or innovation and blogging about them? Does that help them rise to the top in ways they wouldn't have? How is choice *informed* -- choice, sure, but how is it *educated*?

Are you celebrating the same innovations repeatedly and is there room for some new ones now?

There are 2 schools of thought about genius. One is you support the class of 25 equally, opportunities for all. Out of that sustained 25 given the advantages, 2-3 geniuses may emerge. Perhaps they may not get everything they need to excel in that class of 25, but they get to the starting line.

Or you pick only a few select prospects after reviewing the many, apprentice them to a guru, and work them into further superiority. Athens or Sparta?

Your Long Tail doesn't take place in an abstract vacuum, it takes place in a matrix, a hothouse society of Second Life with its sometimes rigid social values.

Example: Right now a sim is going down...right now somebody's business partner disappeared and never came back to SL...right now a beautiful build is being erased...right now somebody never logs in, you never see their build, it's gone...the Long Tail flops around on flexi prims, lashes, and moves on, and you didn't see it...



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hese interactions, these bridges built between diverse sets of knowledge, experience, and culture, form the basis of Long Tail Innovation.

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