Long tail was first coined by Chris Anderson; it has gained popularity in recent times as it is used to elucidate the strategy of internet organizations that acquire to leverage the online business. Few great examples are Google, eBay, Apple, Yahoo, Netflix, and Amazon.
The concept of long tail is used in application, research industry, and experimentation. This term is used in online market, mass media, micro-finance, user-driven innovation, and social network mechanisms (e.g. crowdsourcing, peer-to-peer), economic models, and marketing (viral marketing).
An Amazon employee described the Long tail as follows: “We sold more books today that didn’t sell at all yesterday than we sold today of all the books that did sell yesterday.” Amazon’s book sales or Netflix’s movie rentals are represented along the vertical axis, while the book or movie ranks are along the horizontal axis. The total volume of low popularity items exceeds the volume of high popularity items.
Organizations like eBay (auctions), Yahoo! and Google (web search), Amazon (retail), and iTunes (music and podcasts), and Netflix (video rental) are some of the most popular and successful internet marketing organizations; which have used the Long Tail as part of their marketing strategy. There is no marginal cost for these digital dealers, which benefits the online services, unlike physical dealers that have fixed limits on their products. The internet can still sell physical items, but at an unlimited choice and with reviews and recommendations. The internet has given pathway for massive sales and it is not limited just to the local markets.
Google uses the Long Tail to optimize Google AdWords. By using the long tail of search there is an instant increment in Google AdWords return on investment (ROI).
Initially, Google AdWords and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing rarely had any competitors and excelled with the use of generic keywords such as “laptops”, “books” or “games”; where a good AdWords ROI was often easy to achieve. It was easy to amend these few keywords to an AdWords, monitor them once in every week, or even months, and monitor profits rolling in.
As more and more PPC competitors lined up online, competition for keywords gradually reinforced and as a result the cost per click (CPC) broadened the requirement to maintain a better visibility on the PPC search engines. For example, an online bookstore can advertise on all book titles rather than just on generic keywords like ‘online bookstore’. In addition, there is a big variety of keywords that can be used for every single product. A digital camera seller can use specific keywords for every digital camera. A “Nikon D3200″ can also have keywords like D3200 or Nikon DSLR D3200 or D3200 Nikon. This was user-friendly since it took directly to relevant page. This strengthened conversion rates.
The term long tail comes from the appearance of these keywords when plotted on a graph. Generic keywords on horizontal line acquired individually far more clicks than the specific keywords on the vertical axis. Nevertheless, considering there are more of the specific keywords it is credible to leverage the long tail to capture much more traffic for extensively less amount. It is quite challenging for advertisers; competitors are constantly striving and extending further into the long tail and optimize their keyword scope.
Google AdWords – SAYU White paper
Leveraging the Long tail – Jason Van DYK blog
Perpetual beta – Web 2.0
When a software is released as a service over the internet, the ability to deal with that software’s environment which runs on servers is flexible. By that, I mean the potential to fix bugs in the software without affecting updates would be a very resourceful skill of that organization. The interactions between users and servers go over the internet, which can be easily monitored. Gaining grip over any software can be at ease by monitoring things which can be handled, by getting a better bug analysis and performance. It would get cumbersome to keep track of millions of interactions which can be evaded by setting up conditions for which the developers can receive reports. Here the data captured must answer specific criteria to check the scope of how well goals are being executed and product development is achieved.
According to publisher and open source advocate Tim O’Reilly “Users must be treated as co-developers, in a reflection of open source development practices (even if the software in question is unlikely to be released under an open source license.) The open source dictum, ‘release early and release often’, in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, ‘the perpetual beta’, where the product is developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. It’s no accident that services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Flickr, del.icio.us, and the like may be expected to bear a ‘Beta’ logo for years at a time.”
Earlier Google applications seem to be perpetually tagged as “beta.” Gmail was tagged beta for more than five years. Google invited about 1,000 opinion leaders and then allowed them to invite their friends, and family members to become beta testers, with trials beginning on 21 March 2004.
Few of the major changes incorporated in beta testing are:
• Increase in mail box size by up to 2GB
• Better message formatting options in terms of HTML and plain text
• Gmail’s canonical URI changed from http://gmail.google.com/gmail/ to http://mail.google.com/mail/
• Google offered mobile based Gmail application for Java enabled phones
• Gmail was integrated with Google Docs & Spreadsheets; portability to open attached Microsoft Office Doc files and pdf directly from Gmail
• To-do-list was incorporated in Gmail – the user could add, reorder or delete tasks; also assign mail to tasks
Enterprise and consumer versions of Google talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Gmail are out of beta now. “Beta” logos were excluded from Google products. Innovation and betterment of applications will continue to progress irrespective of the beta phase. They will still be in a “constant state of perpetual beta” as technology & user demands grow over time.
Ever since Google Apps were launched for businesses, Google offered service level agreement and furnished 24/7 support. Precisely more than 1.75 million organizations across the globe rapidly utilized Google Apps, including Google. Beta tag did not fit in for larger enterprises that were not keen to run their business on software that seemed to be like a trial phase. Focus shifted towards achieving higher scales for excluding products out of beta, and all the parameters in applications suite have met the standards.
Apart from providing attractive services for the users, it should also avail to gather information about user requirements. Thereby the product manager decides which features to be included in the next release which will make the software more effective. The team keeps track of how efficiently users utilize features implemented. This works on small chunks of users until they are convinced and get popular with the applications. The team can also conduct user surveys and performance reviews which can help to incrementally add new features and speculate the need new products. Practically all features that go live are tested; including design patterns and upgrades.
An intuitive approach to user experience
Rich User Experience is the fourth core pattern and it is an outstanding characteristic of Web 2.0. Ajax furnishes rich user experience and is a vital element which capitalizes to structure Web 2.0 and is compatible with most of the notable web browsers like Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. A language which supports supreme web utilities reinforcement experience should be used to shape Web 2.0 applications. The language used should be able augment and deploy the components which can be conveniently and swiftly obtained. Ajax makes the web correlative, fast and very user-friendly by embedding activities such as drag and drop and refreshing only certain divisions of web pages. Ajax empowers mashups and enterprising perception stockpiles.
Rich internet applications or RIAs they are ubiquitous, charismatic and intuitive which are enabled by rich technologies such as Ajax and Adobe Flex. RIAs function are more or less like desktop applications than traditional web applications.
RIAs leads in online gaming and whatever requires to capture video which are relevant (like Gmail which employs its own specific browser plug-in). RIAs process time is quite quick.
Rich user interface has enhanced the user experience by constituting easy and faster conveyance. Drag-and-drop, rich text editors and few other rich features regulations have made massive impact on Web 2.0.
“Google Maps is a web mapping service application and technology provided by Google”
Several map based valuables are “Google Maps, Google Ride Finder, Google Transit, and maps embedded on third-party web portals.” It proposes street maps, a route planner for traveling by foot, car or public transport. Google Maps Android 2.0 is an excellent example to be considered. “Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0 is free.” Characterisitics aided in this application are Search in plain English, by voice, Traffic View, Satellite view, Traffic view, and Street view.
The only cut back is Internet connection which is essential to get access to the map and details from Google Maps, just like a smart phone’s Google Maps application. Disadvantage is mitigated by an automatic map caching attribute which helps in recent view which is stored temporarily. Though there is an option for downloading map it includes simple road maps and landmarks still a data connection is required for satellite and 3D building, for searching places and get directions. Google Maps are more handy zooming capacity. Zoom operation can be performed by click on ‘+’ and ‘–’ symbols or by dragging the slider swap. User friendly feature can be enabled by implementing traditional and rich aspect to the user laterally. The flexibility of move and zoom features in the map is attained by using the User Interface control components with rich and traditional attributes. Rich features are simple and pleasant when a user has learned to use it by the tips, guiding or graphical indicators.
When one’s exploiting Web 2.0 profusely for web purpose. The critical care as to be taken to aid end users and provide adequate benefits to them.
Accessed on April, 04’2012.
Rich User Interface
Ajax – Wikipedia
RIA – Wikipedia
Google Maps Wikipedia
Thesis by Annika Valtari – Web 2.0 User Experience : Social Media and Ajax technology, December 14, 2009 at Helsinki University of Technology.
Welcome to third Web 2.0 pattern described by Tim O’Reilly as ‘Innovation in Assembly’.
Innovation in assembly within Organizations are building up models by aggregating and implementing relevant modernization in amplifying fabrication in novel way; thereby we presume that Web 2.0 will be bestowed for most of the firms to roll up by excelling at harnessing and articulating business alleviation furnished by other side. Innovative prototype are executed using APIs[Application Programming Interfaces].
Enterprise example,Cisco WebEx API – The WebEx Meeting Services API approves users to amalgamate Cisco WebEx meetings within their personal appliances. This platform supports three APIs:
URL API : It is simple, lightweight programming, HTTP(S)- derived structure which aids browser-based, external hooks into WebEx meeting business. The URL API are capitalized in enterprise portal unions to reinforce communication such as Single Sign-On (SSO), scheduling meetings, inviting, starting,joining simple meetings and presenters.
XML API: this API devices meeting benefit, specialize user authority, extensive scheduling aspects, attendee administration outline and more.
Teleconference Service Provider[TSP] API: XML grounded alliance with audio conferencing mesh. The integration architecture subsidizes redundancy, load balancing, and furnishes flourishing factors that merge secure audio conferencing efficiency with telephony authority and gratifying in the WebEx domain.
Innovative in assembly are promoted by collaborating several utilities, asset and by adopting Music APIs. Yahoo Music API, 5gig, Echo Nest, 7 digital, 8 tracks, AllCDCovers, ArtistData, Bandcamp, Bandsintown, Last.fm, BBC Music, Beatport, BMAT, and Guitar Chord these are examples of Music APIs.
Echo Nest API –Echo Nest API let you hop into array of music recommendations, information, search, and remix tools to produce applications. Fetches feeds for any album, artist, or remix. Myriad music applications endorse use The Echo Nest API to gain access to billions of abstracts degree media sectors [MTV, The BBC, and others]. Grabs artist news, videos, blogs, and profile. Echo Nest Remix API aids in modifying music and video from the portal. Echo Nest Mashups; are Event Browser, Bandsintown, Last Echos in the cloud, Beardscratchers Compendium, MoreCowbell.DJ and few others.
Above set of examples provides us with foreknowledge of web 2.0 principle, here we refer it as “Innovation in assembly.” Assets are widespread, aggregating them to produce new value in neoteric way.
Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly media Inc -2012. “Innovation in Assembly” , accessed March 27, 2012.
Cisco WebEx, by Programmable Web-2012, accessed March 27, 2012.
Yahoo Music!, by Programmable Web-2012, accessed March 27, 2012.
Yahoo Music APIs, by Yahoo! Inc’ 2012, accessed March 27, 2012.
Mashups, 2012, by Programmable Web 2012, accessed March 27, 2012.
Terms, Yahoo! Inc ‘ 2012, accessed March 27, 2012.
Echo Nest API, by Programmable Web -2012, accessed March 28, 2012.
EchoNest Mashups, by Programmable Web -2012, accessed March 28, 2012.
Database is a massive collection of data; Google provides free services and access to fetch information from its database just by a click. By doing so they get different assortment of data profitable for them. Google search performs auto suggestions by pulling up words in similar contexts the user is keen about.
Technique used by most of Web 2.0 based companies was creating platform and generating data in a smart way, and treat data as strategic asset.
The Google’s data strategy to gain profit was advertising via its Ad Words program.
Mashups are client based applications and tools used by end-users are simple. Mashup helps in reusing the code instead of coding functionalities which are prevalent. The functionalities can be sinked with the API’s which can save a lot of time and investment;
Couple of API providers charge usage fee, few providers ask you to get the permission for using their API’s before using them for commercial purpose and others. Companies such as Google will let you access their service for free. In a brief data from several sources are integrated to build up a fresh advanced data assets for them.
Enterprise mashups are set up within an organization or other organizations with an existing foundation.
Enterprise Mashups integrates with grounded IT assets which marks strategic business processes. The user can create applications to solve situational problem and improve the way things are worked internally in the enterprise, strategic IT created assets supports the entire enterprise. By empowering the business users in this process, organizations can cut down on application backlog, development time, and the cost of customizing information so it seems exactly in the form they need it. Thus, reinforcing the data or functionalities from available assets to reach new audience more fruitfully.
“Research indicates that the average IT shop spends 63% or more of its budget on ongoing expenses, leaving precious few dollars for new projects or custom applications. There is clear value in using enterprise mashups to enable business users to fulfill their own requests and to focus scarce IT resource on strategic business applications for core business processes” .
Mashup aggregates data which reduces the scope of duplication; this inhabits higher performance, uplifts the abundance and reduces the latency of data retrieval. It authorizes the business users to innovate and collaborate more efficiently to enterprise business growth.
According to Tim, “as the applications become lucid, the data will be valuable in new ways, and the company with the most data wins”.
MASHUPS, Wikipedia – “Mashup”, accessed March 19, 2012.
providers, Deitel – Web services, Mash-ups, accessed March 19, 2012.
sources, Developer force 2000-2011, accessed March 20, 2012.
Enterprise, By Rob Smith, EvilWednesday blog, accessed March 20, 2012.
IT, By Nicole Carrier – white paper, IBM Mashups, accessed March 19, 2012.
Tim, By Tim O’Reilly, December 17, 2007, accessed March 18, 2012.
Join our team, Blog Image, accessed on March 20, 2012.