Innovation
Ants, Bees and the Long Tail…
17/11/2008
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First of all I have to make a disclaimer, I have thought about it… but that doesn’t mean that I would be able to explain it is an easy and comprehensive way… so be patient this time.

I was watching some TED talks on the train while I was on my way back to my parent’s house… and of the many talks the ones that really made me think has been those two embedded below… not only for what they were saying… but mostly because at the end I managed to mix them together in a thought… and find something else…

The videos are: James Surowiecki: The moment when social media became the news –

and Steven Johnson: The Web and the city – (I kind of advise you to watch them before going on on this post).

There is the need to put together the two thoughts, that we are living in a Long Tail and this phenomenon (original creator is Chris Anderson) and the fact that people like bees and ants are individuals and also group of people. The idea of the long tail is that there are a few people that are getting the most links and then there are way more people that are getting few or anyway way less links (or back-links) that means that there are millions of people that follow few ones, that are so called internet Gurus (or call themselves with other strange and god-like names) and they are viewed by the group as leaders, like people to follow… what they say it’s law (a lot people think in this way)… but we have to remember that we are individuals… with ideas and Need to create and we share and talk with people in a way to create groups to create things… Now on the second talk the man makes an example about the colony of ants… they follow the first one till death, cause the leader was going nowhere… but also together can build a nest and organize that perfectly… but we human beings like we do on Internet and we do with the Long Tail… we follow someone and he is not able to make people organize or create something… if he is wrong we all are in deep troubles… follow people is important but can be dangerous. A man that really doesn’t realize what a great thing he is doing is Jason Calacanis… he quit blogging and he closed all the traditional way to follow him… he close by himself the long tail by not having a maximum of 750 followers (If I remember well)… in this way only people that really want to follow him follows him and also he can create better relations with his followers and then create and develop something all together… other bloggers that are in long tail can’t really create any active relation with the public…

There is the need to understand that “Internet has the power to make us interact more with people and not interact with more people” and keep those relations, we can interact with people far away from us in different time zones and create strong relations with them, not weak ones with million if people…

Also I have experienced something important the last sunday with few people really interesting and really interested in what we were doing together and we started to create some strong relation between each other… cause we share and we are few… so we can now each other really well and with the time better and better… The long tail on social is creating a little mess, but soon in my opinion the trend would start changing by creating smaller communities, and we would be able to be part of different communities… an human being by itself has to create relations with people… and not faking to know people… People that follow popular Blogs or Gurus tend to add things to what they say and not contradict or create something new…

We have to be ants and bees… and we have to discover our individualism… cause we know what to do as individuals and as group…

About author

Edoardo Piccolotto

Dad, husband, MBA graduate, I work as a Web Marketer on an Ecommerce Company, where I implement strategic decisions by using data and lean-organization methodologies.

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