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Main > Archives > 2006 > November > Audience Q/A with Wired's Chris Anderson and Yahoo's Jason Zajac

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Audience Q/A with Wired's Chris Anderson and Yahoo's Jason Zajac

q: after cluetrain manifesto, doc and others pointed to people who are misrepresenting.

anderson: misunderstandings of the longtail. first main problem - what it's not.

Any time people see the curve they call it a long tail. when the cost of distribution falls, you can sell more things. when variety and distribution tools become available demand shifts from the head down to the tail. (mistaking paretos for the long tail)

some think it means the end of the hit - no it's the end of the *monopoly* of the hit.

q: what role does segmentation play in the new economy
Zajac: yahoo we're looking at micro-segments now. old rule - which are valuable, which are less valuable. each customer is valuable in a new way. classics of segmentation and behavioral targeting plays as valuable a role as ever.

Anderson: although the 80/20 rule hasn't changed, the rules have. old rule is concentrate on the 20. now you can't afford to ignore the 80. this increases your market. surprising things burble up out of the long tail.

yahoo - search advertising; if you sold only the 80/20 you'd sell stuff like travel and insurance.

q: great examples of b2c new media. what's new in the b2b
Zajac: yahoo - there are a number of companies using community forum type tools to provide service. site that started creating tools for chatrooms.

Anderson: old model of enterprise software was very siloed - little guys weren't well served. now there's software as a service - salesforce.com is an example. ebay model to enterprise. evacuee management software created by three developers in India.

q: expect lots of great news about the power of digital advertising - at Yahoo the decision was to run a contest to get a new ad to run on network television. why isn't digital being funded by branding. why is there only 6% of dollars going into digital.

a: yahoo - hits are not dead. the super bowl is still the most televised and watched event in the world. it represents a one of a kind opportunity. Doritos is creating an entire online platform to help them engage with their consumers.

Doritos issued a press release about the campaign. it was about the relationship they formed with Yahoo. they saw this as a way to leverage the power of the digital to change.

Anderson: their campaign had advertising value long long before the super bowl.

q: in brick and mortar where do you start if you don't have a web presence.
a: anderson - lots of places have online components to get buying efficiencies. most haven't been successful because there's not been any synergies between stores.

Home Depot - infinite aisle. let brick and mortar do what it does well. you have top 40 faucets in stock. you can go to the end of the aisle to swipe the bar code and you receive more options. purchase it at the console there and get the product a few days later.

q: you talk about blogs - the idea that in the past magazines and other traditional media could control the thinking of the marketplace. what now?

anderson - we (magazines) have a traditional level of responsibility. bloggers don't have rules - there are cultural rules but there's no columbia university dictating journalistic ethics. over time blogging is self correcting. bad memes propogate the best though. bad memes spread very quickly. with that attention opposing voices come quickly too though.

Zajac - it self corrects but there's a period where it's self re-inforcing. folks in the blogosphere know that they have to rely on their authority though so they are quick to correct.

By Garrett at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

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