Apparently all things (commerce, chain reactions and chemistry) operates on a long tail. Lots of action dwindling down to a long tail of very little action.
This is the long tail – in yellow. The long tail is 35%+ of the whole value of the whole graph.
So basically the normal shop in a shopping mall only focusses on the tall/big end – the big selling items – because it can’t host the long tail, it doesn’t have the floor space for so many items. But Amazon has both the big end and the long tail.
The Long Tail has possible implications for culture and politics.
but I’ve recently that it has exciting implications for Christianity too. You see, churches are in the big end (thousands of people can support a big building) and emergent is in the middle of the tail (reusing existing homes for informal gatherings) and blogs are the long tail! Millions of the suckers servicing 10-200 visitors.
It is so well described by that book. Just think, 35%+ of believers might be served by the long tail (emergent and blogs) and probably would never have felt comfortable in traditional churches – it’s their own personal preference.
Profound changes are upon us, no doubt. But if we reshape the conversation to be a long-tail conversation (instead of an emergent vs church conversation) then we can expect two big improvements:
- we will see that the churches have a place (they are not going anywhere) and
- the churches can see how they can support and encourage the long tail (emergent and blogs) to reach the people who would never otherwise come to church
Hallelujah, it’s not a falling away from church that we are seeing, it’s not even an erosion of the church at all… it’s a gathering up and into the body of previously uncatered for people! That is what we are seeing.