Friday, December 5, 2008

The Long Tail is Alive and Well

I just read that Barack Obama raised $750 million for his campaign. That's a staggering amount of money but what's more incredible is that he did it the Google way -- a few bucks here and a few bucks there. In fact, Obama received contributions from over 3.95 million individuals. That makes the average campaign donation about $190.

Had Obama catered only to the "head" of the fundraising curve (ie, big donors or the Treasury's public financing) he'd have come nowhere close to these numbers. By diversifying his donor base and making it easy (and cool) to make donations of as little as $25 through social media plays like and Facebook outreach, Obama showed an acute understanding of the power of the Long Tail.

So to all those that insist the Long Tail is dead, I say, don't ever try to run for office!

1 comment:

Dan Kuthy said...

Long tail + politics. Interesting. In a way, might we compare democracy to the long tail? Or even Wikipedia and de-centralized collaboration to democracy? Were America's forefathers early Web 2.0 pioneers? The idea that our country be led by its people. That decision-making be extended to the masses rather than be bunched up with a few powerful individuals?

Think about it!


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