The Long Tail of CMS

February 11, 2010

The Long Tail proposition is that, thanks to the magic of Amazon & eBay, what used to be marginal is now commercial, at least in the realm of entertainment. What I’m proposing is that the Long Tail also applies to CMS systems.

First let’s start with a definition from Wikipedia :

A market with a high freedom of choice will create a certain degree of inequality by favouring the upper 20% of the items (“hits” or “head”) against the other 80% (“non-hits” or “long tail”). This is known as the Pareto principle or 80–20 rule.

The long tail graph
Above is an example of a power law graph showing popularity ranking. To the right is the long tail; to the left are the few that dominate. Notice that the volumes of both areas match.

Looking at the number of CMS products published by CMS Watch there is evidence that the Long Tail applies also to CMS systems. We’ve heard of most of the vendors on the CMS Watch list, they regulary come up on long lists, have large revenues from licenses or services, have large development community and clients bases, and they are most likely to the left of the diagram. We also come across others that are not on the list or those that have been developed by Agencies or an inhouse team, these systems are in the in the “long tail” with low volume sales, number of clients using their products and small development communities.

So some “proof” that there is a correlation between the entertainment industry and CMS systems. And if you need to select a CMS system, are you going for something that is the “top of the pops” or an obscure artist that nobody has heard of?

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