Readers know that I’m very keen on the crisis of value concept, first identified by Adam Arvidsson and elaborated since.
In short, my take on it is that we now have a peer production method that increases use value exponentially, but where monetisation only increases linearly, leading to an increasing gap between social production and ‘social reproduction’ (the ability to live from it through the monetary economy).
This not only creates and will create a crisis of precarity, but also a crisis of accumulation for capital.
“One hundred readers/watchers/listeners is not economical. There is no business equation that can sustain profits for continual creation from so few buyers. (It can of course support the business of aggregation above the level of creation.) But the long tail niche creation operates perfectly well in the realm of passion, enthusiasm, obsession, curiosity, peerage, love, and the gift economy. In the exchange of psychic energy, encouragement, meaning of life, and reasons to live, the long now is a boon.
That is not true about profits. Economically, the more the long tail expands, the more stuff there is to compete with our limited attention as an audience, the more difficult it is for a creator to sell profitably. Or, the longer the tail, the worse for sales. But if we view the long tail as a market of a different type, as a market of enthusiasm and connection, then as the long tail expands, this increases the chance of two enthusiasts meeting, and so the longer the tail, the better.
the Long Tail as being a tail to a different animal. We’ve misidentified the intangible being it belongs to. It is not the long tail of the Beast of Commercial Profits. Rather it is the long tail of the Dragon of Love. The love of creating, of making, of connecting, of unreasonable passion, or making a difference, or doing something that matters to ourselves, the love of connecting, giving, learning, producing, and sharing.
It is important to know which tail we are wagging.”