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Images and videos of (supposedly) straight men displaying traits associated with homosexual behaviour are of a fairly select niche.
As are certain floral aromas.
When the two are combined into a flamboyant, fragranced niche, it probably sits about here:

The above diagram illustrates Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” (just when you thought this wasn’t niche enough).
If you were hoping for a little more lavender, today, unfortunately, is not your day.
Because avid lavender followers (I know you’re all out there!) aren’t here to read my assement blogs and I will arrogantly assume you (yes, YOU, tutor and lecturer) are probably sick of reading lengthy definitions of “The Long Tail” I’m going to make this as painless as possible.
(Besides, I was hoping my diagram had already somewhat adequately displayed my honed in knowledge of the subject.)

The brain child of this theory attempts to simplify it with;
“Bottom line: a Long Tail is just culture filtered by economics.”[1]
Elaborating on Anderson’s long tail producing economy, Benkler defines a “networked information economy” in which “radically distributed, nonmarket mechanisms” cause a shift away from commercial media and centralised information production.”[2]

If the concept of the long tail is fundamentally an economic one, where then, does the blogsphere and its many niches fit snugly in?

As well as finding its place along every inch of the Long Tail, niche blogging rather adequately provides an example of this economy in practice. Creating cultures that threaten commercial media as “the edge [becomes] the core,’ [3] blogging facilitates the free flow and rapid sharing of knowledge and information.

Through its ability to produce and reach a specific, select audience, niche products (in this case, blogs), have the collective potential to comprise a market rivalling commercial media or “hits” as Anderson labels them.[4]

But how many of these niche blogs which supposedly have the power to drown out the “hits” are actually, on their own, even worthy of our attention?

Geert Lovink’s perceptive, be it cynical, idea of niche blogging; “What is significant for me is nonsense for you”[5], is rather useful in defining niche blogs in the Long Tail.  In fact, this very blog could (and should) be used as evidence that, “if you can’t cope with high degrees of irrelevance, blogs won’t be your cup of tea.”[6] Anderson even dedicates an entire chapter of his book answering the question, “Is the Long Tail Full of Crap?”[7]

Though a majority of niche blogs are labelled as ‘insignificant’, they do manage to claim significance by demonstrating how easy it is to add to the infinite Long Tail of crap and bullshit.

They are also rather useful in situations that require a “profiling” of niche blogs; situations not unlike this one.

Since the point of ‘niche’ is that it is specific, and I was stupid enough to make a half-assed attempt at being “original”, my attempt to trawl through the blogsphere and fish out lavender themed blogs has been largely unsuccessful. So I’ve narrowed my niche down to two words: masculinity and humour.

However, here’s to my best results:

We all find shit everywhere, and with the help of Found Shit, you can share all the shit you’ve found.
I know this doesn’t really have all that much to do with lavender, but it lies on the humorous side, and lavender intends to lie as close to humorous as possible.

My initial aim was for Lavender to be presented in a similar style, frequent posts consisting of few words (exception: assessment blogs) with only images/ video and titles.
This blog is pretty much just that, the only text that accompanies the images are their titles, with the exception of the cluttered sidebars.

A lot of things are now defined as “random” and Found Shit is no exception. With no real theme other than the all encompassing “humour”, I found a link to this site on Blog Top List. It fell into the “/humor” section.
While I like the idea of the blog and its simplicity, I started to loose respect for it when I was constantly distracted by flashing “Reusable Art” and “” images in its ad-diseased sidebars.

Found Shit clearly hopes that people keen on finding shit will stumble upon their blog, with a comprehensive, but selective blogroll on the left and a “contact” section which requires an “AntiSpam Challenge” before the omniscient blog creator can be contacted.

There’s a little “self-promotion” for you, Lovink.[8]

There’s a new word in town. Starts with “F” ends in “ail”.
Fail Blog; Epic Fail; Fail Fun; Facebook Fails; Failbooking; and my personal title favourite: Shipment of Fail.

Add “gay” in front of the current blogging trend word and we have one half of my niche.
Gay Fail is a relatively new site. Like Found Shit, Gay Fail has little text but plenty of “pictures worth a thousand words”.

It doesn’t make fun of gays, it makes fun of men. Similar to Found Shit, it asks its audience to “Submit” relevant material. Lazy bloggers love the rise of “consumers as producers”.

Both sites have little to no comments, does that indicate little to no readers? Let alone submissions? The average lifespan of a web page is six months[9]; and for blogs like this, possibly shorter.

I’m just as curious to see how long all that shit will last.

[1] Anderson, Chris. (2006). The Long Tail. Random House: London. Pg. 53
[2] Benkler, Yochai. (2006). The Wealth of Networks. Yale University Press: New Haven. Pg. 3
[3] Hagel, John & Seely-Brown, John. (2005). The Only Sustainable Edge. Harvard Business School Press: Boston. Pg. 89
[4] Anderson, 2006:53
[5] Lovink, Geert. (2007). ‘Bloggin, the Nihilist Impulse’, in Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture. Routledge: London. Pg. 32
[6] Ibid, pg. 4
[7] Anderson, 2006:116
[8] 2007: 33
[9] Ibid, 33


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