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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I've been online since 1971 and I like to smoothe the way for everyone else. Among other things I co-founded Sympatico, the world's first easy-to-use Internet service (and Canada's largest).

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

When “One-Hit Wonder” Stops Being Derogatory

A “one-hit wonder” is a musician or band who creates one hit song but never does it again, like The Knack. The term has also been applied to creators of other things.

The phrase is very derogatory. The implication is that a person or group who can only produce one hit is a failure.

Well, that makes sense in a media space where numerous successes are required. Why would they be required? Because the space can only handle so many entrants. Each one is expected to pull its weight.

But the “2.0” media universe is different. There is a “Long Tail” situation here, where less prolific entrants are no longer irrelevant. This includes amateurs who create one thing without any plans for more.

Nobody calls Gary Brolsma a one-hit wonder.

I predict that the phrase will be in decline within ten years.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there. "One hit wonder"... If you create a one-hit wonder like Google PageRank or Ruby-on-Rails or digg, then that's OK, isn't it? You probably won't make the largest part of the money, but you'll do alright.

I hear that Black Lace do OK off the proceeds from 'Agadoo'.

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 4:49:00 p.m. EDT  
Blogger Rohan Jayasekera said...

Exactly. The economics of traditional mass media required creators of multiple hits. The Media 2.0 world doesn't have that limitation and works perfectly well with hits from creators of just one hit. Over time society will get used to the idea that having one hit is something to be happy about, not embarrassed about.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 3:12:00 a.m. EDT  

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