Readings Week 9 – Maths Maths Maths?

Hello Interwebsites, Hope your week has been going well, as you don’t already know I’m just trying to catch up on my blog posts… Don’t hate me. Pls <3. Week 9’s readings were really strongly based on… maths stuff? Joy. I haven’t seen an equation since almost a year ago at High School, so it’s nice to be back to where I began. The readings looked upon the 80/20 rule and the Long Tail which talks about consumers and statistics.

So firstly the 80/20 rule, this rule is an odd phenomena that basically says: 80% of such is done by 20% of the population, like: 80% of profits are produced by only 20% of the employees. However it would be considered an overstatement to say that this rule applies to “everything” it’s more of a tool for estimation.

The Barabasi reading (80/20 Rule) also talks about the differences between Power rules and Bell curves, although it was discovered that the majority of rules in nature follow a bell curve, when we looked up the rule for online linking it followed a power law. Now children, let me use my extensive knowledge of mathematics to give you a crash course on why the two are so different. For those who have recently completed VCE you would be rather familiar with the Bell curve, the way it works is that the mean (average) is the middle point, and we move outwards from that point by cutting it into sections using the SD (Standard Deviation). Each section is worth a certain percentage and the more to travel outwards the smaller that percentage becomes.  As you can see from the image, the first section is always worth 34%, then 14% and then 2%.

Now for a Power Rule, we aren’t using a shape rises then falls, instead we can given a graph that begins as a large number but gradually gets smaller. And that is what the Long Tail is, however to explain what the reading discussed about, I’ll have to explain the actual shape of the graph.

The power rule is a exponential graph, where both ends head towards 0 but they never cut the axis. This is due to the fact that when the equation is written, when either the x or y values = 0 and substituted into the equations they cease to exist. Which isn’t important and will make a lot more sense if I just show you a picture.

When looking at the longtail graph the y-axis represents the “popularity” and the x-axis represents the product that is being marketed. This basically means, that the “narrow” section of the graph represents all the popular forms of media, such as large budget movies and those mainstream things that we often are exposed to on tv or the internet. Whilst the “infinite” section is the indie media, ones that we search for ourselves, one that are produced by those with a smaller budget and not part of a mass company. The long tail theory is the one that suggests that despite the huge popularity of mainstream media, it will me the indie media makers that have the overall larger profit combined due to it being “infinite”.

The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.
~Malcolm X

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