The long tail, and why multiple identities make it just a little bit longer


David Cushman


Reed’s Law or Group Forming Network Theory as Dr David P Reed originally and rather modestly called it, is the mathematical explanation for the power of the network.

As with all great ideas it’s breathtakingly simple, easy to understand and enormously enlightening.

This paper sets out to explain what Reed’s Law describes and includes more recent understandings of the collaborative power of networks which I hope helps make sense of and gives context to the exponential.

It also suggests that the multiple complex identities we are adopting in multiple communities are not necessarily a ‘Bad Thing’. My contention is that the different modes of thought these actively encourage are to be welcomed when viewed in the context of unleashing the power of self-forming collaborative communities of interest and purpose.