It's hard to explain, to anyone who has never really worked online with the long tail, how powerful it can be. At SmartGirl, we learned that collecting a database of whatever our community wanted to tell us turned us all into experts on trends ("hits") and interesting anecdotes ("long tail"). The easier it is to view this kind of data, the more you learn.
Well, thanks to Web 2.0, slicing and dicing data to show trends and personal anecdotes isn't just for market research companies anymore; it's content in and of itself. The brilliant Jonathan Harris turns this content into art with his latest installation. His incredible WeFeelFine.org, made with Sepandar Kamvar, illustrates online emotion, hot off the (blog) presses, in fluorescent colors. It's also a great way to help people understand the power of blogs, user-generated content, and good filtering mechanisms.
I met Jonathan at an exclusive retreat put on by the sweet and smart Juliette Powell and her colleagues. Loved The Gathering weekend (my third) and the Inspiration Festival that followed it, where Jonathan also presented.