Linear or Exponential Growth?

HitTail News Jun 13, 2006

For all intents and purposes, this site was only announced as a Web 2.0 beta site two weeks ago. That’s when we added the PowerPoint/Flash demo that FINALLY effectively communicated what this site was about, and why it indicates a fundamental shift in marketing… towards HitTailing! And the HitTail term has only been public for one week.

These first two weeks saw only liner growth in beta tester sign-ups, as I tapped only my old search engine forum friends from the JimWorld days. It’s only Tuesday, but from what I’m seeing so far this week, we might already be on the verge of an exponential growth spike, as the full group of early adopters of such things becomes aware of, and signs up for the HitTail beta test program.

This is an exciting prospect, but we may have to start limiting new sign ups, so we can scale our services at a sane pace. So, if you’ve been thinking about testing this service in the free beta program, now is the time. Depending on what we see this week in terms of traffic, we may have to start cutting back on new beta testers.

You might say, we’re looking at the long tail in reverse, and we’re walking into the head of the demand curve. Registrations started out slow as I had to go humbly to the online SEO forums and ask for beta testers. Then, the occasional blogger picked up the story. Now, it seems that the emails are flying, because there are a lot of beta testers with no referrals (that’s what happens with word-of-mouth emails). The question is whether our growth is linear, exponential, or some something in between. I’ll be doing a regression analysis this week to model some HitTailing growth predictions. Since there is a maximum market for such things, it will plot according to the logistics or population density curve. Plus, I have to account for Moore’s Chasm (it is not a smooth ride). But what will the short-term population growth look like, and how fast will we have to add servers to keep pace?

I think that the help screens that we added yesterday must have helped encourage sign-ups. It gave us not only a chance to document how HitTail works, but also to inject our personality as you’ll see under the Search Hits help tab: “As any good HitTailer knows, you do not have to take action on the data under the Search Hits tab. It is merely here to allow you to view the same information HitTail is mining for suggestions… and to make you feel like you are immersed in data flow. Ahhhhhh, can you feel it?”

Next up is revising the demo to be shorter, start reliably, and contain the new site name. Its hard letting go of MyLongTail, but the more we write about the phenomenon that is HitTailing, the more sense it makes.

Thanks, Beta Testers! Keep the feedback coming. We’re setting up HitTail at Connors dot Com, which will replace the old MyLongTail address (both will work).

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