I wrote a brief summary of my talk at the Euro IA 2007 conference on “Navigating the Long Tail” in the Dec 2007-Jan 2008 issue of the ASIST Bulletin with the same title. See the full article online here. A PDF version is also available.
It doesn’t include all of the points made in the talk, but it gets at the basic jist. Here are a couple of quotes:
“If this new online, long-tail economy is to work, people have to be able to navigate to the markets that interest them and filter the information quickly and efficiently. This is really the value of information architecture (IA). IA not only helps people find the information they need, but it also helps them makes sense of it by providing context.”
“The point is that designing navigation for the long tail calls for any and all types of sources of metadata and all types of structure to provide context. It’s not about one or the other, but about what’s right for the situation. In some situations, a traditional taxonomy may be the best thing; in others, tagging works great. A mix is needed, and those practicing IA will have to experts in them all.”