Just came across an interesting 'Power Law' paper, published by a team at NEC, which offers some thought-provoking data:
“NEC researchers discovered that the degree of “rich get richer” or “winners take all” behavior varies in different categories and may be significantly less than previously thought.”
The key is competitiveness: in very competitive scenarios (NEC looked at ecommerce sites) 'preferential attachment' resulted in distributions that were very close to power law. But, in less competitive environments, the distributions moved steadily away from power law. In fact, deviation from power-law distribution becomes an index for competitiveness. I wonder what the Weblog index looks like? The team also pointed out that 'preferential attachment' did not prevent the rapid rise of a new star (they cite Google)… [www.gulker.com – words and pictures from Silicon Valley]
This is an interesting study. I haven't seen it before.