The Perils of the Long Tail, or How I Singlehandedly Started the Jicama Allergy Rumor

It’s come to my attention that my top-visited post is not my daring stand back at Charla Bansley, nor my complete wraps of various Web 2.0 conferences, nor even my frank socialization of flight anxiety. No, it’s my random post about Jicama.

It’s not even a post about Jicama, but about a vague attempt at isolating the source of a mysterious and recurrent allergic reaction by listing Entirely Everything I Ate That Day. It was also a long time ago. And it was via blog import from an old blog, that in fact used to be private. And yet, that single post “could I be allergic to JICAMA?” gets views EVERY DAY.

Sure enough, I ventured to check on Google, entering ‘jicama’ and  ‘allergy,’ and I turn up FOURTH.

Please take note of this cautionary tale about the beloved “Long Tail.” When two words appear SO infrequently on the same page together in the Whole Wide World of Web (and mostly accidentally) such that my random hypersensitive rave about what food I could possibly be allergic to shows up top-tanked, it’s a rumor, not a fact – but one that I fear has substantiated many a “jicama allergy.” (There, I did it again.)

Just for the record books, to be clear, let me come out about this now: I am not aware of any kind of allergy to Jicama and mean the delicious crispy juicy root no discredit.

Now that you’re here anyway, I welcome you to take a look around at my other random musings — or run along to the other top-ranked results. Either way, good luck with your mystery allergies! (I never have figured mine out).


today was the third day again with the special ginseng body lotion from earth science. i had put it aside during the ‘rash period’, and now had three days of test lotion left before it was all gone. this was my control group, after the rash previously had faded, as to whether or not it was related.
leanne and i spent the second mild springtime-like day today walking around the city. saw ‘a beautiful mind’ today which together with ‘proof’ of a few months back rounds out the sympathetic crazy portrait. it also was a nice complement to the fear of flying resurfacing as i’ve been asked to – offered to – go to germany in april… and already every day it is with me.
it was also funny last night while eating tapas at fina estampa because it was way too crowded at the AMC for the movie last night – i saw a little incan or some sort of plaque that looked like a talisman and had some letters on it that looked like operuo – i decided it was a talisman and i’d ask what it meant, and if it meant something fortuitous, i’d be good to go for flying; if it did not, it was a jinx … and i asked and of course, i had misunderstood the whole thing from the start… it was just “peru” — it was a peruvian restaurant… the rest of the ‘lettering’ was clutter… just like my mind.
so what do you know: it seems like i have a little itchy rash after all.