The saying goes "you learn something new every day." For me, today was the day of The Long Tail. The term came up recently in a presentation I saw on the future of television. It was glossed over -- thrown into the middle of a sentence. So, truth be told, I didn't really grasp the point that was being made at the time. It would've been like hearing someone talk about something "tipping" without having read The Tipping Point.
Then today, I came across a post on Dare's blog about Web 2.0 companies, which referred to "leveraging the long tail through customer self-service". I quickly MSN Searched (ok, not really) for the term, and came across this Wikipedia entry (whenever Wikipedia's in the top ten, I tend to assume it's a great place to start reading).
Wow. What a cool concept. No, like so many great ideas, it isn't revolutionary. But it's a great formalization of something we might already inherently know, and a great guiding principle.
So, I went on to read the great Wired article that started it all: The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, Editor In Chief of Wired Magazine. Wow! Wow! Wow! Chris has a blog too, which I've now subscribed to.
Chris's book on The Long Tail is due to come out in 2006. I'm looking forward to reading it. To a few of you, The Long Tail concept is old news. To the rest of you, I strongly suggest reading up on it. No doubt this'll be one of the next big (and eventually annoying and played-out) buzzwords of 2006. ;-)