Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Long Tail

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. ;-)


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