Long tail

Chris Anderson’s new Long Tail blog is shaping up as a great read. Today he quotes David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

TV is not vulgar and prurient and dumb because the people who compose the audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests.

(If you’ve not come across the term “Long Tail” it’s the chunk of any market where the small players operate.. Richardon writes about how it’s an overlooked source of opportunity)

1 thought on “Long tail

  1. Robert Paterson


    I read this only a couple of days ago – it has been a real eye opener for me.

    Of course the current model only has space for the best sellers – not just books or music but also say food. As retailing has become more concentrated, so shelf space has got squeezed. If you cant do a million items a month you can’t get space etc.

    My aha is that one of the aspects of the new internet age will bee to offer abundant choice so that a book with 3,000 readers is a success for the writer. That a singer with 20,000 fans is viable. That a book like The Gaping Void can be pulled back from being g out of print and become a best seller. That a small baker can sell bread locally, that a condiment maker can sell globally.

    Is eBay and Amazon only at the very beginning of setting in motion a market based on an abundance of small items?

    What new models will emerge. Will Hugh “Hughtrain” the small into the light of the market and viability?

    Its exciting – do you get the feeling that we are so close to seeing how to do this?


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