Saturday, December 23, 2006

Review: The Long Tail

I picked up this book when Chris Anderson visited Google quite a while back, and only got around to reading it now. It's a good book, with the topic well explored and easily understood, but perhaps I've spent too much time exploring niche distributions, but the book seems kinda banal. The conclusions seem awfully easy to come by once you see the data. It seems to me that rather than write words to accompany the data, the entire book could have been compressed into about a 30-page technical report, with well-designed graphs and just a bit of commentary.

Ultimately, this book reads too much like a Wired article stretched out to fill 200 pages. Which of course, it is.

Hit-driven economics... is a creation of an age in which there just wasn't enough room to carry everything for everybody: not enough shelf space for all the CDs, DVDs, and video games produced; not enough screens to show all the available movies...; and nowhere enough hours in the day to squeeze everything through any of these slots.

This is the world of
scarcity. Now, with online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance. The differences are profound.
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