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The Long Tail

July 12th, 2006 · No Comments

The Economist reviews Chris Anderson’s book:

The niche, the obscure and the specialist, Mr Anderson argues, will gain ground at the expense of the hit.

The cover of Mr Anderson’s book promises to answer the question: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. But his book may alarm as well as help businessmen. Karl Marx once described a communist society in which nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes…to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner. Mr Anderson suggests that the long tail is bringing about something similar. The tools of media productioncomputers, desktop printers, video camerasare now so widely and cheaply available that a generation of young people are becoming amateur journalists, commentators, film-makers and musicians in their spare time, rather as the philosopher imagined. Amateurs offering their work free of charge will contribute a significant portion of the long tail, so at the very end there will be a non-monetary economy, says Mr Anderson. If true, that could prove to be the most fascinating long-tail effect of all.

Wired has an excerpt from the book.

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