The Long Tail: The Book

While I was planning conferences at The Kelsey Group, I invited Wired Editor Chris Anderson to keynote twice. He declined twice citing his ongoing work on his book, The Long Tail, based on his seminal Wired article of the same name, and publisher pressure to get the work done.

Indeed, Anderson was racing against the clock — to get his book into the market before the concept lost its buzz value and immediacy. And in the accelerated and hype-inflated world of the Internet “the long tail” is now something of a cliche, overly cited by executives trying to describe the “big opportunity” for marketing to niche audiences online.

But there’s something very real that Anderson identified in that original article; I would describe it as the Internet’s ability to aggregate mass audiences and the simultaneous ability to precision target within that mass audience. While on the treadmill at the gym (something of a metaphor these days) I saw a full-page ad in the NY Times for the book, with lots of glowing quotes from Internet CEOs.

I’m sure the book is good and I bought it today on Amazon, which is ground zero for the long tail (note: traditional media driving online buying). But the CEO quotes are entirely self serving because only the Internet (although one could potentially argue cable TV) has the power to deliver mass-niche audiences.

I now eagerly await the movie . . .


One Response to “The Long Tail: The Book”

  1. Mike Levin of HitTail Says:

    Hope you enjoy the book. It was a good read, adding some ground not covered in the blog, and tying it together into a very nice cohesive whole. And it’s ironically bound to be anything but a “niche-success”.

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