Early ‘Long Tail’ Wisdom

Long Tail

Now that Chris Anderson’s much awaited and blogged about book ‘The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business is Selling Less For More’ is out, everybody’s probably busy blogging about the virtues and vices of the book. I was curious to check the origins of his Long Tail philosophy and landed on this early (and pretty much the first published) article in Wired Issue 12.10, October 2004. And for me, these two paragraphs pretty much laid the foundations to the Long Tail theory:

“Hit-driven economics is a creation of an age without enough room to carry everything for everybody. Not enough shelf space for all the CDs, DVDs, and games produced. Not enough screens to show all the available movies. Not enough channels to broadcast all the TV programs, not enough radio waves to play all the music created, and not enough hours in the day to squeeze everything out through either of those sets of slots.

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

And abundant it is. I’ve lost count of the new artists I’ve come across (and wanted to check out) through Pandora.com and Last.fm; books and movies through the endless ponderings through favorite blogs and Amazon.com and even lost track of the interesting blogs that you come across through the favorite blog links of my bookmarked blogs. Not to mention the myriad links through del.icio.us. We’re truly lost in abundance. And it’s good.

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