Have you ever heard of or seen the “the long tail” below?
It’s a statistical phenomenon that has been popularised by Chris Anderson to describe the impact of the web on the business world. I’ve just finished reading the updated version of his book called “The Long Tail” (surprise surprise!).
To quickly illustrate the “Long Tail” concept, I’ll use Amazon.com – one of Chris’s examples in the book.
Amazon.com sells books (and many other things, but we’ll leave at that for the moment). It sells the bestseller titles (the “head” – green in diagram) that you’ll find in any of your local bookstores, but it also sells thousands of other titles (“the long tail” – yellow in diagram) that you will not be able to find in a store because:
- Stores have limited shelf space and therefore have to allocate this space to books they think will do well
- Demand for the book was small in comparison to the bestsellers (maybe it wasn’t fantastically written, maybe the topic was too specific, maybe the marketing of the book was terrible etc…)
Why then, is Amazon selling loads of these lesser known titles, the ones that hadn’t enough demand or were too specific for the book stores?…Continue Reading