The Long Tail- The Changing Face Of Markets

I’m sitting here on a Saturday afternoon, reading a book I heard about on a
local NPR show called “the Long Tail” by Chris Anderson of Wired
Magazine- and I was blown away by the ideas presented in the first chapter- so much so, I wrote a quick letter to a friend who is involved in New media- because if you are interested in Web 2.0 or any other aspect of New Media, this a is a book worth your time. Here is the general gist of what I sent out to my friend:

Chris Anderson has great insights about what is happening these days and
how markets are changing drastically. It used to be that we got all of our information about cool, about products, and about anything at all on the three tv channel and a few fm radio stations- this provided very limited choice, and we watched and consumed what was available and given to us.

But now, in the days of iTunes and Amazon, every single
one of the top 100,000 books sells at least once a quarter; every
track on iTunes has sold at least once. Consumers are now able to
disaggregate their tastes, so to speak, and indulge in any particular
interest or many interests and develop even more new interests,
because access to everything from , let’s say, used or refurbished
podcasting equipment on ebay, to that specialty soap I got on my last
vacation is available to me on the internet, when I choose to buy it.
And businesses are finding that all these onesies and twosies, as
Anderson calls them, are adding up to big sales. In other words,
everything you can possibly want is almost instantly available, rather
than the lmited selection available at the local record store, or the
shows available on main stream media outlets.
This may mean more and more people shunning the
limited selection available on traditional media channels (I started
reading because there may be over 200 channels, but there is nothing
on….) in favor of things available on the Net, often produced by individuals rather than conglomerates; passionate “users” rather than by traditional corporate interests, although certainly corporations are beginning to see the use of supporting and advertising in the niche, so to speak, after all, the internet creates a specific connection between user and content, infinitely specialized to our individual tastes, just like Douglas Adam’s drink machine in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- it is now all about “Share and Enjoy!”

In fact, I think the whole appeal of reality TV is based on the fact that what we miss in our daily lives is passion and authenticity. For example, the Cosby show was cute, but it was sugary sweet; Roseanne seemed more real, but the
real meaningful parenting lessons and how to solve problems in your
house don’t come from sit coms and the wrap up of plots in 23 minutes, but shows like Nanny 911 and Super Nanny, just for example. (Could this be the reason why sitcoms are dying overall? Perhaps!)
My humble opinion… Check out this book, thoug- it is really great- The Long Tail by Chris Anderson.

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