The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More Review

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
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Well, timing is everything... and isn't always fair. Had I not just completed reading Jeffrey & Bryan Eisenberg's "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?" before picking up "The Long Tail," I would probably have given this book 4 stars.
Chris Anderson has done a very good job of showing us the new "economics of abundance," or the connection of supply and demand thru technology and the Internet.
Question: What happens when everything in the world becomes available to everyone?
Answer: A market that never dies... markets for every niche, and vice-versa.
The Long Tail.
Using corporate examples like Google, eBay, iTunes and Netflix, Anderson lends an interesting perspective on how these companies have grabbed the Long Tail theory (consciously or unconsciously) and used it as the foundation for their staggering success. For customers of these companies, being online means unlimited "shelf space" - access to hundreds of thousands of bits of information, products and services they'd never been exposed to otherwise.
But how does the ordinary businessperson experience the success of the eBays of the world? Here, Anderson falls short. He states his "secret" to The Long Tail:
1.Make everything available
2.Help me find it
It's the "help me find it" part that Anderson ignores. In fact, it's the end of the book... you're left hanging, thinking, "So how in hell am I supposed to help people find me?"
Taken for what it is - a good presentation of a present-day theory (and one that was adequately covered in the original article in Wired magazine), the book is fine. But to really understand what it takes to make the Long Tail theory work for you, you must get a copy of "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark." It's in-depth coverage on not only how our economy works today, but understanding how people buy, how to understand what they're looking for and what you need to do to create persuasion magic not only on your website but in all your marketing materials.
This is not a time for "build it and they will come." Understanding an economy is only the first step. The real question is - what are you going to do about it to make yourself an integral part of the Long Tail?
It's too bad "The Long Tail" and "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark" can't be sold in a box set - they were made for each other.

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