I've been struggling to come up with a pithy definition of the Long Tail, something longer than a bumper sticker and shorter than an elevator pitch. So I'm going to give it a few goes here and perhaps you, the wise participants in this conversation, can tell me which resonates most (note: some of these are my own, others are stolen from other people's attempt to define it). Pithy construction and TypePad layout flexibility allowing, I may offer the winner a permanent place at the top of this blog.
A) The Long Tail is the infinite shelf-space effect--the new mass market of niches that rises when the existing bottlenecks in distribution that favor hits are removed.
B) The Long Tail is the myriad of niche products whose collective market share can rival the blockbusters.
C) New efficiencies in distribution, manufacturing and marketing are resetting the definition of what’s commercially viable across the board, turning sub-economic customers, products and markets into economic ones and creating a Long Tail of demand.
D) The Long Tail is about the economics of abundance—what happens when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand in our culture start to disappear and everything becomes available to everyone.
E) The Long Tail is the story of how formerly sub-economic products and customers are suddenly becoming the biggest market of all.
F) None of the above. Please try harder.