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August 04, 2006



It's seems like a great familly !
Long tail of interest accros generation.


Are you the Chris Anderson who created the dance single "Last Night"? It's a long shot - but I thought with the punk/new wave background... you never know...

Richard Bell


Are the appearance of podcasting sites like www.thisnext.com and www.crowdstorm.com just more evidence that the long tail is going to grow stronger across all categories? That people will start shopping based on recommendations of other like-minded people (strangers, in fact - which I find fascinating) seems to represent a significant shift in the influence game - leading to people buying more and more fringe products.

What do you think?

Dennis Keohane

Hi Chris,
I live here in the bay area and believe we know many of the same people. "The Long Tail" is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. Every University across the country should be using it. Look forward to your next book.

Dennis Keohane

Michael Cho

Hi Chris,

I go to school in UC Berkeley and just got your book from the school library a few days ago. Let me just say that you have eloquently articulated all the concepts I sort of know at the back of my head but are too fuzzy to put into a proper framework, which is exactly what you've achieved in your book.

Any chance of you coming down to UC Berkeley for a talk? I'd skip all my classes and finals to be there!

michael cho

Emory Anderson

Long Tail Capitalism

There's a whole aspect of the 'Long Tail' that I haven't seen you mention, which is no surprise because it's in its infancy.

But here in London I'm starting to see the very beginnings of a form of 'Long Tail Capitalism' (as I call it), wherein small amounts of capital by regular individuals are converted into working capital for other small ventures.
I believe that this trend could have profound implications for business along the long tail in the future, as well as pulling down the rump that the tail is connected to.

I donb't know if you ever read comments in this area, but if you do feel free to email me and I'll share what I've found so far. (As for me, I used to do physics but now do risk management.)

Mr. Business Golf


Great blog, I recently picked up your WIRED magazine and is the first magazine I have read from cover to cover. The cre8buzz.com was referred to me yesterday and I have to say, I am totally impressed with all you have created since you hit the internet. I hope some of that rubs off on me...I could use it.



I have recently had the opportunity to watch your Pop!Cast seminar, and become more familiar with your work. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the negative impacts of an unlimited "waste" driven market. It seems that while this is brilliant at unearthing great ideas, there could be some inevitable inefficiencies associated with it.

As a medical student I have become increasingly frustrated with material presented by professors with "unlimited" power point space which proves difficult to pull away main topics from a vast sea of information. While I understand this is dealing with education and not a consumer market, the concept of inefficiency still peaks my interest. Thanks.

Joel Aud

I had the unique opportunity of witnessing a long tail phenomenon before I knew what I was looking at. It was only after reading your wired article on “mega-niches” that I recognized it. In November 2007 on the Texas/Mexican border we stood up 21 cameras and fed the live video feeds to an Internet site. On the site web pages there was a button to click if a watcher saw something that should be reported. We learned 4 new rules from long tail surveillance.

1. If it is on the Internet it will be watched. The lowest level of watching was Thanksgiving Day at 2:00 in the afternoon. The number of watchers dropped to just below 1,000.
2. If it is on the Internet it will be watched 24/7. Watchers signed up from around the planet. A bar in Australia had all the camera feeds on 24/7. There were over 5,000 watchers in France.
3. Given the opportunity, watchers will respond. Within seconds of an incident on the screen the response center was hit with multiple response reporting what was seen. A spider on a lens generated 65 emails the first minute.
4. (This was the ahah!) The responses will be self validating. The simultaneous multiple responses from geographically diverse locations detailing the same event were self validating. It made the system “spoof” proof.

Raw Numbers/Facts:
For 28 days in 2006 the State of Texas operated a test site to feed live surveillance video from the border to the Internet. The site was not advertised beyond the initial press releases and did not provide any user feedback, yet the data from the test run was staggering:
Total hits to the test site as of Nov. 3rd, 3:00 PM CST: 27,923,387.
Total registered users of the test site as of Nov. 3rd, 3:00 PM CST: 221,562.
Total duration of operations of the test site: 639 hours.
Average hits per hour: 43,698.
Largest single search on Google in the first days of operation.

Thanks for your work. I am currently watching multiple firms develop long tail surveillance business plans.

John Sloan

Sorting the chaff from the wheat
Comment on: The End of Theory (Edge Magazine: Edge 248 – June 30, 2008
Dear Mr. Anderson,

Any information database in whatever form is by definition a finite entity or set of entities.
It represents a set of known information (n.b. “known”, not necessarily proven) at a particular point in time, and therefore has boundaries or limits. It cannot include knowledge that has not yet been discovered.

It is certainly true that the correlative method of finding associations between hitherto unassociated data within the database is a very powerful one, which can be very suggestive, but the vast majority of such correlations will be irrelevant “noise”.

Also, as pointed out by some of the social science contributors in the debate, although correlation is a widely used technique in social sciences, it does not establish or “prove” causal relationships. And it does not in itself generate new knowledge.

For that you need the scientific method, Observation, Hypothesis, testing, Theory, proof etc.
Another factor in the limitations of your theory (and note that it is a “theory” and therefore is susceptible to scientific method, it cannot supersede it), is the amount of information on the Net that is of dubious authority and provenance, a factor contributing to the potential noise factor mentioned above, as many a student has discovered to their cost (the ability to sort the chaff from the wheat is an important research tool when using the net as a research tool).

To return, to my original point, the whole may well be greater than the sum of the parts, but that whole is still finite.

In an infinite universe, the sum of potential knowledge is infinity, of which the database(s), no matter how big is (are) only one potential finite sub-set. Only scientific method can expand the boundaries of that finite sub-set, in terms of “provable” knowledge, whereas the sum of possible correlations within the database is limited by the original boundaries.

Would welcome your response to the points I raise.

Very best regards,

John Sloan


Hi Chris ,
What is most impressive thing about the book is highlighting the idea "Everybody is special" and internet is helping to nurture this idea .

And the new economics of mass information is flatenning the tail.


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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!