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September 09, 2006


David H. Deans

Academic research publishing -- now there's a business model in great need of innovation. It seems that very little has changed, in meaningful terms, within this legacy sector of publishing.

Next to the non-published option, this model is surely the best method to ensure that the least amount of people read your thought-leadership work.


Gary Bourgeault (thealphamarketer.com)

I think it's hopeless to think of innovating the so-called academic research field. After a seemingly endless time of writing back and forth to one another, they would actually have to get involved with the real world instead of throwing worthless theories around.

Tama Leaver

Hi Chris,

In a slightly different academic context, last year in my Communication Studies honours course iGeneration: Digital Communication & Partcipatory Culture we talked about the Long Tail (on the basis of your Wired article, not the book) and how it relates to the ever-increasing length of copyright in the US and elsewhere. I must confess I've not finished reading the book yet, but I do wonder if Long Tail economics are at odds with the idea of the public domain or even limited copyright since the potential economic lifespan of an idea or object is potentially much longer according to your argument? As Gwyneth summarised in her final reflections in the course: "I agree that the Long Tail offers an interesting perspective upon copyright law. When the monetary value of any one product may be peaking much later than expected, or not peaking at all, but continuing to hold a constant rate of profit over time, the idea of shortening copyright life is unlikely to attract any takers among those holding the corporate strings."

Even though your last rule is to "Understand the power of free," that seems to be power granted by the copyright holder to access a fragment or their property, but even then it seems to point to the benefit of holding copyright as long as possible.

From all of this I'm wondering next time Mickey Mouse is edging toward the public domnain, might the Long Tail be an argument for a small group continuing to own his tail?

Alex Bukinis

Emotionalism of speech - open, spontaneous and authentic expression of all experienced feelings - and theories are continue to be thrown around endlessly, until some real-life contribution will slightly change its course...

"academic research field" it is like wring a dtailed instrucion how to use a spoon and fork, I think the lead hold no value.

Richard Cauley


Thanks for this post. Looking at this post and a post from the Patently Obvious blog, I have decided to write my own article on the long tail as applied to licensing of patents. I think that it may be more of an aspiration than a reality [I think that the "distribution costs" of licensing patents may still be too high], I think it may be possible to drive even those costs down via the free web-based availability of information about such patents. Academic research shows that now over half of patents [which can cost about $30K to get] are allowed to expire for failure to pay regular maintenance fees. With some of the friction taken out of the process, this may well change.

printer cartridges

It’s an interesting method which make use of Google Analytics for keyword research, which is very practicable.

Long tail keywords are always formed around some core two-word phrase that is more competitive. With other words combined at such phrases, we would know which long tails are more popular.

Also, the source of traffic with those phrases are important. We may be able to tweak the phrase a bit to get more targeted traffic too. For instance, if they are from a blog and the name we’ve chosen for ourselves (in form of a keyphrase), we will be able to change it next time!

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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!