Sprague Word

The future and more from Richard Sprague

The Long Tail isn’t so long

Posted by sprague on August 7, 2006

The WSJ article criticizing the Long Tail reminds me that sometime I need to write up my thoughts about why the Long Tail argument isn’t as insightful as it sounds.

There isn’t a single “Long Tail” for anything. Sure, you can rank every book in order of its sales, but how interesting is that? People don’t buy in that order. People looking for books on garbage disposals aren’t shopping for John Grisham novels. Instead, there are several distinguishable rankings for just about every category you can imagine.

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