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What is your take on the whole Long Tail thing, especially from the perspective of how it changing the way that the 'little man' uses the power of the Internet to reach a market?

What evidence is there that the Long Tail is working, today, right now?

What sites are making it work, is it social recommendation mechanisms in action, is it a mashup method of piggy backing on other services, is it viral marketing campaigns?

I'm not thinking of your typical set up an eccomerce site and go, or plug in some CRM and it will work, type schemes here. Rather sites and services that are drawing upon the more innovative and aspirational methods to get noticed, implementing new distribution models and methodologies, that kind of thing.

If you were compiling a list of the definitive Long Tail players and technologies, who and what would be on it and why?

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Last Post by happygeek
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I think it's a term looking for an effect - something Wired suffers from a lot. Remember their "Long boom"? wedging your business into this way of looking at the world is just another way of pretending you have an excuse for ignoring the usual sources of common sense.

What the Wiki article points to is the grown-up use of statistics, A.k.a. what the Excel generation do next after they have been relieved of the annoyance of having to add things up themselves. Yes, in general economic terms, the margin on smaller volume items in the last third of the normal distribution, adds up to more than the margin on the high-volume items in the first third: but just cause someone realised this makes a good buzzword-generator for Wired doesn't make him the next Milton Friedman.

S (former merchant banker, no jokes please)

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That is quite possibly the most concise yet accurate unmasking of the long tail 'theory' that I have read. Nice one sir!

Not that I am altogether set against buzzwords and media friendly hooks to hang my journalistic hat upon, you understand :)

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