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Wagging the Long Tail

Chris Anderson's article (which was short enough for me to read), and the book that followed (which wasn't), have popularized the idea that niches in consumer product categories (e.g. rare books, non-blockbuster movies online) that can actually be significant enough markets to be profitable, especially when you have the scale to exploit them.
The idea is especially relevant with the increased use of the Internet by consumers. It's one of those simply, but powerful ideas that I really liked when I first heard about it.

While I still like the idea, the words "long tail" are beginning to annoy me a little bit and I just don't know why!

It gets back to the whole jargon thing. I think the "long tail" has gone the way of other overused MBA-ish phrases such as "adding value", "competitive advantage" etc. etc.
The problem is I don't disapprove of jargon, and I recognize that sometimes the use of jargon is actually the quickest way to explain/understand an idea, or just a way to relate with someone about shared experiences; but because it's misused so often by people who don't quite understand the concept (or sometimes just people who I happen to think are morons), the word starts losing it's impact.


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