By Chris Anderson
It’s been just a hair over a month now since Chris gave away 100 of his soon to be published book(it’s been published since). I happened to be one of the lucky few who was first in line to receive a review copy. The deal was, Chris will send you a copy of The Long Tail and in exchange you must do a review on your blog. Well, Chris upheld his end of the bargain, so now I’m holding up mine. I must add a disclaimer here. While I did receive my copy of The Long Tail for free with expectations of a posted review here, I was not told what the review must contain or even that it must be a favorable review. The following thoughts on the book are my own and are an honest review of the book.
My only familiarity with the concept of the Long Tail as it pertains to the topic of Chris’ book is from Chris’ blog. I must admit that while I found the topic somewhat interesting, I never fully gave it credit for all that it did. I never fully saw all the myriad ways that it affects our world. Especially those of us that have one foot(or more) in the digital world.
We bloggers especially feel the effects of the Long Tail. Without it and it’s capabilities, we wouldn’t exist. We’d still be working our deadbeat jobs(some of us still do anyways) and pulling a 9 to 5.
Chris explains in many ways the full economic and social effect from the Long Tail. From something as simple as the switch people are beginning to make from Big Box stores to online vendors like Amazon, Ebay, and iTunes. Many have argued that the Long Tail isn’t all that Chris cracks it up to be. To some extent they are right. Unfortunately for them, I believe they are still looking at it from a hit monger state. Much like any other book, this book is on a set topic. It covers that topic fully and extensively. Looking at the book as the be all and end all on that topic is like asking the movie industry to only have one “must see” movie a year. (some would argue that that would be asking alot of them.) In fact, those very same detractors of the book are proving Chris’ point for him. They are creating a long tail of The Long Tail.
What’s more important about this book is that it makes a you think. As a person of entrepreneurial spirit, the book opens new ways of thinking about business. Business online especially, but it also lends insight into the workings of your typical brick and mortar business as well.
On the whole, the book is obviously well researched. Chris had access to some of the premier online and offline establishments and to their databases as well. He certainly isn’t giving away any trade secrets, but merely pointing out that which should be obvious.
I strongly suggest that anyone who is even remotely interested in the digital economy and the concept of the Long Tail read this book. It’s already hit the Amazon top 10 and will soon be in the top 5 on the Wall Street Journal non-fiction bestseller list. Do yourself the favor and pick up a copy soon and while you’re at it, start reading Chris’ blog. He continues with the topic as new information is presented.
Keep your eyes on Thatedeguy also. I’ve yet to completely formulate how, but I will be holding a contest of sorts to give away my copy in the next week or so.