Long Tail Rules

How to create a consumer paradise

The secret to creating a thriving Long Tail business can be summarized in two imperatives:

  1. Make everything available
  2. Help me find what I want

The first is easier said than done. Basically, legal barriers are a strong impeditive for todays configuration of long tail markets. Until society find out a way to deal with intellectual property for the benefit of everyone, it’ll take more time and another generation or two to achieve a way to clear the rights from all the titles in all back catalogs (toughtlessly, automaticaly, and at an industrial scale), and legal restrictions will continue to be the primary barrier to growing the Long Tail.

The second necessary element is moving more quickly. From collaborative filtering to user ratings, smart aggregators are using recommendations to drive demand down the Long Tail. This is the difference between push and pull, betweem broadcast and personalized taste. Long Tail businesses treat consumers as individuals, offering mass customization as an alternative to mass-market fare.

The collateral cultural benefit is much more diversity, reversing the blanding effects of a century of distribution scarcity and ending the tyranny of the hit driven market.

But this is the big picture. Lets check the nine rules of successfull Long Tail aggregators:

  1. Lower your costs. More inventory way in… or way out
  2. Let customers do the work for themselves
  3. Think Niche. One distribution method doesn’t fia all
  4. One product doesn’t fit all
  5. One price doesn’t fit all
  6. Lose Control. Share information
  7. Think “AND” instead of “OR”
  8. Trust the market to do your job
  9. Understand the power of FREE

Think of Long Tail markets as markets of the future. Places where distribution and production of content are widely available, where creation is common ground, places where all content is available for all customers, where aggregators,  ratings and reputation will drive status and quality instead of  commecial interests of  distribution channels or content owners.

Parts of this text were extracted from the book “The Long Tail”, with some adaptations to make it fit my need in this blog post. I hope Mr. Chris Anderson don’t get annoyed about the intellectual property violation, and hope you had your fun while reading.

Feel free to leave a comment.



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