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“Given the option to pick a boy band or find something new, more and more people are opting for exploration, and are typically more satisfied with what they find.”  This sounds very similar to John Battelle’s The Search, but it is not.  Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail takes many of Battelle’s ideas and applies them directly to many different industries.  The opening of the book focuses on the idea that as humans we value the option to find for ourselves what we like and not simply respond to what Big Media is telling us to like.  Incorporating the value of search and personalized suggestions provided by your index information allows a world of infinite options.  I cannot remember the last time I walked around a music store and browsed the albums on the wall.  I can say that I spend hours a week searching for the newest song or the next big artist.  I love introducing my friends to new music.  Why is that?  Well, so many of us consider the songs on our MP3 player the soundtrack of our lives.  So, the moment when you hear a song that touches you right where you are, you want to share it.  Big Media does not cater to our individual lives and the moment we are in.  All the choices floating in the long tail are a picture of moments in our lives and the power of search at its best.

The Music Search is a blog that I read to get insight into hot new music.  The author and I share similar tastes in music and I trust the recommendations.  Many of the suggestions would not make it onto a top 100 list, but they are often on my top playlist.  Another blog I read often posts song suggestions that are obscure but very powerful.  Again, the ability to find your own top 100 contributes to the power of the long tail. 

So, let’s delve a little further into what the long tail means for the sellers.  Everything Chris Anderson says makes perfect sense, but it really started to come together when I related his ideas to some of my purchases.  For instance, one of my favorite movies is International Velvet.  The movie is no longer produced, so copies are very rare.  On Amazon, a copy of International Velvet costs fifty dollars.  This title would definitely be a part of the long tail.  However, a fifty dollar movie makes a more significant profit than a ten dollar best seller.  Anderson’s ideas really are revolutionary for the future of so many different industries. 

Now, onto next week, first let me apologize for leaving you hanging for a few days.  Early Tuesday morning in my pre-coffee haze I and my car succumbed to the slick Maryland roads and alas the old Saturn is no more.  So, let’s hope the power of search and the long tail of the car industry will pay off in my quest for a new vehicle.  How was your week?   

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