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Links for 2006-08-08

3 replies on “Links for 2006-08-08”

“which makes the mistake of saying that Chris Anderson only writes about the US when in fact it’s just starting in the US”
No, no, no.
The long tail, if it is real, is not a conscious trend like e.g. blogging or videoblogging, it is something that will happen of its own accord in any environment rich enough. It is not a question of it starting somewhere and then spreading abroad.
If Anderson is right and the long tail is an universal phenomenon you would expect it to happen at,, de, jp and fr. You would expect it to happen at online retailers in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Therefore not using more international data is a failing, as it may just be something that is purely generated by US consumers, rather than something that would happen in any market offering unlimited choice.
Not that I expect that to be the case, but it would be a good validation.
Speaking of the long tail, one of the ways in which I notice it is that I still get hits on my blog from comments made well over two years ago at your post about the Beethoven downloads the BBC offered back in 2004…

It’s true that it should be something that happens universally, but it still requires the right environmental factors to make it happen – for example, a solid and entrenched set of e-commerce things of sufficient scale to be able to hold large amounts of inventory, digitised content and media available etc. etc. In the technology sphere, I’m afraid it’s not really particularly controversial to say that America is ahead of Europe in these areas – in everything from the availability of archived television and digitised music through to the length of time that Amazon has been operating and the penetration of broadband internet. As a consequence, I don’t think it’s a particularly strange thing that all the best examples of long tail activity have happened in the US so far, and I think they’ll follow elsewhere as the right circumstances arise…

I won’t dispute that Europe is somewhat behind the US in e-commerce, though much depends on which country you’re talking about, but it is not so far behind that the long tail would not be in effect if it exists.
You mention Amazon for example, which has been available internationally almost since its inception. If I would guess I’d say the US has had serious e-commerce experience for a decade now and Europe for slightly less, maybe eight years or so. In the Netherlands, national e-commerce sites started getting mainstream around 2000/2001, so there’s about five years of experience with long tail phenomena…

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