Thursday, July 27, 2006

Skypecasting with Chris Anderson

Below are some notes and comments regarding a recent Skypecast with Wired editor and author Chris Anderson. Anderson is currently on tour promoting his new book, The Long Tail, which explains an interesting phenomenon in the current economy.

Background: the interview took place Monday July 25, 2006 at 1:30 P.M. Anderson was in L.A. on his book tour. He was interviewed by TypePad General Manager Michael Sippey. There were approximately 50 people listening to the Skypecast, which, in itself, proves that the “long tail” is a very real thing.

What I learned:

1. The “long tail” is described by Anderson as “life after the blockbuster.” Until recently, most people looked at the "left side of the graph," the best sellers and the big hits. Anderson compiled a lot of information, studied the data and looked at how big the demand was for niche items in comparison.

2. There is great demand for these niche items, evidenced by sales on iTunes, Netflix, Rhapsody, etc. These companies can aggregate all the smaller items and offer the consumer infinite shelf space. Technology makes it possible to carry everything at very little or no cost. Blogs are a perfect example of providing content or information to small interest groups.

3. The Long Tail does not rule out blockbusters and big selling items. As an example, Anderson shows you can operate in both paradigms. He is the editor of a major magazine, Wired (with broad appeal) and runs a separate blog where he writes and offers research on "the long tail" (narrow appeal).

4. How can niches compete with the big companies? Anderson explains that you need to offer something the Wal Marts don’t have. Example -- have an online bookstore that only deals in science fiction.



Post a Comment