The Long Tail, reviewed.

Reading between the lines.
July 21 2006 6:19 AM

The Wrong Tail

How to turn a powerful idea into a dubious theory of everything.

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The Long Tail isn't useful as a theory of everything. It is best and strongest when it helps us understand what's happening to our culture. It shows, graphically, the difference between the mass culture we've had, and the folk culture we're bringing back. That's an achievement worth celebrating, and it's why the Long Tail can leave us feeling like cavemen looking at a map of the world for the first time. But the book should come with a warning: There's more to this economy than chasing tail.

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