Depends On What You Mean By “Tail”

Chris Anderson sportingly draws attention to an article in Harvard Business Review that takes issue with Long Tail theory. He traces the paper’s findings about the long tail to the way in which it defines the tail. Jackson West at Valleywag remarks:

Anderson says that [HBR author and HBS prof] Elberse’s analysis isn’t wrong, per se, just that they disagree on exactly what the “head” and “tail” mean. Except that Elberse worked with Anderson on researching his book, so one imagines the Wired magazine editor explained it thoroughly. Funny, it’s as though two different people analyzing the same data have come to entirely different conclusions about the “truth.”

There is brilliance in that quote – yes the quote from Valleywag. The brilliance lies in the link in the last sentence.