Lee Gomes reports that the "Long Tail" is a an exagerration. Pity, the long tail theory seemed to validate my pack rat collection of odds and ends. Hey who knows, my collection of comics might be worth a bundle one day. WSJ.com - Portals: "Wired Magazine editor Chris Anderson's hot, new best seller, 'The Long Tail,' is causing a sensation with its eye-opening claims about the way the Web is rewriting the rules of commerce. But I've looked at some of the same data, and some more of my own, and I don't think things are changing as much as he does."
Incidentally, long tail doesn't quite explain generational shifts that causes ripples in the cultural continuum. Cool today, out tomorrow, cool day after tomorrow is actually pretty rare in music. Nick Drake comes to mind as one of the few exceptions. The common wisdom is that thanks to video stores, old stinkers such as "Plan 9 rose from the grave to become cult classics. One problem with this line of thought: before video stores, there were the art film houses, now mostly extinct, which made the cult classics possible. Most college dorms these days are not decorated with posters of W.C. Fields or the Marx Brothers. College film buffs are a rare breed now, and their favorites tend to be the work of obscure and unbelievably bad young film makers.
To succeed in the future, TV shows must first be hits. The magic number for syndication is 100 episodes. But even the old TV shows now on DVD have a limited or non-existent appeal to a new audience. Let's face it, "Route 66" is not going to have reurgence any time soon.