Long Tail

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I was delighted to find out recently that an article I wrote is cited in Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail. Specifically, on page 107:

The trend watchers at Frog Design [sic], a consultancy, see this as nothing less than an epochal shift:

“We are leaving the Information Age and entering the Recommendation Age. Today information is ridiculously easy to get; you practically trip over it on the street. Information gathering is no longer the issue - making smart decisions based on the information is now the trick… Recommendations serve as shortcuts through the thicket of information, just as my wine shop owner shortcuts me to obscure French wines to enjoy with pasta.”

This quote has been used in a number of articles writing about the book overall, so it’s obviously one that people  respond well to. For example, the Independent Newspaper in England pulls it out along with a dozen or so other quotes in an article entitled “The Power of Collective Intelligence” on July 6, 2006. (Sorry, no url for it, a colleague happened across it in Nexis, and thanks to the hopeless search function on the Independent’s website I can’t find it…)

OK, so I can live with not being mentioned by name and just being referred to as one of several “frog trend watchers”. But I thought, “Well surely my article must be mentioned in the footnotes or the bibliography?” Sadly, no. Despite this being a verbatim quote from a published article, no footnote is given. And no bibliography is provided either. I was shocked, actually, that there were only 3 pages of endnotes in a book of 250+ pages, especially given how long Anderson has been ruminating on this Long Tail idea, and doing so in public.

Hey, Chris, would it kill you (who’s near the head end of things) to throw a few scraps to those of us who are very much at the tail end?

Oh well, can’t complain too much as I did get my first citation in a well-known book…