Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Long Tail

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson is a fascinating new look at the world of microeconomics as it may have been changed forever by the Internet.

Traditionally, shops only sell their top products - it's not possible for them to sell marginal products of interest to only a few customers because of space.

The Long Tail looks at how this has changed on the Internet and how this is affecting not just consumer choice - you can buy pretty much anything you want to buy now through the net - but also the process of production. For example, knowledge items such as books no longer need an agent (such as a publisher) to produce them. It's possible for you to publish your own book, or make your own music, on the web - and then sell it to an audience of billions overnight.

As an experiment in this direction, Dr Cheng and I are putting together a book of biographies of women mathematicians written by the students. If you would like to join in this process, please let one of us know and we'll sign you up to the team.

If you are interested in starting your own web business through the Bellerbys Business Club, let me know and I'll help you sort it out.

If you are interested in reading 'The Long Tail', let the librarian know and she will be able to find you a copy.


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