'Long Tail' takes a long shot, but does it score?
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail," just out in book form. The basic premise is that new technologies may one day allow millions of little niche items to outsell the few big items. Even pop-culture site Gawker has been talking about it. And via Gawker, we came across a Wall Street Journal piece by Lee Gomes. Gomes takes a look at some actual numbers and real-world results and isn't impressed: "Indeed, you can make the case that the internet is amplifying the role of hits, even in relation to misses, not diminishing them."
As Seen on FastCompany.com
China + eBay = match made in retailer heaven
Oh, sure, we all take eBay for granted-it's been around almost as long as the internet it seems. Clive Thompson, however, takes a look at China, where "virtually no one has a checking account, and only 1% of the population has a credit card." Companies such as EachNet and Taobao have created eBay-like escrow systems that police transactions, building trust. "The old China," Thompson writes, "was the soccer ball of dubious provenance that you bought at the mall; the new China is a friendly guy named Zhang with an apartment full of custom-made MP3 players and 2,000 positive reputation points on eBay."