You know Chris Anderson's thesis, that the internet brings attention or money to all kinds of previously marginal endeavors; in other words, that we live in the age of long tail distributions. Hence the title of his best-selling book, Long Tail, which has inspired more hopeful business plans than Net Gain did during the last cycle. Unfortunately, the tail's not as long as one thought. One of Anderson's most impressive statistics in his original article, that 57% of Amazon sales are in the long tail, was out by a factor of two. Oops.
That part of the analysis in the 2004 article, which was based on some MIT work, appears to have undercounted the top-sellers. Forensic economics isn't perfect. We've subsequently done a lot more work and revised that to 25%, which is the figure used in the book and all other writings for the past two-plus years. Please use the more recent figures. [Chris Anderson]