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'Long Tail' May Not Wag the Web Just Yet 132

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Expanding on an article he wrote in 2004 (and discussed on Slashdot), Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson argues in his best-seller 'The Long Tail' that the web is changing commerce from a hit-driven business to one focused on niches. But Wall Street Journal columnist Lee Gomes questions Anderson's data, and adds, 'I don't think things are changing as much as he does.' Gomes writes, 'At Apple's iTunes, one person who has seen the data -- which Apple doesn't disclose -- said sales "closely track Billboard. It's a hits business. The data tend to refute 'The Long Tail.' " ' On his blog, Anderson responds that Gomes 'stumbles over statistics and more, and in the end simply makes a muddle of what might have been an interesting debate over the magnitude of the Long Tail effect.'"

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