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September 19, 2005



Chris, this is useful as an illustration. Still I think it's a pretty big leap to go from looking for words with the same (or similar) meaning to looking for similar-sounding music. For one thing, the idea of what's similar in music is much more subjective. But even more important than that, just because I might like Dylan or Radiohead or Philip Glass, it doesn't mean I want to find more music that sounds like them. The thing I like about them in the first place is that they're different from other things I listen to.

Spy Tools

I disagree with David, previous poster. I think the music industry is proof that similar music is very marketable, though of course there will be exceptions. FOr the most part however, we all have our niche and follow it. I like Nirvana, I also like groups that sound like Nirvana. The Beatles started a whole new sound which was duplicated for decades. Some sounds I don't care for, I'm not a fan of rap, any rap, just don't care for it, same with country music. What is it I like or don't like? The fimilar sounds associated with the examples I gave.

Darin London

But the 'likeness' aspect is vague in a really useful way, in that there are many ways for one thing to be 'like' another. The concept of 'like' can be defined as:

'people who like x also like y'

'people who tag x with z also tag y with z'

'people who tag themselves with z like x, if you tag yourself with z you may also like x'


Some or all of these ways can be exploited by people to search the tail.

Ashley Bowers

Thats very cool of him to let you post this note and let the rest of us read it.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

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