Thursday, May 18, 2006

BookExpo America: Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson At BookExpo America

Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, spoke at BookExpo America today about his forthcoming book, "The Long Tail."

The back cover of the book says "the future of business and culture isn't in hits, the high-volume head of a traditional demand curve, but in what used to be regarded as misses--the endlessly long tail of that same curve."

A section of the book called "In The Library of Misshelved Books" caught my attention. The Dewey Decimal System comes under fire:

However, as the Google era has shown, we're suddenly realizing how limited those fixed ways of making sense of the world really are.

Anderson writes about Dewey Category 200, Religion:

This taxonomy says more about the culture of nineteenth-century America in which the system was developed (and probably something about Melvil Dewey himself) than it does about the world of faith.

Truth to be told, the Dewey Decimal taxonomy really isn't about the world of knowledge at all; it's about the world of books.


During his speech, Anderson outlined some of the differences between blogs and books:

External Context (blogs) vs Internal Context (books)
Capturing Ideas (blogs) vs Exploring Ideas (books)
Conversation (blogs) vs Lecture (books)
Narrative & Pacing
--Blogs tell a story quickly
--Books tease out a story in its entirety

The book is filled with discussions about Web 2.0 concerns, such as Amazon, Google, and Wikipedia. Probably just about anyone reading this blog would find it interesting. The book is scheduled to be published July 11. Anderson has been blogging on the progress of the book as well.

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