The long tail wags best online

I started this post about 3 months ago.

The paradox of choice – why more is less is a great video of Barry Schwarz talking at Google about his research on choice. His counter-intuitive result was that more choice leads to less satisfaction.

More products, less happiness. More options, more stress. It’s fascinating – check it out here:

But I didn’t publish the post … something was missing. Now I know what.

I’m currently reading Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail. He mentions this Schwarz’ research too. But the follow-up tells the real story.

The problem is not too much choice. The problem is too little help.

Online, more help is easy. Top 10 lists. Recommended by lists. People who bought this also bought that. Affinities. Reviews. Owner blurbs.

Offlline, all that is missing – so choice is hard. Without guides, we miss the path, and it’s stressful.

Which is why the long tail wags best online.

[tags] long tail, barry schwarz, paradox of choice, poverty of help, chris anderson, google video, john koetsier [/tags]