mjasay writes "Remember 'the long tail?' That was the idea that there was gobs of money to be made in the more obscure tastes of any given market, enabled by the web. In recent research highlighted in the Harvard Business Review, however, the long tail theory comes under withering criticism. Not only is a hits-based business more profitable for vendors according to the new research, but the research suggests that consumers also derive more enjoyment from the hits, rather than the tail. In short, the researchers find that 'the tail is long and flat, and therefore that content providers will find it hard to profit much from it.'" Long Tail advocate Chris Anderson defends his theory, and it seems that most of the debate centers around how you define "head" and "tail."