<Note: I began this post in August and then forgot about it. It fit's in very nicely now that I'm reading The Long Tail>
Neal Stephenson wrote a great short story Spew back in 1994 where the central premise is that the long tail is incredibly important.
One day young Adderson was checking out a Profile that didn't fit in with established norms, and by tracing the subject's social telephony web, noticed a trend: Post-Graduate Existentialists who started going to church. You heard me: Adderson single-handedly discovered the New Complacency.
It was an unexploited market niche of cavernous proportions: upwards of one-hundredth of one percent of the population. Within six hours, Adderson had descended upon the subject's moho with a Rapid Deployment Team of entertainment lawyers and development assistants and launched the fastest-growing new channel ever to wend its way into the thick braid of the Spew.
It's a nice little story, and shows how far ahead of the curve Stephenson really was.