The Long Tail is one the few things about the blogosphere that seems new. Here’s an obvious question: is there any structure lurking in that Long Tail, or is it just an undifferentiated skinny pointy blob? The answer starts here.
I think that the Long Tail is actually a tangled mess of microcommunities and subcultures and tribes and hobbies and fanatics. Julie Leung writes about the community of mommie-bloggers that the New York Times wrote up as a big deal, but it’s really a big deal as an example of the structures out there in the tail.
My circle of friends and colleagues isn’t that large, but I’m aware of blog clusters (illustrated here by example) comprising knitters (and queer knitters), funny infertile women, birders, autocross racers, and, well, that list could go on forever.
Such informal social structures have always existed, the only thing that’s new is that now they span the globe in real-time. And in that context, what they’ll grow into is anyone’s guess.