When Chris Anderson's 'Long Tail' theory took off as a way of explaining internet commerce, it made immediate sense to business people like the folks at Google and Amazon, who have been mining the tail with great success. But it has not been properly discussed by people interested in civil society. The great lesson of the Long Tail is that, freed from the limits of terrestrial production, storage and distribution costs, an economics of abundance is emerging. Low-cost producers are creating an avalanche of content and products. In turn, consumers have shown themselves to have wider vistas of interest and taste than ever suspected. The Long Tail suggests that, given a similar explosion in choice, political values would also be revealed as less than they appear.
Recognising the significance of the Long Tail for politics, in July last year Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales launched Campaigns Wikia writing in his opening blog, If broadcast media brought us broadcast politics, then participatory media will bring us participatory politics.