It has been interesting seeing how quickly the ‘long tail’ has been adopted as a phrase in a wide range of discussion and analysis. There is an article in the current First Monday by Kalevi Kilkki which applies a long tail model to data in several different areas. This paragraph sort of just jumped out at me!
Books, movies and music are typical examples of objects produced by professionals usually with the explicit purpose of earning income. Next we consider some issues with which the popularity emerges in a different manner. Wiktionary provides interesting information about the frequency of words [13 LD: link added] . The most common words in TV and in movie scripts are shown in Figure 8. …… Indeed, only 63 words (you, I, to, … , one) are needed to make up half of everything said on TV. [A practical model for analyzing long tails]
Note: I discussed the long tail and libraries in an article in D-Lib Magazine a while ago: Libraries and the Long Tail: Some Thoughts about Libraries in a Network Age. D-Lib Magazine, Vol. 12, No. 4, April 2006.