I finished The Long Tail on the drive in this morning. A really interesting book on the economics of niche markets and how technology has enable companies like Google and Lego to capture these small markets by empowering users through technology. I wasn't new to the concept before I listened to the book, but I am glad that I dug deeper by listening to the entire text.
I have often thought about the long tail of learning. At one level, the internet has enabled the long tail of learning by providing self-serve tools that allow individuals to search for concepts or have "Fingertip Knowledge" as Elliot has called it. This is also now being called informal learning or watercooler learning.
At another level, it would seem that there could be additional tools to improve the more formal approaches to learning. Such tools would empower learners to manage their own learning and increase the efficiencies of creating learning content. We are working at these tools at my company. I am not sure how long it will be before we will have one ready for the public, but I am really excited about the opportunities that they present.