or virtual communities, smart gatherings, etc.
For every subject of interest there exists a community of people connected to the value chain around the topic. These consist of the evangelists, the experts, the producers, the consumers , and the nearest neighbors and their communities. These communities are often distributed, with the various participants not knowing, perhaps never knowing, and thus, never being able to interact with the breadth of the community.
What is required is the ability to carve out dynamic communities around an ad-hoc topic and track this for the life of the topic. Search and even persistent search go part of the way there, but the extra bits are the interactivity or crowd sourcing that raise relevant information to the top ala Digg.
The long tail is a great concept and there are many companies that service the constituents in a variety of ways but they are mostly disconnected. Thus the flies buzz around the tail, sometimes running into each other but often times never even knowing the other exists.