Part of my write-up review of Chris Anderson's 'The Long Tail' will include a discussion on visualizing the long tail (current delay: looking for my copy of 'New Rules for the New Economy' by Kevin Kelly). One of the intriguing things about the book is the popularization of a concept which is essentially a distribution. However, I believe that the simple hockey-stick-on-its-side, visualization - while a convenient iconic reference - actually fails to capture the long tail. The long tail, is actually doomed to be off stage, to the right.
In playing around with the data I used for my post on blog traffic, I realised that the humble treemap is very good at visualizing the long tail. All that stuff to the bottom right (globally and hierarchically) is the long tail. There is no need to scale, zoom or crop the image - everything is represented.