In Chapter 5 of The Long Tail Anderson reminds us that we now live in a society of new producers. He cites author Doc Searls, who calls this shift one from consumerism to participative "producerism":
The "consumer economy" is a product-controlled system in which consumers are nothing more than energy sources that metabolize "content" into cash. This is the absolutely corrupted result of the absolute power held by producers over consumers since producerse won the Industrial Revolution. Apple is giving consumers tools that make them producers. The practice radically transforms both the marketplace and the economy that thrives on it (page 64).
As Anderson notes, today millions of ordinary people have the necessary tools, such as the iPod, and the role models to become amateur producers. The Wikipedia phenomenon is a fascinating example of how amateurs are gaining credibility in "The Long Tail" consumer society.