Over the course of the past year I have had a lot of time to surf the web and have come to the conclusion that a new era of web based communication is unfolding before my very eyes. It started when I stumbled across Lifehacker.com, which showed me a whole new side of the internet that I had never conceived of. From that point I began to discover websites that re-oriented the way I've come view information creation, distribution, and storage (Ask Metafilter being one of those discoveries). Some examples of websites I lump into this category are:
(and it's all it's applications including Gmail
The list goes on and on and is constantly growing (thanks largely to Lifehacker discoveries). Obviously Google and Wikipedia were known to me prior to my new found web exploration, but only as straight forward tools. It's only in the last 8 months that I've come to understand the potential of their design (e.g. Google Map Mash-ups
as a whole).
Among the above listed websites and others I identify in my "web revolution," I see common themes. The use of tagging is widely present as well as the concept of the blog (In reality Lifehacker and Metafilter/Ask Metafilter are just widely popular blogs with no single author and Flickr is essentially a collection of thousands of photo blogs). I guess even deeper than that is the theme of individual empowerment through the web. Most of these sites were not generated by large corporations (although they may later have been aquired by them), but rather created by a single individual or small group of individuals in order to address an existing need they percieved.
So my questions. Does anyone else see the watershed that I speak of, or is this normal web progression and my "revolution" is simply a personal one? If this is an actual distinct movement within the internet, does it have a name or other identifying characteristics similar or different to the ones I listed above?