The web is undergoing another major shift right now.
The first shift was from direct navigation and directories to search.
SEO was all the rage and we are Foliovision were and are very good at it.
The next stage now is Online Communities or The Social Web.
Manifestations of online communities:
- social websites like MySpace and LiveJournal (perhaps the more exotic AdultFriendFinder could be included in this group)
- forums (countless, for every industry there are usually a few big ones: one of the originals was slashdot)
- social bookmarking sites (delicious and digg spring to mind)
- specialty topic sites like WikiPedia or Squidoo
What’s bad about this is that all the black hat search guys are coming up with ways to pollute these communities. At one webmaster forum there are hundreds of paid forum posters available to go out and sign up accounts and start spewing out whatever you want in mainly broken English for literally pennies per post. These guys are harder to catch than the black hat forum and comment bots so the human version must be considered worse.