wasting bandwidth since 1999

Accepting the Award Is…

The person of the year is me?

I’ve read the reasoning offered by Time’s editors several times and it still doesn’t make the selection seem any less lame.

But look at 2006 through a different lens and you’ll see another story, one that isn’t about conflict or great men. It’s a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.

The editors criteria for the selection is supposed to be “the person who, for better or worse, the magazine’s editors believe had the greatest impact on the year’s events”.

This particular choice seems to be about on the same level of lameness as when they named the computer “Machine of the Year” in 1982 or selected “American Women” in 1975.

It’s certainly true that the communities being built using Web 2.0 tools was a major story of the past year, one about which many people in the US have probably heard something.

However, have the elements of that story actually had that “greatest impact” on most of those people? Maybe in time, but in 2006, I have my doubts.

Maybe I’m just taking all this too literally. But it also could be that Time just needs to give up on the whole concept of “Man Person of the Year” and just go with the standard end-of-year, these-were-the-big-stories issue of the magazine.

time, person of the year

1 Comment

  1. Doug Johnson

    Considering the lack alternative choices, the social web isn’t a bad choice for Thingie of the Year. It’s certainly had a big impact on my own thinking, learning and time use in 2006. My sense is that we’re undergoing a fundamental shift on what constitutes authority and how our society is influenced. And I am usually pretty cynical about such things.

    Always enjoy your blog postings and admire how quickly you find and analyze news.

    All the very best,


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