Oficially Time’s 2006 person of the year is you and me, and everyone who in their words:
You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.
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 tool that makes this possible is the World Wide Web. Not the Web that Tim Berners-Lee hacked together (15 years ago, according to Wikipedia) as a way for scientists to share research. It’s not even the overhyped dotcom Web of the late 1990s. The new Web is a very different thing. It’s a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Silicon Valley consultants call it Web 2.0, as if it were a new version of some old software. But it’s really a revolution.
And we are so ready for it. We’re ready to balance our diet of predigested news with raw feeds from Baghdad and Boston and Beijing. You can learn more about how Americans live just by looking at the backgrounds of YouTube videosâ€”those rumpled bedrooms and toy-strewn basement rec roomsâ€”than you could from 1,000 hours of network television.
And we didn’t just watch, we also worked. Like crazy. We made Facebook profiles and Second Life avatars and reviewed books at Amazon and recorded podcasts. We blogged about our candidates losing and wrote songs about getting dumped. We camcordered bombing runs and built open-source software.
In other words we created new media, social media, conversational media, call it what you will but when a traditional media giant like Time recognizes it, odds are it is here to stay.
The amazing thing is we have barely scraped the surface of this new medium. Most people I talk to, smart people, business people when I tell them about our show, or about blogs answer “what exactly is a blog”, let alone a podcast, or a wiki. People involved in the new media revolution tend to forget most of the world still has no clue what we are doing here.
Articles like is evidence that some members of the traditional media are starting to pay attention. Reality is that is where most of the world still gets its news and they are just starting to learn about new media.
Others blogging this story: Mashable: YouTube is the winner.
While it is nice to see Time magazine acknowledging the power of the Internet, Time’s “You” actually leaves a huge number of people out. As high as 99% of all the people are left out if you follow the 1% rule. Many people may read blogs and many people may look at the videos on video sharing websites but the majority do not contribute any content at all.
Time just named “you” its Person of the Year for 2006. Yes, it’s an incredible cop-out in a year when wasted multitudes died in Iraq, in a year containing newsmakers like Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Korea’s Jim Jong-Il, and even Nancy Pelosi.
Well, it looks like we were off by two years. Compare the two images below. The one on the right was created by Hypergene back in 2004. The one on the left came out today. Eerily similar eh? We needed the two years. This is a shift that’s bigger than blogging and citizen journalism.
The question is, what about the people not taking part in creating/using any of this user-generated-content? Are they part of the ‘You’? Perhaps they should have a different cover of Time that says, ‘Them’.
I like the choice. Technology can liberate people, which is why so many regimes are trying to keep the lid on the Internet as if it were Pandora’s box. Most of the technology is used for crap: baseball fantasy leagues, crotch shots of celebrities and spam, spam, spam.
Indeedâ€¦â€¦..The blogosphere and internet is much more significant than Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-Il.
In fact, the blogosphere and internet media may well be those dictators downfall.
Thanks Time Magazine! You finally got ONE RIGHT!
I predict there will be lots of people blogging about this. Yeah I know it’s an easy shot but if Time can do it so can I.