Time’s Person of the Year

December 18, 2006

Since learning about Time’s declaration that “You” are Person of the Year (“PY” from now on), I have tried figuring out my opinion about it. The arguments seem compelling, but they pretty well recap the same kinds of things that have been said before about social networks, blogs, YouTube, and the like.

I do have a problem with the rather disingenuous perversity of this proclamation, which is akin to AFI listing “Man” (in Bambi) as one of the top 50 villains in film. Sure, “lonely dreamers” might have to “play well with others… that would otherwise have drowned in obscurity” in the Web 2.0 world. If this remains the case, Time should do away with its Person of the Year tradition. For future PY’s, Time should drag You out every year, or it will need to be very careful about selecting an individual. To remain honest, Time should point us towards someone who did something important, but who remains in relative obscurity at the time of selection.

Nevertheless, for those who remain unaware of the impact that “You” have made, Time’s announcement brings attention to the importance of Web 2.0 in making more people better-known (the ones who have been “backhauled into the global intellectual economy”). Of course, as in the non-digital world, the rules of success remain the same. You still need to appeal to a reasonably good-sized audience, or at least to someone influential. That has yet to change, and I suspect that it probably never will.

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2 Responses to “Time’s Person of the Year”

  1. Jason Says:

    I guess I’m not the only skeptic about “You.” Marianne Richmond more or less echoes what I say at the end of my blog: “If you are working for nothing, how are you beating the pros at their own game. Professional=pay; amateur= no pay. Right?” Also, Josh Hallett wonders how Time’s PY takes into account those who have yet to take advantage of the wonders offered by Web 2.0, while Steve Saffran says, “[c]ongrats. You win. Who’s buying the beers? You?”

    I suspect that I’m not the only one who sees the irony in all this…

  2. Jason Says:

    Oops… here’s the correct link for Steve Saffran.


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