I’m Time’s Person of the Year!!!

I was ecstatic when I read it. Yes it was true! I was Time’s Person of the Year!!! I’m not dreaming on a Monday morning on a bus but I can’t believe what I’m actually reading!!! (screeeech!!) Hit the breaks!

 You are Time's Person of the YearWell, actually, it’s all of US using the blogosphere, Internet! 😀 I’m ecstatic, nevertheless.

I remember an Inquirer‘s article a few months back (I can’t locate the article, though) on how some reporters search blogs for news leads or fish for news. Now, the international media is acknowledging that IT IS REALLY HAPPENING. The Inquirer also reported that experts are saying that this might be the end of the printed newspaper.

As Time‘s Lev Grossman wrote about this year’s person of the year, he put Scottish Philospher Thomas Carlyle‘s assumption in the spotlight, writing that this was challenged this year. Carlyle once said…

the history of the world is but the biography of great men

Grossman explains…

He (Carlyle) believed that it is the few, the powerful and the famous who shape our collective destiny as a species.

Carlyle’s assumption was proven wrong when the new age of the Internet took a twist this decade. The revolution of people contributing to their own style of media. People consolidating news that is feisty, fearless and free (talking about People Power!).

People who used Youtube, blogs, myspace have reshaped the Internet. Grossman also cited that expert are now referring to the new revolution as Web 2.0 “as if it were a new version of some old software,” Grossman commented. This is something different from the first Internet that we knew back in the 1980s, it is different from the dot com hype or the information age revolution. I think I could pitch in my own tag for this age as the knowledge revolution (this might well end up as a thesis topic or a dissertation!).

While there are fears of how the Web 2.0 shape our future, it is worth noting that it is being recognized and people should do something to harness this development to divert it to improve each and everyone not only intellectually, but also financially! There could still be many debates (as with Time’s choice of person of the year like Adolf Hitler in 1938 and Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979) if Time chose the right person(s) for this year. However, I reiterate that this is a good start while you would find lots of stupidity on the Web you could also see the best of it.

I loved how Grossman made my last point in his article.

Sure, it’s a mistake to romanticize all this any more than is strictly necessary. Web 2.0 harnesses the stupidity of crowds as well as its wisdom. Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred.

But that’s what makes all this interesting. Web 2.0 is a massive social experiment, and like any experiment worth trying, it could fail. There’s no road map for how an organism that’s not a bacterium lives and works together on this planet in numbers in excess of 6 billion. But 2006 gave us some ideas. This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to politician, great man to great man, but citizen to citizen, person to person. It’s a chance for people to look at a computer screen and really, genuinely wonder who’s out there looking back at them. Go on. Tell us you’re not just a little bit curious.

From the Dec. 25, 2006 issue of TIME magazine


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