Wow, I’m person of the year…well, at least according to Time Magazine, which has deemed the user-generated (Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, etc.) phenomena worthy as its annual Person of the Year. Of course, I’m flattered because it finally validates all the hours I’ve spent toiling away on the computer – hours that I could’ve been devoting to my family and friends. But no, I’m part of a greater cause: the user-generated revolution that is going to drive traditional media to their knees.
Good for you, Time! Good for you to lavishing praise on the Internet as opposed to some humanitarian, politician, celebrity, businessman or athlete. Good for you for recognizing it’s really all about me (and you and you and you as well). Good for you for declaring Web 2.0 is “really a revolution”, and good for you for recognizing this interactive, do-it-yourself Web is not Tim Berners-Lee’s Web.
Then again, what if Time’s wrong? What if Time has simply got caught up in dot-com boom II, which is different than dot-com boom I because investors aren’t being suckered into throwing dollars in start-ups without a chance and entrepreneurs without a clue. Arguably, Time’s recognition of the Web’s impact could have happened five years ago as it started to really emerge into the mainstream. So, what’s really different now other than a new set of different players that have jumped into the public consciousness such as Wikipedia, YouTube and MySpace? Don’t get me wrong, I love it when a large publication such as Time puts the spotlight on my world but sometimes you have to question whether the focus is over the top and given too much significance than it really deserves.
For more thoughts on Time’s package, check out Paul Kedrosky, who criticizes Josh Quittner’s contention this boom is different than the original dot-com boom. “This boom is achingly similar, with the main difference being that it is cheaper this time to get yourself in just as deep — and this time there is no IPO market to bail you out,” Kedrosky argues. Meanwhile, Peter Cashmore looks at how Time has identified video (YouTube) as a major development, while Darren Rowse describes the Time’s story as “Link Bait of the Year” given all the inbound links it will attract,