Sunday, December 17, 2006

TIME Perons of the Year: You..and Me...and Everyone Else

TIME Magazine has chosen its Person of the Year: You. And me. And everyone else. The Internet population at large.

Indeed. 2006 saw the growth of the Internet in ways not quite conceived so long ago. Who would have thought millions of people would embrace blogging, from top executives to regular people like you and me? Or even the millions of people who read these blogs as they would read the newspaper or a novel?

Then there is the social networking phenomenon with places like MySpace, Friendster and Facebook. A new way to interact and communicate with people, all people, not just those you know. I have 34 friends on MySpace, a pittance compared with some, by my "social network" as it were, is somewhere around 2 million, simply by being associated with those 34 people and, by default, their friends. How curious. There are 2 million people whom I've never met but with whom I have this thing association, this one link in common.

The Internet really has leveled the playing field, and provided a pulpit for people to call out and keep watch on those around, from seedy politicians to child molesters to your next door neighbor and maybe even your kids. Would the Foley scandal have gone unchecked for a longer period of time if not for the Internet? Would we not all have a better understanding of world affairs if not for the Internet?

Would the millions of people who have something to say be heard, loud and clear, without the Internet? Would we all be able to learn something about a book we might be considering, or a movie we might want to see without the input from fellow fans? Hasn't the Internet simply made it easier for fans to communicate, collaborate and bring in more fans?

Really, the Internet has thrown the window wide open on the world.

Congratulations to us all for becoming TIME Magazine's "Person of the Year."

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