13 years, 6 months ago

Why Time Magazine is Right in Naming Zuckerberg as 2010 PoY

Link: http://eamitabh.blogspot.com/2010/12/why-time-magazine-is-right-in-naming.html

The Time magazine has selected Mark Zuckerberg as the 2010 Person of the Year. In its Person of the Year article Time magazine states, “For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them, for creating a new system of exchanging information and for changing how we live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year”.

This is the season when most leading media companies publish their annual lists of moments, people, events which mattered in the year gone by. It is fair to say that most such selection would be greeted with a share of scepticism, disagreement and in some instances controversies. Time’s own selections in 2004 (George Bush), 2007 (Vladimir Putin) and 2009 (Ben Bernanke) did generate a fair amount of reaction from readers. However this year the selection has certainly polarised the opinion far greater than in recent memory. Why go further? Simply browse the original article on Time December 2010 issue and the comments posted by readers give enough hint at this.
However, I do agree with this selection and think that the Time magazine has certainly got this selection right this year. Why? To start with have a look at the below facts stated by the Time reporters in this issues;

  • This year, Facebook added its 550 millionth member.
  • One out of every dozen people on the planet has a Facebook account.
  • They speak 75 languages and collectively lavish more than 700 billion minutes on Facebook every month.
  • Last month the site accounted for 1 out of 4 American page views.
  • Its membership is currently growing at a rate of about 700,000 people a day.
  • In less than seven years, Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S.
  • If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest, behind only China and India
But the reason I support this selection goes beyond the above facts (which certainly are good enough justification in their own right). In my opinion 2010 is the year where social media has grown up a level on the maturity scale. Whether it is Twitter or Google Apps or Apple ecosystem the world of Social Media offerings has become a lot richer in 2010. And to be fair the acceptance, comfort level of user communities has grown. They are more receptive and are becoming more demanding of Social Media, its content and tools. And whether anyone accepts this or not the truth in my opinion is that, one of the principal contributors in this Social Media ecosystem is Facebook.
Facebook has done to Social Media what Apple did to the PCs. It has made it more personal. The Time journalists have captured this phenomenon well when they write, “Right now the Internet is like an empty wasteland: you wander from page to page, and no one is there but you. Except where you have the opposite problem: places like Amazon.com product pages and YouTube videos, where everyone’s there at once, reviewing and commenting at the top of their lungs, and it’s a howling mob of strangers. Zuckerberg’s vision is that after the Facebookization of the Web, you’ll get something in between: wherever you go online, you’ll see your friends. On Amazon, you might see your friends’ reviews. On YouTube, you might see what your friends watched or see their comments first. Those reviews and comments will be meaningful because you know who wrote them and what your relationship to those authors is. They have a social context.”
I personally think that Time magazine naming Zuckerberg indicates that mainstream media is now acknowledging the rise and maturity of the Social Media. The boundary between conventional media and social media is solid and visible today. It will remain so for a section of receivers for years to come. However for a large section of market and especially the new age receivers these boundaries are becoming thin with every passing month. And Facebook has played a major role in making Social Media consumer friendly. Facebook has made internet consumer-friendly just as Apple made PC and lately mobile devices consumer-friendly. This impact can be noticed and seen visibly in some instances while in some other it is yet to be fully appreciated. But the journey has well and truly begun and Zuckerberg should be given credit for setting us in motion in the right direction. This is exactly what Time magazine is trying to say. Well done Time!