This weekend, Todd mentioned that Time Magazine named "You" the  person of the year.  And by "You", Time means, me, you, us, and them: all the bloggers, You-Tubers, Facebookers, and everyone else that has helped to make the Web and the world of cyber-journalism what it is today. 

I think this was a very interesting choice on the part of the magazine, whose persons of the year are typically incredibly high-profile and mainstream individuals who have had a profound effect on the general public.  As an example, here are some examples of Time’s past Persons of the Year:

  • 2005: Bill Gates, Bono, Melinda Gates
  • 2004: President George W. Bush (again)
  • 2003: The American Soldier
  • 2002: "Whistleblowers" Sherron Watkins (Enron), Colleen Rowley (FBI), and Cynthia Cooper (WorldCom)
  • 2001: Rudy Giuliani
  • 2000: President George W. Bush
  • 1999: Albert Einstein
  • 1998: Ken Starr and Bill Clinton

Choosing the American cyber-junkie as the person of the year seems like a role reversal: instead of choosing the people that affected the lives of everyday Americans, Time chose the everyday Americans that affected the lives of mainstream celebrities.  This in itself is a testament to how bloggers and citizen journalists have affected ordinary media.

We all know how YouTube and blogs have affected political campaigns and the traditional print media.  But have we ever stopped to think where we would be without Web 2.0?

I think the writers at Time hit the nail on the head when they said:

We’re ready to balance our diet of predigested news with raw feeds from Baghdad and Boston and Beijing. You can learn more about how Americans live just by looking at the backgrounds of YouTube videos—those rumpled bedrooms and toy-strewn basement rec rooms—than you could from 1,000 hours of network television.

That’s what the blogosphere is all about.  No longer do Americans want to accept everything they are fed by the media.  Now, we can decide what’s important, and, thanks to the Internet, we have the tools to make a difference.

I also find it interesting that Time, the nation’s 8th largest magazine, cited its prime competitor as the most notable person of the year.  Is this mere flattery, or does the publication realizes that it needs the blogosphere to survive? 

So who is going to be 2007’s Person of the Year?  It would be great to see the Web editor of a major publication, like the New York Times, nominated for opening its website to Web 2.0 and citizen journalists.  In 2008, it would be great to see a victorious politician who used grassroots Web support to win an election.  Likely? Maybe not.  But a blogger can dream, right?  What’s your prediction?