Time People Of The Year: All Of Us

Well, not really .. even though Time’s cover for “Person of the Year” reflects to show the face of the reader (one place where print does outshine online) it’s really about some people, the subset of millions not satisfied with being an audience and willing to make things happen however meaningful, meaningless or downright odd. (The online voters chose Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, while the American Soldier won a Time for Kids poll.) The cover package is comprehensive in usual Time fashion:
Now It’s Your Turn: New ME Richard Stengel explains how the mag used YouTube to solicit nominations for POY and how that in turn fueled the choice. (Don’t see anything about how this selection also bumped up the online attention level.): “We chose to put a mirror on the cover because it literally reflects the idea that you, not we, are transforming the information age.” As noted above, the Mylar mirror doesn’t work online so Time is using a rotating series of user-submitted photos.
Person of the Year: You: “It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes. … for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME’s Person of the Year for 2006 is you.” (My favorite bit is the line about how this is not about conflict.) Yes, it covers the good, the bad and the nasty. “Web 2.0 harnesses the stupidity of crowds as well as its wisdom.”
Power to the People: 15 profiles of people who fit the bill for a variety of reasons from the usual kinds of suspects — an OhMyNews citizen reporter, a mil, a video blogger dubbed the real “lonelygirl.” Liz Gannes has the links to each profile.
The YouTube Gurus: Of course, no self-respecting cover package would be without a profile of two guys who helped put the You in Tube. Go ahead. Read one more inside look at Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. It may not enlighten you about YouTube’s future but you’ll be able to play a mean game of start-up trivia. (His wife’s father is the Jim Clark. The Hurleys have a Wolf range.) One tidbit: YouTube execs are supposed to report to either Chad or Steve — and a corresponding Google exec.
Enough About You: Newscasting blogger Brian Williams struggles with the clash between personal news/media and the need to know.
Web Boom 2.0: B 2.0 editor Josh Quittner on why this boom is unlike the last one. Reason #1: “Most of us probably won’t get hurt this time. Then again, most of us won’t get rich either.”
And more …
So what does it all mean? Whatever you want it to. Seriously, it’s full of hype and overstatement but it’s also an admission that it’s not business as usual in the media world. How this will filter through to the re-imagining of Time itself could be as superficial as adding the right tools or as deep as changing POVs. Time will tell.