You (Time Person of the Year)

You (Time Person of the Year)

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"You" were chosen in 2006, as Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine's Person of the Year. It recognized you and the millions of people who anonymously contribute user-generated content
User-generated content
User generated content covers a range of media content available in a range of modern communications technologies. It entered mainstream usage during 2005 having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles...

 to Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

, YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

, MySpace
MySpace
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

, Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

, the GNU/Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 operating system and the multitudes of other websites featuring user contribution
Web 2.0
The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web...

.

Background


While most earlier "person of the year" winners have been historically important individuals
Great man theory
The Great Man Theory was a popular 19th century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of "great men", or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or Machiavellianism utilized their power in a way that...

, some were symbolic representatives of a class of people, and a few were inanimate: the Computer ("Machine of the Year" in 1982), and "Endangered Earth" ("Planet of the Year" in 1988).

Similar media awards had already recognized the growing significance of online community and user-generated content: "you!" was ranked first in Business 2.0
Business 2.0
Business 2.0 was a monthly magazine publication founded by magazine entrepreneur Chris Anderson, Mark Gross, and journalist James Daly in order to chronicle the rise of the "New Economy"...

list of "50 people who matter now" in July 2006; while ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 had listed blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

gers as "People of the Year" for 2004.

Decision


In accordance with Time annual process, different bureau
News bureau
A News bureau is an office for gathering or distributing news. Similar terms are used for specialized bureaus, often to indicate geographic location or scope of coverage: a ‘Tokyo bureau’ refers to a given news operation's office in Tokyo; foreign bureau is a generic term for a news office set up...

x suggested different candidates. "You," or "the YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 guys," was floated in November as a possible winner. Readers' opinions were canvassed online. The final decision was made by managing editor
Managing editor
A managing editor is a senior member of a publication's management team.In the United States, a managing editor oversees and coordinates the publication's editorial activities...

 Richard Stengel
Richard Stengel
Richard "Rick" Stengel is an American editor, journalist and author and is Time magazine's 16th managing editor. While best known for his work for Time, he has written a number of books including a collaboration with Nelson Mandela on Mandela's autobiography...

.

The decision was announced in the issue of 13 December 2006. The cover of the magazine featured an iMac
IMac
The iMac is a range of all-in-one Macintosh desktop computers built by Apple. It has been the primary part of Apple's consumer desktop offerings since its introduction in 1998, and has evolved through five distinct forms....

 computer monitor with a reflective
Reflection (physics)
Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two differentmedia so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated. Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves...

 mylar pane appearing as the window of a YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

-like video player, intended to reflect as online content the visage of whoever picks up the magazine. The time remaining indicator in the image indicates a total duration of "20:06," a visual pun connecting this ubiquitous bit of interface design to the year in which it gained ascendancy in Time view. Stories on the new user-driven media dynamic were provided by NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 editor Brian Williams
Brian Williams
Brian Douglas Williams is the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news program of the NBC television network, a position he assumed in 2004...

 and Time magazine editors Lev Grossman
Lev Grossman
Lev Grossman is an American novelist and journalist, notably the author of the novels Warp , Codex , The Magicians and The Magician King...

 and Richard Stengel
Richard Stengel
Richard "Rick" Stengel is an American editor, journalist and author and is Time magazine's 16th managing editor. While best known for his work for Time, he has written a number of books including a collaboration with Nelson Mandela on Mandela's autobiography...

. As Grossman describes, "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."

Criticism


The choice was criticized for being a short-sighted gimmick which ignored other newsmakers of the year. Pundit Paul Kedrosky called it an "incredible cop-out," and speculated that the selection marked "some sort of near-term market top for user-generated content." Kevin Friedl noted the award and cover design recalled the mirror
Mirror
A mirror is an object that reflects light or sound in a way that preserves much of its original quality prior to its contact with the mirror. Some mirrors also filter out some wavelengths, while preserving other wavelengths in the reflection...

 viewed by the protagonist, the Dude, of The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski is a 1998 comedy film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Jeff Bridges stars as Jeff Lebowski, an unemployed Los Angeles slacker and avid bowler, who is referred to as "The Dude". After a case of mistaken identity, The Dude is introduced to a millionaire also named...

, via which the viewer's reflection was framed as Time "Man of the Year."

Additionally, the decision raised some criticism as it was described as ideological and even hypocritical. Some weeks before the announcement, Time decided to ask the users in a poll "Who Should Be Person of the Year?" After several weeks, the poll winner by a wide margin was Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

, with 35% of the votes. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came in second. Yet Time decided to ignore those results and did not mention them in the announcement of the Person of the Year. Its critics underline that Time ignores its digital democracy among its readers. Time supporters argue that an online poll is not representative as it has no scientific value. Thus, such a decision should not be based on it. The link
Link
Link, links, linking may refer to:- Education :* Hands On Learning Australia, implements the HOL LiNK program -Music:* Link , an American R&B singer...

 to the online poll results has been removed. In addition, Peter Sagal said on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is an hour-long weekly radio news panel game show produced by Chicago Public Radio and National Public Radio. It is distributed by NPR in the United States, internationally on NPR Worldwide and on the Internet via podcast, and typically broadcast on weekends by member...

that if "we" truly controlled the media, "we would have picked a much better choice for the Person of the Year issue."