It was probably just a matter of time (in fact, one blogger predicted it in advance), but TIME magazine has seen fit to bestow its yearly honor on someone more important and influential than Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Muqtdada al-Sadr, or even George W. Bush.
The 2006 Time Person of the Year is…you. Or rather, we. We who contribute to online communities, blogs, and other user-generated content. We who put the You in YouTube and the My in Myspace.
Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I’m not going to watch Lost tonight. I’m going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I’m going to mash up 50 Cent’s vocals with Queen’s instrumentals? I’m going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?
The answer is, you do. And 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.
Of course, I’d like to offer my congratulations to some people in particular.
Congratulations to Joy, who writes about everything from affordable housing to rail transit to hot pink Crocs.
Congratulations to Eric, who airs his opinions on travel, marathons, current events and whatever come to mind. And that’s a lot.
Congratulations to Steve, a.k.a. Linkmeister, who won’t stop writing until he’s nailed the current presidential administration to the wall on civil liberties, human rights, and other atrocities.
Congratulations to Richard, who continues to long for a day when Israeli and Palestinians can live in peace, and who is not afraid to say, “A pox o’ both your houses,” to achieve that end.
Muchos congratulations to Ryan, who has probably done more than anyone else in Hawaii to foster the online community, running a message board on all things Hawaii, creating a podcast, and also keeping a blog himself in between all of that.
It’s time to give ourselves a collective pat on the back. We’ve earned it.