Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, December 18, 2006

Time Person of the Year
I think that Time Magazine's decision to turn the tables on the prestigious Person of the Year award and award it to "us" (read: You and I and everyone else in the world), is a very interesting piece of social and technological commentary. I think it is timeous and significant, and also very brave to break from a decades-old tradition.

Although taken much further in the First World economies, the last few years have seen a complete change in how content is generated and how consumer decisions are made . Think about it; you balance your reading of the news by reading this blog for more analysis; you check Amazon user reviews before you buy a book or CD; you forgo Encyclopedia's in favour of Wikipedia; you read user sections on travel sites to learn secrets of the places you're visiting; you watch video of your favourite band playing live on YouTube. All content made by "us". You and me.

The whole Web 2.0 style of collaboration and content generation has huge implications for companies and marketers the world over, and heralds a new dawn in user democracy. It's an insightful move on Time's part, and I applaud them for giving the shift the significance it deserves.