Time Picks You, and You, and You

Just spent a peaceful evening reading through Time’s Person of the Year issue. Their choice: you. That’s “you” as in user-generated content, web 2.0, YouTube.

My initial impression was skepticism — c’mon, it’s a gimmick — but I’m impressed with the cast of characters Time put together to show its story. Sure, there’s another photoshoot with Chad and Steve, but there’s also some well-written commentary. However, by far the most interesting part is profiles of 15 “you”s.

Problem is, the profiles are quite hard to page through online, and there are no links! My comments are in italics. The rest comes straight from the articles.

  1. Leila, The Real Lonelygirl: “Sometimes she doesn’t speak at all, just runs words across the screen while melancholy singer-songwriter stuff plays in the background.” Link.
  2. Lane Hudson, The Washington Whistle-Blogger: The guy who published Mark Foley’s inappropriate emails complains, “I like to tell people that I’m the only person fired over this whole scandal, and I’m the person who told the truth.”
  3. Ali Khurshid, Flickr member from Pakistan: This one reeks a little too strongly of Kool-Aid. “Fortunately for Khurshid, he lives at a time when a solo shutterbug can have the same reach as a staff photographer at the New York Times.” Link.
  4. Megan Gill, random Facebook user: “Can Facebook be a way to avoid dealing with people face to face? Gill’s answer has a whiff of intergenerational snobbism. ‘If anything, my friends and I are more in touch than was ever possible before,’ she says. ‘Older people had handwritten letters or called each other or whatever. I mean, really, we have a much more convenient way of doing things.'”
  5. Lee Kelley, military blogger: Time writer Lev Grossman comments, “Unlike generations of soldiers before them, they’re writing for history.” Personally, I think it’s more interesting that their readers get this in near real time. Link.
  6. S.R. Sidarth, the guy George Allen called “macaca”: “It was definitely not Sidarth’s idea to put the clip on YouTube. ‘Getting drawn out into the limelight was really surprising,’ he says, and he means it.”
  7. Waz and Lenny, The Un-Emerils: Makers of the unpretentious Crash Test Kitchen cooking show. Hadn’t watched this one before. Subscribed.
  8. Harriet Klausner, number one Amazon book reviewer: OK, kind of old news, but she’s still at it, and it’s impressive that she reads (and reviews) four to six books per day.
  9. Wang Xiaofeng, irreverent Chinese blogger: “He might be the most respected blogger in China, precisely because he respects almost nothing.” Link.
  10. Tila Tequila, The Madonna Of MySpace: Great quote: “There’s a million hot naked chicks on the Internet,” she says. “There’s a difference between those girls and me. Those chicks don’t talk back to you.” Link.
  11. Smosh, star YouTube goof-offs: Anthony Padilla: “There seems to be a huge potential in what we’re doing, so we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. And if nothing comes out of it—well, whatever.” Link.
  12. Kamini, rapper from the French countryside: “I couldn’t rap about ‘bitches’ and ‘hos’ and do that whole gangsta thing,” he says, “because it’s not true. It’s not my life.” Link.
  13. Simon Pulsifer, unemployed Wikipedia contributor: While we’re at it, why not do the number one Wikipedia contributor? Except he’s actually number two (in terms of edits) now.
  14. Kim Hye Won, OhMyNews Citizen Reporter of the Year: Quote is a bit infomercial, but it’s good: “Korean housewives become nameless after marriage. They are often just called someone’s wife or someone’s mother. I finally found my name through OhMyNews.”
  15. Blake Ross, early Firefox contributor: His inclusion is a little confusing, and that comes through in the write-up.

Om addresses another article in the package, which ponders the existence of bubble 2.0, on his personal blog.