You (Time Person of the Year)

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Cover of the December 25, 2006 issue. Gray area is a reflective mirror surface. Time youcover01.jpg
Cover of the December 25, 2006 issue. Gray area is a reflective mirror surface.

"You" were chosen in 2006 as Time magazine's Person of the Year. The magazine set out to recognize the millions of people who anonymously contribute user-generated content to wikis and other websites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and the multitudes of other websites featuring user contribution. [1] [2]

Time is an American weekly news magazine and news website published in New York City. It was founded in 1923 and originally run by Henry Luce. A European edition is published in London and also covers the Middle East, Africa, and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong. The South Pacific edition, which covers Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, is based in Sydney. In December 2008, Time discontinued publishing a Canadian advertiser edition.

Person of the Year is an annual issue of the United States news magazine Time that features and profiles a person, a group, an idea, or an object that "for better or for worse... has done the most to influence the events of the year".

User-generated content Online content created by users

User-generated content (UGC), alternatively known as user-created content (UCC), is any form of content, such as images, videos, text and audio, that have been posted by users on online platforms such as social media and wikis. The term "user-generated content" and the concept it refers to entered mainstream usage in the mid-2000s, having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles. The BBC adopted a user-generated content platform for its websites in 2005, and TIME Magazine named "You" as the Person of the Year in 2006, referring to the rise in the production of UGC on Web 2.0 platforms. CNN also invested in developed a similar user generated content platform, known as iReport. There are several other examples of news channels implementing similar protocols, especially in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe or terrorist attack. Social media users are able to provide key eyewitness content and information that may otherwise have been inaccessible. Due to new media and technology affordances, such as low cost and low barriers to entry, the Internet is an easy platform to create and dispense user generated content, allowing the dissemination of information at a rapid pace in the wake an event taking place. However, UGC is not solely limited to mainstream news or media.


While the status had been given before to inanimate objects, with the personal computer being the "Machine of the Year" for 1982, [3] [2] as well as collections of people or an abstract representative of a movement, the choice of "You" attracted criticism from commentators in publications such as The Atlantic for being too much of a pop culture gimmick. [4] [2] A 2014 New York Daily News article named the 2006 award as one of the ten most controversial "Person of the Year" moments in the history of Time. [2] However, the news-magazine experienced generally successful sales.

Personal computer Computer intended for use by an individual person

A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician. Unlike large costly minicomputer and mainframes, time-sharing by many people at the same time is not used with personal computers.

<i>The Atlantic</i> Magazine and multi-platform publisher based in Washington, D.C.

The Atlantic is an American magazine and multi-platform publisher. It was founded in 1857 in Boston, Massachusetts, as The Atlantic Monthly, a literary and cultural commentary magazine that published leading writers' commentary on the abolition of slavery, education, and other major issues in contemporary political affairs. Its founders included Francis H. Underwood and prominent writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Greenleaf Whittier. James Russell Lowell was its first editor. It was also known for publishing literary pieces by leading writers.


A gimmick is a novel device or idea designed primarily to attract attention or increase appeal, often with little intrinsic value. When applied to retail marketing, it is a unique or quirky feature designed to make a product or service "stand out" from its competitors. Product gimmicks are sometimes considered mere novelties, and tangential to the product's functioning. Gimmicks are occasionally viewed negatively, but some seemingly trivial gimmicks of the past have evolved into useful, permanent features.


While most earlier choices for "Person of the Year" have been historically important individuals, many of them infamous rather than internationally popular (Adolf Hitler was 1938's "Man of the Year", and Ayatollah Khomeini won in 1979), [2] [5] a few were inanimate. The personal computer was the "Machine of the Year" for 1982, [3] while the "Endangered Earth" was the "Planet of the Year" for 1988. [6] [2] Collections of people as well as a symbolic representative of multiple individuals had also won the award before; for example, "U.S. Scientists" were named "Men of the Year" in 1960. [5]

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Earth Third planet from the Sun in the Solar System

Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon, Earth's only natural satellite. Earth orbits around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time, Earth rotates about its axis about 366.26 times.

Similar media awards had already recognized the growing significance of online community and user-generated content: "You!" were ranked first in Business 2.0 's list of "50 people who matter now" in July 2006; [7] while ABC News had listed bloggers as "People of the Year" for 2006. [8]

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". First published in July 1998, the magazine was sold to Time Inc., then the publishing division of Time Warner, in July 2001. The magazine failed to make sufficient profit and was shut down; the final issue being published in October 2007. It was based in San Francisco, California.

ABC News News division of the American Broadcasting Company

ABC News is the news division of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). Its flagship program is the daily evening newscast ABC World News Tonight with David Muir; other programs include morning news-talk show Good Morning America, Nightline, Primetime, and 20/20, and Sunday morning political affairs program This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, "multi-author blogs" (MABs) emerged, featuring the writing of multiple authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.


In accordance with Time's annual process, different bureaus suggested different candidates. [9] "You", or "the YouTube guys", was floated in November as a possible winner. [10] Readers' opinions were canvassed online. [9] The final decision was made by managing editor Richard Stengel.

A news bureau is an office for gathering or distributing news. Similar terms are used for specialized bureaux, 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 in a country other than the primary operations center; a ‘Washington bureau’ is an office, typically located in Washington, D.C., that covers news related to national politics in the United States. The person in charge of a news bureau is often called the bureau chief.

YouTube Video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

A managing editor (ME) is a senior member of a publication's management team. Typically, the managing editor reports directly to the editor in chief and oversees all aspects of the publication.

The decision was announced in Time's December 13, 2006 issue. [1] The cover of the magazine featured an iMac computer monitor with a reflective mylar pane appearing as the window of a YouTube-like video player, intended to reflect as online content the visage of whoever picks up the magazine. [1] 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's view. Stories on the new user-driven media dynamic were provided by NBC editor Brian Williams [11] and Time magazine editors Lev Grossman [1] and Richard Stengel. [12] As Grossman describes, "It's about the many wrestling 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."

iMac All-in-one desktop computer designed and built by Apple Inc and manufactured by Foxconn

iMac is a family of all-in-one Macintosh desktop computers designed and built by Apple Inc. It has been the primary part of Apple's consumer desktop offerings since its debut in August 1998, and has evolved through seven distinct forms.

Reflection (physics) Change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated

Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated. Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves. The law of reflection says that for specular reflection the angle at which the wave is incident on the surface equals the angle at which it is reflected. Mirrors exhibit specular reflection.


BoPET is a polyester film made from stretched polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and is used for its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, reflectivity, gas and aroma barrier properties, and electrical insulation.


The choice was criticized for being a short-sighted gimmick which ignored the existence of many prominent individuals that had shaped the events of the past year. Pundit Paul Kedrosky called it an "incredible cop-out", and he also speculated that the selection marked "some sort of near-term market top for user-generated content". [13] Commentator Kevin Friedl noted that the award and cover design recalled the mirror viewed by the protagonist, the Dude, of The Big Lebowski , via which the viewer's reflection was framed as Time's "Man of the Year". [14]

In December 2012, journalist David A. Graham wrote for The Atlantic that he thought Time had shown "a pattern of lackluster choices" and the overall promotional nature of the process shouldn't be treated as news, rather simply viewed as marketing. He remarked, "Is anyone out there not sick of people ironically listing 'Time Person of the Year, 2006' in Twitter bios, a reference to the gimmicky selection of 'You' that year?" [4]

Additionally, the decision raised some criticism as it was described as ideological and even hypocritically political. 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, the president of Venezuela, with 35% of the votes. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came in second. Time decided to ignore those results and did not mention them in the announcement of their "Person of the Year". Its critics underlined 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. The hyperlink to the online poll results has been removed. [15] A 2014 New York Daily News article, which named the "You" naming as one of the ten most controversial "Person of the Year" moments in the history of Time, also remarked that "2006 had its fair share of newsmakers" while highlighting both "Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad". [2]

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Hugo Chávez President of Venezuela (1999-2013)

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Social software, also known as social apps, include communication and interactive tools often based on the Internet. Communication tools typically handle the capturing, storing and presentation of communication, usually written but increasingly including audio and video as well. Interactive tools handle mediated interactions between a pair or group of users. They focus on establishing and maintaining a connection among users, facilitating the mechanics of conversation and talk. Social software generally refers to software that makes collaborative behaviour, the organisation and moulding of communities, self-expression, social interaction and feedback possible for individuals. Another element of the existing definition of social software is that it allows for the structured mediation of opinion between people, in a centralized or self-regulating manner. The most improved area for social software is that Web 2.0 applications can all promote cooperation between people and the creation of online communities more than ever before.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Lev Grossman (December 13, 2006). "Time's Person of the Year: You". Time. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Time Magazine's 10 most controversial People of the Year". Daily News. New York. 10 December 2014.
  3. 1 2 "TIME Magazine Cover: The Computer, Machine of the Year - Jan. 3, 1983". Time.
  4. 1 2 "Everyone Should Ignore Time's Person of the Year". The Atlantic. 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  5. 1 2 "Person of the Year: A Photo History". Time. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  6. "TIME Magazine Cover: Endangered Earth, Planet of the Year - Jan. 2, 1989". Time.
  7. "50 people who matter now". 2006-06-21. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  8. "People of the Year: Bloggers". 2004-12-30. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  9. 1 2 Cohn, David (December 19, 2007). "Behind Time Magazine's Choice for Person of the Year -- An Interview with Stephen Koepp". Archived from the original on April 6, 2009.
  10. Time Magazine Has an Award For "You" by David Cohn on November 15, 2006
  11. Enough About You, Brian Williams, Dec. 16, 2006
  12. Now It's Your Turn, Richard Stengel, Dec. 16, 2006
  13. Paul Kedrosky (16 December 2006). "I Call "Market Top" on "You"". Infectious Greed. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  14. Time's Person of the Year - An Initial Response by Kevin Friedl on December 18, 2006
  15. "Chavez wins "Person of the Year" poll ... Time magazine ignores result". Hands Off Venezuela. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 2009-12-05.