The Time Person Of The Year was announced today. Many seem to think Julian Assange should have won having handily beaten everyone else in the online poll — I reckon Wikileaks made the most impact in the world this year, if not Assange. (Even if you disagree with Wikileaks, it was still the biggest villain. And Hitler, Stalin are former winners. It is not always an honour.)

Go through a list of some of the recent winners, and you will see what a gimmick the Time Person Of The Year is. Heck, ‘You’ were the Time Person Of The Year 2006. Further, compare the frequency of non-Americans winning it a few decades ago to the frequency now. It has become centered around America and the rest of the world America heard about during the year — cue Chilean miners, who were in the shortlisted five.

The Person Of The Year is now an attention-seeking gimmick that is executed — and this is my guess or you could say, prejudice — without the balls required to acknowledge who made the greatest impact in the world this year.

This doesn’t take away any honour from Mark Zuckerberg, the winner. It merely reduces my respect for Time.


Comment at Slashdot:

Wikileaks is taking the data of large organizations and putting it in the hands of the public. Facebook is taking the data of details of the public’s lives and putting it into the hands of private organizations.


The Onion pwns Time’s Person Of The Year with its own award and good satire:

It would be impossible to list the most influential people of 2010 without recognizing the individual who made the biggest splash in technology this year: the iPad. That’s right, the iPad. Did you see what we did there? We replaced the human being you naturally expected in a list of the year’s most prominent newsmakers with an inanimate object, Apple’s new tablet computer. We just played with your expectations in an incredibly clever way.

It might not be surprising to find the launch of the iPad discussed among the year’s biggest stories. We easily could have written about Steve Jobs, the iconic CEO of Apple, and adequately described the iPad in that predictable context. But instead, we made the radically unorthodox decision to grant this product—a one-and-a-half-pound wafer of aluminum and glass, mind you—the same status accorded to members of the human race. You’ve already read through a number of stories constructed around people, but just when you expected to encounter another, we pulled the rug right out from under you.

This year, we are choosing a computer as one of the most influential people of 2010.

Oh and if this sounds improbable: The Computer was the Time Person Of The Year in 1982.