Individual users have ascended to form the greatest influence on the world in 2006, said Time magazine as it declared "you" as its person of the year.
User generated content represents a "story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before," the publication wrote in an editorial. The company cited Youtube, Myspace and Wikipedia as examples of the trend, but also open source projects and user reviews on Amazon.
"It's about the many wresting 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."
Time is relatively late in acknowledging the relevance of user generated content. Merriam-Webster declared "blog" its word of the year in December 2005.
Time cautioned however that the Web 2.0 so far is merely an experiment that can still fail because blogs are also used to manipulate stock prices and spread hatred or inaccurate information.
The publication every year praises a single person or group of people for making a major impact on the world. Last year Bill Gates was elected for his charitable work, together with his wife Melinda and U2 rock star Bono.
Gates' foundation has been credited with saving 700,000 people with its investments in vaccination programs. Bill Gates earlier this year said that he would retire from Microsoft by 2008 to allow him to devote himself fulltime to his charitable work.
Time lauds user generated content
By Tom Sanders on Dec 19, 2006 9:17AM