Time Magazine Last week, Time magazine named their annual “Person of the Year.” s This announcement always interests me and I believe it was last year that they named Bono and George Bush for a tie, but this year, it’s not a celebrity, politician or Nobel prize winner on the cover of one of the nation’s most respected news magazines. The Time Person of the Year, this year…is Y.O.U. and that means me too!

There’s a great quote in the opening paragraph too that states, “The “Great Man” theory of history is usually attributed to the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, who wrote that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men.” He believed that it is the few, the powerful and the famous who shape our collective destiny as a species. That theory took a serious beating this year.”

Time usually recognizes a significant person in the news during the course of the year and we’ve seen everyone from Hitler to Saddam Hussein and John Kennedy to Mother Teresa on these pages. This year, their editor chose to recognize and important disruption and shift in the media sphere.

We are no longer just passive observers of the world. Our new technologies have tipped the balance of power and “the media” that once brought down information from the top down has flipped and the new grass roots of cell phone pictures, videos, blogs and other 21st century terms is pointing all of the press – back at you.

There are a couple of interesting arguments and before I present those short diversions, let me say that I enjoy my new found virtual ego. But underneath it, is still a troubling interest in improving my own juggling of words and thoughts. Even though to some this new found, Andy Warhol (everyone will be famous for 15 minute) era has me fretting about my words as they hang out like sheets in the breeze on this open space on the Net, I still find it encouraging to think anyone would take the time to follow this trail of characters.

Nevertheless, one the other essays in the magazine points to all the current social websites as a platform for the descendants of Andy Warhol and that stark phrase “in the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes” suddenly takes on prophetic appeal.

JOSH TYRANGIEL has some intriguing insight too into Warhol and how our modern age of self-expression has brought us into a new era and this year, Time figured out that its’ been on the top of our headlines for months now so the appointment seems appropriate.

In contrast though, we’ve recognized some interesting trends at the Times-News Online and other social websites. It takes a while for a critical mass to aggregate and its slow going. We watch lots of spectators, but it’s safe to say that only a fraction of people would care to wrestle both thoughts and words into a forum, but they do. Not only words, but pictures too – now everyone is a potential Paparazzi and there’s money in those hills. Instead of Brittany Spears night out though, I most reminded by the cell phone photos from recent natural disasters from regular folks – just like you and me – in the right place at the right (or wrong) time.

Dan Rather is own HDTV now. I liked watching him watching him at CBS and even though is makeup is a little less forgiving, he’s an old school newsman who does a great job. Each time I watch him though I recall all of the new media books over the past few years that point back to RatherGate (Dan’s blunder on the George Bush documents) as one of those moments in history – a tipping point in which media on-high turned upside down and the view from the outside in has yet to reveal all of its cultural potential.

Nevertheless, I applaud the editors at Time. A provocative and original idea for person of the year…You and I’m glad to be a part.