Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Zuckerberg as Time's Person of the Year

I don't take much stock in Time's "Person of the Year", but I must say I thought Julian Assange of Wikileaks fame was a lock, but I think that choice was a bit too radioactive. I just wonder if in a decade that Zuckerberg or Facebook are still a going concern or fall back into the woodwork like so much AOL and their signature, "You Got Mail"::

Not to knock Zuckerberg, but I could see Facebook being the "technology of the year", which seems to be the driving reason for the choice. In 1982, the computer was the machine of the year::

My thoughts on that choice with 20/20 hindsight is that this was about 14-15 years early. I feel that the computer really became an important, everyday technology with the adoption of the web. My point being is that it's often hard to gauge what's a "big" idea and when. While Facebook may seem like a gamechanging technology that's ubiquitous, I wonder if this will actually come to pass as living up to the hype.

Anyway, maybe Time is being prescient by choosing Zuckerberg for Person of the Year. Here's Lev Grossman, a Time senior writer talks to CNN about the choice::

I'm curious on how Zuckerberg's Facebook evolves with Web 3.0, which might be at cross-purposes with user concerns about privacy. I don't dispute that Facebook will get to 1B users worldwide in 2012, but I wonder about its interoperability with other sites and how it will relate to Google. I say this, as I think there is an anthropological meaning system that users have with respect to Facebook. I think it does a great job of social reproduction, but it's more problematic when it comes to bridging functions—since users often aren't interested in knowing strangers. Facebook is trying to be a one-stop social networking site, but fails to consider that users may want to compartmentalize their ties:
  • Familial
  • Social
  • Economic & work-related
  • Political
  • Entertainment
Given that there's an emphasis on "real" identities, I feel a great emancipatory possibility of networks has been lost—although I understand why technology is evolving this way. It makes it more commercially viable.

Twitterversion:: [blog] Thoughts on Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as Time's Person of the Year. What? Not Assange‽ @Prof_K

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