Wednesday, December 13

Mark Zuckerberg as Time Magazine's Person of The Year; is There Any Decency, Integrity, or Passion Left Among Print Publications Anymore?

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The thing about this is that I used to look up to Time Magazine.  When I was a child, long before conspiracy theories about print media being on the left or on the right, or as an propaganda arm of the government magazines like Time are responsible for my love of writing.  There are people in computers that have done revolutionary things; Bill Gates and Steve Jobs come to mind.  Whatever they did fundamentally altered the way that people have been doing things up to that point, and forever changed the way that we used technology.

But Mark Zuckerberg as a person of the year?  It seems as though the entire media has coalesced around this idea because of a good movie that has been put out about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.  Yet both have been around for a while, so why name him the person of the year now?  Is there anything revolutionary that has come out of Mark Zuckerberg, other than art imitating life, this year that would lead Time to name him as the person of the year.  If the best that programmers can offer are social networks like Facebook one has to worry about the future of software programming.  Social networks are as old as the Internet itself.  The only thing interesting about Facebook is that they finally made it cool by streamlining the process, giving it that brand name chic and putting a nice sheen and gloss on the practice. 

Back in the day people did not even realize that they were engaging in a social network.  If anyone has read the article, Time Magazine has devoted over 30 pages, almost 40, to the topic at hand.  Time Magazine is supposed to tell me something new or give me a different perspective on a personality when they choose their person of the year.  There is nothing fascinating about Mark Zuckerberg, nothing interesting that you can extrapolate and nothing new that has not already been said.  Nerds are not really that interesting, and there is nothing that Mark Zuckerberg has done that is fascinating.  Facebook is a good idea that, as most good ideas were, adapted, retooled and reconfigured, and reverse engineered from someone else’s good idea.  This doesn’t make Mark Zuckerberg a genius and it certainly does not make him the Person of the Year.

I am still trying to figure out just what is so great about Facebook.  It is social networking for everyone that does not want to get their hands dirty and learn the ins and outs of social networking.  It is social networking for those without any imagination or creativity.  Who cares what your friends are up to?  What are your friends up to, absolutely nothing, what do you talk to them about, absolutely nothing.  Some people are bright and learn how to extend their brand with Facebook, and others want to tell us what movies sucked. 

Time is supposed to be a leader, but now they are just followers.  The magazine has lost all credibility with me.  I thought that Newsweek was a good magazine as well but then I learned the hard way just how transparent they were. What good are print publications for these days?  The incredulous antics of a print publication to make an anti-social nerd seem cool; then again what else can you expect from an old dinosaur?

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