THE BLOG

People of the Year: Us

12/20/2006 08:22 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

"But look at 2006 through a different lens and you'll see another story, one that isn't about conflict or great men. It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. . . . 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."--Lev Grossman, from, "Person of the Year: YOU", TIME.

By now you've probably seen the announcement that TIME has named "you" the person of the year. The you that writes blogs, creates podcasts, shares open source applications, creates entries on Wikipedia, posts videos on YouTube, meets friends on MySpace and chats with avatars on Second Life. But rather than the person of the year being the you in user, isn't it the us in users? Isn't the goal of the social web to create an us, a sense of connection, a community?

The social web works because of community and trust among us, the people of the world, who have realized that it is a small world after all and the butterfly effect is real. We can ignore that connection and think that our individual lives don't affect one another, or we can recognize our part in the global community and make a difference.

For social change organizations and activists, social web tools can be an affordable way to give more people the information, tools and opportunities they need to create change. But, we also need to remember that many people do not have access to this web 2.0 world whether through disability, illiteracy, or poverty. We need to make sure that the "us" actually includes all of us.

We are the ones we have been waiting for, we have the tools to work together, let's do it.

Cross-posted from NetSquared blog.

By now you've probably seen the announcement that TIME has named "you" the person of the year. But rather than the person of the year being the you in user, isn't it the us in users?