Time magazine has announced its Person of the Year, naming Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg the most influential person of 2010. Zuckerberg, 26, created the website in 2004 when he was a student at Harvard University. Today there are more than 500 million registered users of the site around the world. Facebook has revolutionized social networking and quite possibly the Internet itself. This year, a movie was released based on Zuckerberg’s life around the time of the creation of the site called The Social Network, which received six Golden Globes nominations including Best Motion Picture (Drama).
Of course, the impact Zuckerberg had on social media is immense. Many Time readers voted for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to have the honor, and perhaps he was more deserving. However, Assange’s influence and notoriety has only just began. Had anyone really heard of him before this year? Assange hasn’t necessarily reached his peak (of perhaps infamy) yet. This honor for Zuckerberg was perhaps years in the making, with this year possibly being the year of putting the internet pioneer in the forefront. If nothing else, maybe this was the year Time finally got to honor him as their person of the year.
2010 was a year that saw the Internet’s increasing power on people’s everyday lives. If there was any year that possibly solidified the Internet’s presence on society it was this year. “Friending” is an everyday term now. People market their businesses and services via the site. E-mail has almost become irrelevant as a means of communication because you can send messages to your friend on Facebook or talk through them through Facebook’s chat feature. And who sends their vacation or baby photos through a bulk file on an email anymore? You have the photo albums feature on Facebook for that.
Assange’s influence is slowly emerging. He has a loyal legion on followers who are seeking to make sure WikiLeaks stays online. His time is coming, but naming him Time’s Person of the Year for the year 2010 would have been a little premature. Maybe 2011 will be his year, especially given the headlines surrounding him as of late, but he wasn’t the main headline-making person of 2010. If anything, 2010 is the buildup to the year of Julian Assange. This is Zuckerberg’s year because of the culmination of not only his influence, but his celebrity. He’s a household name with a big, critically acclaimed movie about him. 2010 was the year that saw Facebook officially become a staple of society and how we live our lives. It’s made our internet lives a bit easier, and has made itself the go-to internet destination. There is no one in recent memory who has done so much for social marketing, social networking and communication as a whole. There’s no one who has come close to that, and perhaps no one will.
Thomson, Amy, “Facebook Founder Zuckerberg Named Time Person of Year”, BusinessWeek.com
Bamigboye, Bami, “The King’s Speech rules over Hollywood as British film leads Golden Globe 2011 nominations with seven nods”, the Daily Mail