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“You” Are Time’s Person of the Year

December 17, 2006 Media 5 Comments

Time Magazine has named “You” their 2006 Person of the Year. Time says they could have named many individuals from 2006 stories, and they go on to name a number of world-wide events, then write:

“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 cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. 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.

The tool that makes this possible is the World Wide Web. Not the Web that Tim Berners-Lee hacked together (15 years ago, according to Wikipedia) as a way for scientists to share research. It’s not even the overhyped dotcom Web of the late 1990s. The new Web is a very different thing. It’s a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Silicon Valley consultants call it Web 2.0, as if it were a new version of some old software. But it’s really a revolution.”

We’ve certainly seen this revolution here in St. Louis as this blog and others has changed the face of local politics and media. From Antonio French’s outstanding videos, some receiving national attention, to the Urban St. Louis discussion forum the community is coming together online to discuss ideas, expression visions and coordinate efforts.  The only folks not on board with the revolution are our leaders, the group desperately trying to freeze time or hope this whole internet communication thing blows over.  We are fully within the information age and it is about time St. Louis’ leadership begins to understand that.  After all, we are Time’s Person of the Year.


Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. publiceye says:

    “The only folks not on board with the revolution are our leaders, the group desperately trying to freeze time or hope this whole internet communication thing blows over.”

    Of course, your general statement excepts http://www.MayorSlay.com (which you frequently cite) and, even, the always informative PresidentShrewsbury.com, right?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Not exactly.  Both sites are basically just websites — without comments you don’t get the community building dynamic found on blogs.  Both sites are as interactive as St. Louis’ main website.  Internet communication is a two-way street, a foreign concept in St. Louis politics.]

  2. Rhea says:

    So it really is all about me. I mean, us.

  3. a ninny mouse says:

    wanting to play devil’s advocate here….

    why make a generalization that internet communication is a foreign concept in STL politics? Could the perception be based on the fact that 1. those “in power” (elected officials) realize that not everyone a. has internet access, b. internet expertise, or c. all of the above? (and please don’t cite the public library is always available because their numerous technology assistants will remind you that regular folks have a tough time with basic surfing) or 2. that the “doing of the politics” actually manifests itself in what you, Antonio, the Oracle, etc are doing; the blogging, the criticism (good and bad), the call for action?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Very good questions, thank you.  Yes, not everyone has internet, no doubt.  The fact that DSL is still not available in many neighborhoods, including mine, is problematic.  I can afford the $45/month for Charter high-speed but not everyone can.  I’ve raised this issue before but the non-technical leaders don’t seem to grasp the idea.  Other cities are moving forward with plans for city-wide wifi that can be offered free with advertising, great for those without the means to buy internet service.  This is important to helping students in our schools do research.  

    But that was not  your point.  Your point was communication via the internet won’t reach everyone.  Agreed!  But, varying quality neighborhood newsletters don’t reach everyone, nor does the Post-Dispatch.  The Suburban Journal reaches everyone to the point of being litter, I had my service stopped years ago so as not to have to recycle all that paper.   Those reached by various neighborhood meetings is quite low, depending upon neighborhood or subject matter.  No means of communication is the silver bullet here.

    Internet as a foreign concept in St. Louis politics is not because of a lack of understanding, really.  They fully understand the power of the internet to reach people — something they don’t really want to do.  They do not want to actually make various reports and such accessible via the internet — then people might actually read them and expect follow through.   Internet communications as a back and forth exchange of ideas between interested parties is not in the interest of ward-based factionalized politics.  They will continue to resist until we break down the system that has sustained St. Louis politics since 1876.]

  4. Mike G. says:

    This was the first year that I really felt like the world had been changed by the internet. All of the hype I’ve been hearing since ’95 (approx?) seemed to finally come to fruition. Chris Andersons’ The Long Tail does an adequate job of explaining the changes the WWW has made to the world of business and beyond.


  5. progress this says:

    Speaking of comments, yo KDHX, how about allowing callers to comment on Collateral Damage?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I think it would be very interesting to take some phone calls during the show!  We’d need an hour show — the time literally flies by so quickly as it is.  An hour would allow the hosts to take a few phone calls.  I just show up once a month.]


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