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Mark Zuckerberg 2010 Man of the Year

Time's Magazine's 2010 Person of the Year

According to Time Magazine editors the path to becoming the 2010 Man of the Year was quite simple. The nominee needed to:

  1. Be “very affable, … in the moment, … quick-witted”
  2. “Accomplish… something that’s never been done before.”
  3. Have “a warm presence, not a cold one.“
  4. Have a “quick smile” and don’t “shy away from eye contact.”
  5. Be one who can ‘think fast and talk fast, but want you to keep up.’
  6. Be one who “exudes not anger or social anxiety, but a weird calm”
  7. Be liked by one’s co-workers, and lastly
  8. ‘Create a new system of exchanging information’ – one ‘that has become both indispensable and sometimes a little frightening” — and it’s changing our lives “in ways that are innovative and even optimistic.”

Time’s choice for 2010 is Mark Zuckerberg. Unlike the year 2006, “You” weren’t selected again.

The person who garnered the most public, online votes and who especially matched all eight criteria is Julian Assange.

Now I realize that since 1979 when Time Magazine nominated Ayatollah Khomeini as the Man of the Year, the editors have limited their choice to people who are not controversial in the US. By that standard Assange and WikiLeaks clearly are out of the running. Zuckerberg, however, is not without his own flaws considering how Facebook got its start.

Look at reason #8 again. Is there not a strong case that whistleblower systems like WikiLeaks are ultimately more indispensable to humanity and yet also, simultaneously frightening, innovative and optimistic?

Would you rather have a society where there is a free, transparent and uncensored exchange of ideas? Or do your priorities rest with chatting across cyberspace with friends and playing Farmville?

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Facebook on Earth Map - 12/2010

Facebook on Earth

Paul Butler, an intern on Facebook’s data infrastructure engineering team, has produced a fascinating map of the cyber-connected planet.

You may be familiar with photographs of planet Earth from space that shows human generated lighting. You know, your back porch light,  factories, streetlights, vehicle in the interstate, lights, etc.  This new digital rendering is different. It visualizes the computer-based relationships of people on the planet. Cyberspace is shown to be real people living in not only the urban cores, but, the remotest outposts of the Arctic tundra, villages on Pacific atolls, and oases of the desert.

Like, Wow!

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What a hoot! Enjoy this hilarious melodrama about social media addiction:

Related Post: Social Media in a Walled Garden

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Social Media BrandsIn my recent blog about dangers of social media I made reference to my IT work over the last twenty years. It wasn’t until after the blog was published that the significance of the time span hit me like a 2 x 4. Twenty years! How many of us remember that the first website was created only 20 years ago in December.

How did I pick that topic at this time? Was my subconscious directing me write on the subject because of the anniversary? Serendipity? Some unter-geek, genetic, internal clock awakening my limbic brain? I don’t know.

How interesting then to see a far more prescient, but related article by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, just published by Scientific American Magazine on the web: Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality

Berners-Lee assails the corporatization of the web, governmental threats to freedom of speech, and the `walled garden’ approach to social media sites.

The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.

He remains hopeful that OUR internet can be saved from itself and draws a line in the sand.

As long as the web’s basic principles are upheld, its ongoing evolution is not in the hands of any one person or organization—neither mine nor anyone else’s. If we can preserve the principles, the Web promises some fantastic future capabilities.   …

The goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.

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Bob Pauls writes for his company, Des Moines Tech Support, about appropriate technology and computers in business, education, and community development. You can follow Bob on Twitter @desmoinestech.  Bob’s e-mail address is bpauls@dsmtechsupport.com

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