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Photo: Flickr Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

This morning, TIME magazine announced their choice for Person of the Year: Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg. I am one amongst more than 500 million users worldwide that have used the power of online social networking to not only connect with others but to use this technology as a tool for research and teaching and learning. I am just beginning to see its potential.

On a personal level, I have been able to connect with old friends using Facebook; reaching out using the now quaint technology email never seemed to work. I invite you to share your stories of how Facebook has enabled you to connect or reconnect with friends and family, or how you have used it in your research and teaching. Do you think it is a passing fad or is it here to stay?

This young entrepreneur has already shown a flair for philanthropy with his $100 million donation announced in September to the Newark school system and an announcement that he has agreed to join The Giving Pledge which currently 16 other billionaires have joined. The Giving Pledge states:

“The Giving Pledge is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death. ”

We need these gifted philanthropists now more than ever!

A carefully considered nominee for TIME‘s Person of the Year was WikiLeaks founder and owner Julian Assange – a choice of which I strongly disagree. What do you think?

Comments

  1. #1 dan,Vancouver
    December 15, 2010

    Following TIME’s logic to its conclusion, Person of the Year would be an endless rotation of corporate hacks: Jobs, Brin, Balmer, Zuck, etc.

    The fact that Assange exposed the cover-up of the murder of two Reuters journalists was alone sufficient to earn Assange TIME’s contempt.

  2. #2 SoulmanZ
    December 15, 2010

    Well …. I wouldn’t disagree if it was 2006-2007. But most important in 2010? What has he done this year? Had a movie made about him?

    If Hollywood moves quicker than Time, I think they should know they missed the boat.

    I’m not even personally sure how anyone could argue Assange isn’t the most influential of this year … although you imply you disagree. I mean, Hilter and Stalin have been Times PoY. You don’t need to agree with their politics.

    The public version of Times person of the year puts Assange unassailably in the lead.

    Not knocking Zuck/FB, made a big deal of change to peoples lives (even if it was incremental), but WL/Assange has changed the media landscape in a very profound way, one that will take years to filter through

    Although given how late Zuckerberg is being awarded this, I guess we can expect Times to gives Assange the award and 5 years or so

  3. #3 SoulmanZ
    December 15, 2010
  4. #4 Jeff
    December 15, 2010

    Thank you for the link…what is the source of the poll data?

  5. #5 SoulmanZ
    December 15, 2010

    The public poll was done by Time, the raw data is on their site.

    The poll was ranked in number of votes a person got, and then were given a rating based on how influential each vote rated them

    Assange got 4 times as many votes as Zuckerberg, but was rated 92% influential (last I checked, I cant find the data now. Either they took it down or buried it). Zuckerberg was below 50% influential

    So the public though 9 people/groups were more influential, and one of them by a huuuuuuuge margin on all others

  6. #6 Jeff
    December 15, 2010

    Thank you very much. My vote is for Zuckerberg; while we scientists value rebels who break paradigms (a la Thomas Kuhn’s “Structure of Scientific Revolutions” – could be a good topic for a future article), individuals such as Assange do not qualify. Sacrificing a nation’s security in the guise of being sanctimonious is not a wise position.

  7. #7 SoulmanZ
    December 15, 2010

    So Hitler was protective of America’s security? Stalin? (He got PoY twice!)

    PoY has nothing to do with how good that person is for America, it is how influential they are in America. The very fact you react strongly about Assange gives his nomination a great deal of credibility. He has influenced you quite clearly.

    Even if you disagree with Assange, I would seriously challenge you to name a single noteworthy thing Zuckerberg did in 2010. The only thing I can think of is signing up to the ‘billionaires giving away all their money’ plan, which was orchestrated by Gates.

    This probably isn’t the place, but I would love to hear your justification for Assange ‘sacrificing a nation’s security’.

  8. #8 Reggie
    December 16, 2010

    yes, picking Zuckerberg 2-3 yrs. ago might have made sense; picking him this yr. is a joke and a sell-out by TIME. Facebook is primed to implode if it’s lack of security, privacy, and user-friendliness is ever fully exposed.
    TIME could’ve (as they’ve done in the past) picked something like “the hive mind” or simply the internet as PoY, but if they had to pick a real person, clearly it shoulda been Assange.

  9. #9 Donalbain
    December 17, 2010

    You are confusing POTY with an award. It is not. It is given to the most influential person. And there is no way that Facebook has been particularly influential this year. Twitter has a higher claim to that position, but wikileaks HAS TO be the main one in that field.

  10. #10 Dave
    December 20, 2010

    creating a business model that has 500 Million people involved is a home run for sure!
    Definitely worthy of consideration.
    But transforming politics globally (by adding transparency) is hitting the ball way out of the park.
    Julian Assange is far more influential to peoples thinking

  11. #11 i2p
    December 22, 2010

    zurker qualifies as person-of-the-year just for privacy offenses. (and suckers make it easy)

  12. #12 Yonga Chang
    December 27, 2010

    First Obama was given Nobel Peace Prize 2009 for some mere rhetorics (without any visible actions). Now Mark is Time’s PoTY 2010 in-spite of highly influential and courageous Assange and his mind-bogging Wikileaks concept that has changed the world’s politics to the next level. I am sick of such American dictatorship… People please come-on.

  13. #13 union
    January 8, 2011

    Definetely he was the man of 2010. His project was really great. A good management. A good PR. And we all know the result. This will courage new people, the next generation. He is not just Person of 2010, he is the person of last 2-3 years.The best news of the last days, for me.

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