My holiday offering to you, my faithful readers/googlebot/mom/folks back home/now leave me alone and quit sending flowers; Merry Whatever!

The latest search query string to catch my eye: ‘accept jesus christ in your life and win playstation’. I guess we know what your priorities are. “Eternal Life?” “No, thanks…gotta playstation?” Would a modern translation of the bible substitute iPods and PS3 for halos and harps? Heaven’s gonna rock tonight!

Either you are, or I am (I can’t decide which) Time magazine’s Man of the Year. At first, all I could think was, “what a cop-out, what kind of journalistic shenanigans are they trying to pull?”

Then today I happened to read the following;

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.

And we are so ready for it. We’re ready to balance our diet of predigested news with raw feeds from Baghdad and Boston and Beijing. You can learn more about how Americans live just by looking at the backgrounds of YouTube videos—those rumpled bedrooms and toy-strewn basement rec rooms—than you could from 1,000 hours of network television.

And we didn’t just watch, we also worked. Like crazy. We made Facebook profiles and Second Life avatars and reviewed books at Amazon and recorded podcasts. We blogged about our candidates losing and wrote songs about getting dumped. We camcordered bombing runs and built open-source software.

America loves its solitary geniuses—its Einsteins, its Edisons, its Jobses—but those lonely dreamers may have to learn to play with others. Car companies are running open design contests. Reuters is carrying blog postings alongside its regular news feed. Microsoft is working overtime to fend off user-created Linux. We’re looking at an explosion of productivity and innovation, and it’s just getting started, as millions of minds that would otherwise have drowned in obscurity get backhauled into the global intellectual economy.

Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I’m not going to watch Lost tonight. I’m going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I’m going to mash up 50 Cent’s vocals with Queen’s instrumentals? I’m going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?

The answer is, you do.

So it’s not you the individual or me the individual, it’s you as in us. We are the MotY. The internet has been the vehicle that we’ve used to form a new identity. The electronic you, the online you, the connected you, the socially networked you, the web 2.0 you, the global village you and the voice of the common man you. We became an organic server farm, the distributed computer users using distributed computers. We speak in wiki-style. We collaborate in 3 different media to plan lunch. The dog has her own GCal to keep track of vet visits.

Now we need to find out how to fairly and successfully monetize this new venue while maintaining the spirit that prevailed when the internet was first established. What we choose to notice and explore on the web is now valued, it has influence. It’s the marketplace reborn with cheap stalls. The internet is a digital fleamarket, an electronic yard sale that’s going on 24/7/365.

Let your voice be heard. Mark your place in this village. You deserve it. You are, after all, the Man of the Year.

BoingBoing posted this pic today, and I’ve been getting a brain cramp trying to figure out why the hell this chihuahua is holding a rifle, what do either of them have to do with Christmas, and who in the world thought this up in 1895?

Chihuahua with rifle 1895

[tags]Christmas, web 2.0, Time magazine, Man of the Year, you, us, internet, community[/tags]