…so were you, kind of.
In 2006, Time Magazine ‘You’ (us, we, the users of the world wide web) the people of the year.
I know I am six years late in discovering this, but it reminded me of the content of DIGC202- growth of internet technologies, user created content, social networks, citizen journalism, creation, remixing, collaboration, media convergence, prosumers, produsers, and this weeks topic, the long tail and the attention economy.
Time Magazine chose we, the active users of the internet, the person of the year because of how we use Web 2.0 (a term which I’m sure was less bandied around back then),
“for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game.”
So, yes, we were the new interactive audience of the web, and we still are. I would even say that we are the driving force behind the long tail. It may be the companies such as Netflix, Amazon and iTunes who are uploading their commodities, but their reason for this and their reason for their success in sales is because of the buyers, the people purchasing this content from home. The consumers of commercial/popular products online are driving the purchasing of and the demand for more niche products. Consumers are also helping other consumers by the way of the ‘People who bought … also bought…’ and the filters and recommendations features. As Chris Anderson said, the long tail isn’t about throwing a whole heap of niche products online and expecting them to benefit from the long tail,you need hits on the popular products to lead to hits on the nice products.
Ted asked us to think about what the real value of sites like Google, Netflix, Trip Advisor are. I think that the value is is that they allow this idea of scarcity vs abundance to co-exist. For instance, with Trip Advisor, I can go online and find an abundance of information about holiday destinations, hotels, things to do and see, all rated by people who have been there and experienced it. Where as at a travel agent, I can only access the personal knowledge and experiences of a handful of people. There is a scarce amount of knowledge in a small amount of space.
Companies that go online can hold so much more knowledge, products and information than any physical place can, and for practically free. If we, as users, did not interact with this online economy, it would not succeed.
So yes, I think that us active users did deserve to be named Time’s person of the year. Congrats.
Time Magazine, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1570810,00.html
Anderson, C, 2005, http://longtail.typepad.com/the_long_tail/2005/06/what_the_long_t.html