Sunday, December 17, 2006

Person of the Year

Last week, a colleague at school asked if she could get the link to my blog so she could show her husband. She was impressed by the pictures I'd taken and wanted to read some of my posts. A couple of days later, she asked me how the hell I managed to find the time to do this.

As I approach the 1 year anniversary of my blog (tomorrow actually), I've been looking back at a lot of the things that have been pulled out of my head and put into the Word Wide Web. This post isn't about my growth as a writer (although I am happy to see that some has actually happened this year), nor my favourite posts from my first year as a Blogger (that's for tomorrow), but instead a commentary on the fact that as a Blogger, I am now Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

According to Time Magazine,
... 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.

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. And 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, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you.

Thanks Time Magazine!

While I do not have a MySpace account, and haven't posted videos on YouTube (although I could have done a fantastic parody of the episode of Friends when they go to London - shouting "London baby!" every 5 minutes as I take in the sites of this amazing city. "Hands down best Abbey I've ever seen") I have tried my best to be a part of the blogging world. It's been a fascinating year during which I have been brought to tears by the poignant words of fellow bloggers going through hard times, laughed out loud at the silly things people have written about, nodded in righteous agreement at rants about things that are wrong with this world, felt comforted by the comments made by others about my own hardships, and enjoyed the camaraderie that we feel when a person lists us in their blog links (no greater honour can be bestowed by a fellow blogger than that).

The phrase "I'm so blogging about that later" has become a regular part of my vocabulary. I take pictures of random things like a broken handset on a payphone with the intent of providing a witty commentary about "being on the wrong end of that conversation" - only to later decide it's really not all that funny. If my laptop traveled with me through the day, I'd be constantly recording the things that I see onto it. It's a good thing that's not possible, or we'd have posts about the Wierd Irish Man with all the Beer at 8:30am, Why it's Fun to Ride at the Top of the Double Decker Buses, That Stupid Broken Umbrella, and the Really Nice Crossing Guard Lady (who somehow manages to push the button so that I neither have to wait to cross the road, nor do I have to rush), and all sorts of other mundane things about my life...

The article in Time asked about what kind of people blog? What makes somebody dash off to their computer so they can write about something they want to share with the world?

Why do we write posts about our children, family, pets, cars, homes, jobs, friends, lovers, exes, holidays, travel, cooking, childcare, politics, annoying neighbours, music, new shoes, television, and thousands of other minutae that make up daily human life? Why do I watch the screen flip to "100% published" on a new post and feel satisfied and happy that I've written something that I think people will want to read?

What makes us come back each day to check the blogs we've linked to, just in case that person has updated theirs with a new post? Why do we feel that their successes and trials are so identifiable with our own?

I know - lots of questions here. For me, the answers are clear: blogging connects me to the world and to people I would never get to meet otherwise. I can identify with the people I've linked to because they're just real, ordinary people trying to live the best lives they can. If you take away money, race, religion, and all of the other things that divide us, all that is left are people who are trying to be happy and successful, who want to love and be loved, and possibly make a difference in the world.

Are our blog posts about the state of the world going to change it?

Time Magazine apparently believes this to be true.

I think they might be right...

Thanks fellow bloggers for helping to change mine.

And congratulations on the award - you deserve it!


  • At 11:44 AM, Blogger Johnny C. said…

    Time hit a home run with that pick. I'm not one to use the phrase "outside the box", but Time definitely took it to the next level with their creativity this year.

    With that said, congrats on 1 year of blogging.Most people don't make it a month. Keep em' coming!

  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger Beechball * said…

    Yay!!! I win! :P I write for entertainment. I think it's more worth while to read and be entertained by people I know and or respect than to watch tv. I enjoy reading and hearing about people just like me, and I provide the same for others. I love bloggin! :P I have been busy lately, so sorry about the lack of them, but I'm not going anywhere :)

  • At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Rhea said…

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

  • At 10:47 PM, Blogger thestraightpoop said…

    Hello there! Thanks for your comment on my blog...lovely to have you on board!

    And congratulations on one year...I so often find now that I experience something I want to blog about, but never have the time. You've inspired me to (re)start again.

    Be well!

    The Straight Poop

  • At 3:39 PM, Blogger Suldog said…

    We won! We won! We won!

    Is there a cash prize?

  • At 1:50 AM, Blogger Melinda said…

    johnny: thanks & I totally agree about Time's creativity

    lyndsay: since I don't have a tv right now I've got to agree with with you - even when I did it usually took a backseat to my blog

    rhea: heehee (ps. I like your blog)

    therealstraightpoop: I've inspired you?! very cool - glad you're going to continue writing those great posts :)

    Sully: how do you feel about Monopoly money?


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