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Byline: Michael L. Tan
THE COVER OF TIME MAGAZINES LAST ISSUE OF EACH year features a Man (or Woman) of the Year, but in 2006, they innovated by showing what looked like a mirror, their way of saying that you, all of us, qualified to be Man of the Year. Inside that issue was an explanation for why suddenly everyone was Man of the Year: 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, Times Person of the Year for 2006 is you. The magazine was referring to the way people had come to use digital information technology, especially on the Internet. It specifically cited Facebook, My Space and YouTube.
Being of the pre-Internet era, it took me some time to figure out that the mirror on the cover was supposed to be a YouTube Flash player. Neither could I figure out what the big deal was about YouTube, which I thought was just a modern version of those excruciating sessions where a friend or relative bores you to death by showing photographs …