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“You” Makes a Comeback: No1 in The Guardian’s Media Ranking

September 2, 2013

It was back in 2006 when Time magazine did the radical thing and named “You” its Person of The Year.

Seven years on, it’s therefore somewhat surprising to see The Guardian have repeated that old story when they just released their Top 100 Media Rankings for 2013 and ranked “You” no1.

The Guardian’s ranking represents the realization of the promise set out by Time Magazine’s cover, remember back in 2006 the iPhone wasn’t yet launched and therefore the smartphone as one major facet of consumer empowerment had yet to be realized.

Fast forward to 2013 and the smartphone has given everyone has the potential to be a publisher broadcaster, as we’ve seen with the tragic events at the Boston Marathon. The user is now capturing the lead story and broadcasting it in real-time, not the journalist.

Everyone is a critic as we’ve seen with the rise of the trolls.

Since 2006, we’ve also seen with the growth of social networks of multiple types and flavors; from the real-time conversation board of Twitter, the curated world of Tumblr, the visual ecosystems of Twitter and Instagram and new emergent proam destinations like Medium, while the grandfather of consumer created media, YouTube, has gone from strength to strength.

We’ve seen individuals use networks, like Linkedin, to take more control of their own destinies.

“People Power” has created a rapidly expanding digital economy that’s transformed the way we shop and buy, concentrating even more power in the hands of both users and the intermediaries like Amazon, Facebook and Google.

There’s also been the rise of entirely new platforms based on shared and sharing resources- aka- The Sharing Economy- for homes, cars, skills, etc. and the funding/financing of products, projects and businesses by crowds of people.

“You” data has become a very powerful thing; the ability to target, reach, identify, understand individuals is transforming the world of marketing and commerce. This is creating tension between those who control, manage and use the data v’s the individuals themselves.

The future will be about how the individuals chose and are allowed to exercise their power.

Are they happy and content to share their data with the big corporate institutions and even governments in return for services and protection, or do those institutions and governments somehow overstep the mark forcing individuals to rise up and create a new independent counter-culture?

A great deal has happened in the 7 years since Time magazine put “You” on its cover, given those developments and the likely future trajectory, where the power of individuals and their data assumes even greater significance, The Guardian’s choice makes sense.


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