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December 17, 2006
Digital citizens recognized
The work of citizen content creators in 2006 made them Time magazine's Person of the Year.
It's a timely and thought-provoking selection that takes into account the cultural shift happening in the world as the Web grows into its teenage years of self-discovery.
Time's Lev Grossman captured one of the central attributes of amateur culture that the uninitiated tend to surface in exasperated disbelief:
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?
Grossman's thesis: "The answer is, you do." Well, no. It's the hobbyists who have that time and energy and passion. The One Percenters. It's the people who live and work in the pockets of culture, not in its master-planned subdivisions, who are the mashup artists, the amateur auteurs and creators of content. The vast majority of digital citizens are in the stands, channel-surfing the world on their laptops.
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» One Percenters from Marketing and management are changing. Are you?
I like your take on the Time article (which I refer to in my post today), and I agree that most of us are not the One-Percenters but the digital consumers of that content. The greatest impact from this Time article would be if the marketers of the world would use this opportunity to understand their customers better, rather than thinking they should try to make YouTube-like TV commercials.
I'm not sure if I'm just misreading your point, or if I simply disagree with it.
I agree that the 1%er types tend to spend radically more time with an activity than non-1%ers. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that they're the only ones doing these types of activities.
As we move forward in time, we're going to see our foundation, our base level change. A few years ago, it was only 1%ers that were using their phones to take pictures. But look at how many people are doing it today. The 1%er concept, I believe, is an ever evolving definition. It's the idea that they're doing MORE of what the rest of us are doing, not necessarily that they're the only ones doing things.