MarComedy: Don’t make me laugh

For what tickles my fancy in media, communications and life in general.

Time’s Person of the Year – by the numbers

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I’ll admit that I was skeptical when Time magazine announced “You” (me?) as their Person of the Year. I certainly share the wide-spread feeling that social media has brought about empowering and sweeping changes to the media/information landscape and while it’s gratifying to see such a well-publicized and deserving acknowledgement, it does smack of opportunism. Social media has eaten away at traditional media’s market share and has eroded the power of media to shape the dissemination and interpretation of news, information & opinion. I asked myself if this was merely an attempt to cosy up the new kid in town and do business damage control. So I put this theory to the test…I took a look through Time’s archives to see just how much of an impact social media issues had on their editorial coverage this year vs some of the other significant news-makers.

  • “Blog” returned 900 results
  • “Blogging” returned 88 results
  • “Youtube” returned 225 results
  • “Social Media” returned 3 results

Other contenders:

  • “President Bush” returned 635 results
  • “Kim Jong Il” returned 94 results
  • “Mahmoud Amedinejad” returned 132 results
  • “Immigration” returned 283 results
  • “Terror” returned 493 results
  • “Insurgents” returned 252 results
  • “Borat” returned 36 results

Admittedly, this is hardly a scientifically or statistically rigorous study but it does require me to concede that Time is not just sucking up to the competition. Though ‘blogs’ don’t feature as the lead item in the most of the 900 citations, the sheer volume of mentions highlights the influence of social media applications. Well, the pressure’s on now.

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Written by Jonathan Dunn

December 27, 2006 at 7:08 am

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