Finding TIME

I’ve never read a full issue of TIME magazine — or the Economist or the Atlantic. Does this make me a terrible magazine scholar?

Maybe, but I crossed the first title off the list with the Person of the Year double issue. In a word, fantastic.


Ignore:

• a creepy, disconcerting cover photo

• the unthinking stupidity involved in releasing the Zuckerberg content online a week early

• not posting more of the wonderfully colorful and informative graphics on the Internet

• losing the content in an attention-deficit mash of updated links on the homepage

The feature story on Zuckerberg seems to be yet another testament against the FB founder’s fictionalized life in the cinema.  He may have been cold and calculating at the start, but his current persona is anything but.

And his people back it up, “not just because they want to keep their jobs.”

Lev Grossman’s profile of the now less reclusive, but still shy, billionaire is long, entertaining and most importantly, captivating.

Zuckerberg truly is the face of the most popular social network on the planet, but he is also a person.  A human being lies behind and beneath that face on the cover of millions of magazines.

Grossman’s reporting captures the fervor and struggle of guiding a ship that is projected to encompass one billion people by August 2012.  His triumphant prose also balances itself with a dose of reality and doubt in a paragraph here or there.

“Facebook is still a painfully blunt instrument for doing the delicate work of transmitting human relationships.”

No kidding.  Though it is a remarkably effective platform for sharing selective pieces of ourselves with others.

More than 1.7 million FB actions were performed in less time than it took you to read this blog post.

Comments posted, posts liked, messages sent, photos added, photos tagged, friendships approved (or not), statuses updated and links shared — nearly 2 million every 60 seconds.

TIME’s choice to single out the blue and white engine that is transforming our collective Internet experience should now be clear.

“[A] Web reorganized around people” is a world-changing, newsworthy accomplishment.

A continuing accomplishment, actually.  The only difficulty now is finding someone not named Zuckerberg for next year’s cover story.

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