Time Magazine has declared You — that’s you, me, everyone — to be this year’s Person Of The Year. And You in a big way means YouTube, the video sharing site getting a long profile about how it has grown, with some interesting bits on how it now seeks to maintain its “underground image” as part of the “Google empire.” So many ironies — Google as all grown up; YouTube, a place with much of its popularity due to commerical rather than user generated content being shared, as underground.
I joked in my SES Chicago 2006 keynote last week that “video killed the search engine star,” and I’ll touch on this more in the future. But the Time magazine profile of YouTube — associated with Person Of The Year — underscores this. It’s not Larry and Sergey; it’s Chad and Steve (even if Larry and Sergey now own them).
I can’t help but feel search engines have been shortchanged by Time. Ten years on, they’ve sparked a revolution, a real revolution, in how we obtain information. Far more people use search every day than ever, ever use YouTube or video sharing. And search engines have been allowing people to share their user generated content far longer than anything else on the web, in that they make it all accessible. Pity they never got a Person Of The Year nod, but we do love our moving pictures.