Below are my thoughts on the award, as printed out and never sent to TIME's publisher, Alfred E. Newman:
Well, first of all, let me say how flattered I am at this honor. It was definitely unexpected and I really am humbled to be considered in such high esteem by TIME's editors, only three of whom I've had sex with.— Phil Harvey, Person of the Year, Light Reading
Now I know you didn't mention me by name in the articles and profiles within the magazine, but I work in publishing and I understand that having an adorable cover is just as important as the substance of what's inside. And, I have to say, it was such an amazing feeling when I picked up TIME at my local CompUSA, looked right at the reflective cover, and saw my rugged jaw line and smiling eyes staring back at me. How Cuuuute!
I bought four copies.
Regarding the Web 2.0 phenomenon, or whatever you're calling it, I have a confession to make: I can't take all the credit for YouTube Inc. 's success. But I did help Chad Hurley scout locations for appropriately "humble" looking garages for his startup's "early days" photo shoots. I even went the extra mile and paid $6,000 for distressed gym equipment to shove in the corner and I got an artist to do realistic oil stains on the concrete. Apparently, the venture capitalists bought the story hook, line, and sinker. I think the garage backdrop had a lot to do with that.
I also can't take credit for the online video boom as we know it now. I did, however, invent the practice of getting way too excited about online video, then spending thousands of dollars to get a new PC, editing software, and loads of books so I could learn to edit, encode, and share my videos.
The thousands I spent upgrading all that has saved me literally dozens of dollars I would have spent just making unedited tape copies and mailing them around to assorted grandparents and other folks. This is what we in the Internet culture call "radical long-tail economics."
In summary, TIME's editors were wise to overlook heads of charities, philanthropists, scientists, and other lazy slugs in their bold move to recognize the one true contributor to society: Me.
I am using the Internet. Everyday. I even make charts about online video sharing. Those other people are just, well, who the Hell knows what they do all day?