Friday, November 13, 2009

OMG! I Was Only Kidding, Not Psychic : Twitter as Person of the Year?

A few months ago, I joked that Twitter was “no doubt [Time] magazine’s leading candidate for Bird of the Year”. Now, it’s no joke.

Three of six panelists at a Time Inc. event Thursday night voted for Twitter as the top candidate for Person of the Year, Folio: reports. The other three voted for another non-human, The Economy, which seems like last year’s news: Anyone who was surprised by The Economy in 2009 wasn’t paying attention more than a year ago when the financial system was circling the drain.

If Time’s going to feature old news for Person of the Year, it might as well go with Obama again. One magazine executive jokes that Obama is “the new Jesus” because putting him on the cover does wonders for newsstand sales, just as a Christianity cover around Easter or Christmas always sells well for magazines like Time. (The latest word on the President, by the way, is that after blowing up balloons for one of his daughter’s birthday parties, he’s being nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics.)

Panelist Bahbwa Walters suggested an interesting competitor for Bird of the Year – jailbird Bernie Madoff. Nope. If you’re going to go the evil route, select someone really evil – like maybe the Microsoft sadists who invented Vista or the idiot at Geico who decided to give less air time to the gecko so they could run those awful cavemen ads.

Speaking of Bird of the Year, some folks in the magazine business already awarded that informally to Rosie magazine back in 2001 for its infamous staph infection cover. (Hubba, hubba, Rosie in a bathrobe!). It sure looks as if that bandaged hand is flipping the Great Speckled Bird to the millions of former McCall’s subscribers who had recently been involuntarily switched over to her magazine.

For the record, I’m still using Google Reader instead of Twitter to track favorite Web sites and have only tweeted to my 53 followers about the newly posted articles. I should note that a few of those followers were clearly trying to get me to follow them in return so they could pelt me with Twitter spam. (What, by the way, do you call tweets that resemble spam? Twam? Spitter? Shredded tweet? Bird poop?)

As for Bird of the Year, I’d vote for the AFLAC duck if he’d start showing up more in magazine ads. Especially in my magazines.

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