Advice to Mark Zuckerberg from a Former Winner

It just so happened that I was pondering my 2006 Time Magazine Person of the Year memorabilia when it was brought to my attention that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was this year’s honoree. 

As a former winner I think it is important that I impart some of my wisdom to Mr. Zuckerberg so that he might represent the title appropriately. 

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

First of all, congratulations on your special designation.  At twenty-six years of age, it is a tremendous acheivement.  I was Thirty-Six when I won Time Person of the year, although I did share it with countless children, some of whom had only recently been born.  Nevertheless, it is a remarkable achievement no matter what age.

As a surprise former winner, it took me a little while to grasp the magnitude…or lack thereof of the title. 

While it is true that you are joining every U.S President not named Gerald R. Ford, numerous world leaders and the very device you used to create Facebook, the reality is  that in the scheme of things, your win, was more of a war of attrition.  You aren’t so much the winner of TPotY as you are the person who lost it the least. 

With such “Luminaries” as WikiLeaks UberSnitch Julian Assange, The Tea Party, and the Chilean Miners, it is pretty difficult to  out random that group. 

By Comparison, in 2006, I was able to overcome challenges from two World Leaders, The presidents of China and Iran.

The reality is, if we had known your name in 2006, you might have had a chance at winning then.  Of course in 2006, Facebook was just another fish in the pond.

As it has shaken out, You are the face of social Media, Mr. Zuckerberg.  Ultimately you win because you are a c elebrity.  A Smart Celebrity, but a Celebrity in a world where the paths to celebrity are as innumerable as the ways a Black woman can seen as  embodying a stereotype on cable television

Whatever the case, Mr. Zuckerberg, congratulations and enjoy your 15 minutes.  At this point, anything you can do to diminish the Star Power of Sarah Palin or Julian Assange is okay by me.

Get your Shine on,


2006 Time co-Person of the Year



  1. annette_b

    …”in the scheme of things, your win, was more of a war of attrition. You aren’t so much the winner of TPotY as you are the person who lost it the least.”

    ^^^ This is so true. How sad that the people in our society who work to make a difference and who might actually deserve to be TPotY are so greatly overshadowed by the trivial and shallow. Not to say that Mr. Zukerberg falls into that category (especially considering his recent very large gift to the city of Newark, NJ) , but for a change I’d love to see someone who changes lives for the better at the grass roots level, or someone who advances an innovative way to help our society or our environment as PotY, not just the person who can out-politic the rest of the pack or the person with the best public relations team.

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