By now you've probably seen the announcement that TIME has named "you" the person of the year. The you that writes blogs, creates podcasts, shares open source applications, creates entries on Wikipedia, posts videos on YouTube, meets friends on MySpace and chats with avatars on Second Life. But rather than the person of the year being the you in user, isn't it the us in users? Isn't the goal of the social web to create an us, a sense of connection, a community?
The social web works because of community and trust among us, the people of the world, who have realized that it is a small world after all and the butterfly effect is real. We can ignore that connection and think that our individual lives don't affect one another, or we can recognize our part in the global community and make a difference.
For social change organizations and activists, social web tools can be an affordable way to give more people the information, tools and opportunities they need to create change. But, we also need to remember that many people do not have access to this web 2.0 world whether through disability, illiteracy, or poverty. We need to make sure that the "us" actually includes all of us.
We are the ones we have been waiting for, we have the tools to work together, let's do it.
This post was written for the NetSquared blog.
Photo credit: Globe uploaded by Karol M.