Time's Person Of the Year Takes Cues From Facebook

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg's nomination for Time's 2010 Person of the Year might be less significant than the fact that readers get to vote on the 25 nominees, and the most popular nominees have used social networking to build up support.

The once venerable Time magazine is taking a cue from Facebook in more ways than one.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg‘s nomination for Time’s 2010 Person of the Year might be a tad less significant than the fact that readers get to vote on the 25 nominees. And you can opt to get notified on Facebook whether the person you vote for wins the annual award. Plus, social networking has definitely helped boost the popularity of the folks getting the most votes on Time.com.

As of this posting, Zuckerberg ranks number ten, while Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert together hold the top spot. Most likely the two comedians’ Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear is fresh on the minds of those voting on Time’s site.

During the weeks leading up to the comedians’ October 30 rally in Washington D.C., Facebook’s events feature circulated invitations to attend the event. Additional invites touted satellite rallies in different cities across the U.S., along with the live broadcast that streamed online. The wide scope that these circulations had speaks volumes about the strength of Facebook’s viral marketing capabilities.

Meanwhile, I believe Zuckerberg ranks as #10 right now because of the effect that the movie The Social Network had on audiences. The flick has prompted people to wonder whether Facebook’s founder unfairly pushed out his original chief financial officer and stole the idea for the site from the creators of ConnectU. Although publicists for the social network continue to challenge the veracity of these claims, it seems like the average person is more aware of the movie version of the story than what Facebook employees assert.

Readers, who would you vote for as Time’s Person of the Year? Would receiving a notification via Facebook make you more inclined to read the issue of the magazine, or subscribe for that matter?