lorax - 2:17 am on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)
Okay - I'll swim upstream on this. Not that I think there aren't better candidates but I do think the development of Facebook has changed lives and made a huge difference in the world.
1) the fact that Facebook users exchange over 1 billion messages per day is ... excuse me ... pretty significant.
2) the fact that there are over 500 million user on the Facebook is also very impressive. The population of the United States (as per the US Census of 2009 [google.com] was a little over 307 million.
3) Whether you like or hate him, Mark created a tool that offers us a different way to communicate using the web. People are connecting with old friends, classmates, even estranged family members because of how Facebook works. There is no other tool, not one, that has achieved this level of re-connection among people.
4) Facebook is an advertiser's dream in the making. It isn't polished but any medium that can boast over 700 billion minutes per month of active view time by it's users has a goldmine in it's hands.
And the creator of the Facebook idea? Mark Z. Is it on a par with a Nobel peace prize? Not in my book. But I do think Facebook has had and will have a huge impact on our online experience and anyone that says otherwise has their head in the sand.
You see, I don't think the criteria has anything to do with if the person is good or bad in our opinion. It has to do with their influence on our world. I believe the names that have appeared on the list have all had a huge impact on us regardless.
And... just for grins I've asked Time to explain their criteria for selection.