Joel Spolsky

Good riddance to YOU

March 4, 2010: 9:00 AM ET

It's not about you anymore. Thank goodness.

It's been a little over three years since Time magazine named "You" its Person of the Year, a heavily mocked yet totally appropriate and even shrewd move by Fortune's sister publication. YouTube was redefining the experience of watching videos. Facebook was picking up steam as the ultimate form of self expression for young people. And blogging was all the rage.

That was then. Today, YouTube is trying harder to become a destination for professional content, its owners at Google (GOOG) having realized that professionally produced entertainment is a better advertising bet than a silly cat on a skateboard. Facebook has endured, but by building itself into a communications platform that leverages all kinds of media, not just photos of now graduated college kids drinking from beer bongs.

Even blogging has evolved, and in a good way. People are beginning to understand that if a medium with new and exciting tools is just an excuse to write nonsense while wearing pajamas, then it's not worth much. If, however, a blogger has a message, some thought, and some research, well, that's called journalism. And that, come to think of it, is what we paid serious attention to before it became all about you.


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