Posts Tagged ‘person of the year’

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Person of the Year: It’s Not You, It’s Mark

I couldn’t say before, because it was secret secret secret, but for the past six weeks I’ve been busy writing a long story about how Mark Zuckerberg is Person of the Year.

The editors talked to me about writing this piece all the way back in August, and I figured subsequent events — like the midterm elections, maybe — might change their minds, but they didn’t, which led to a lot of secretive flying back and forth between New York and Palo Alto at odd hours to interview Zuckerberg and people who know him.

(In the process I lied about what I was doing to lots of people, including readers of this blog, and I feel bad about that. But I couldn’t think of another way to make it work.)

It was stressful but not unenjoyable. As a writer I’m really not a sprinter, I prefer the long haul, and I rarely get to do long-haul New Yorker-style features in Time. The magazine just isn’t built around them, and when it is they’re usually about war or politics or business, which the editors wisely do not let me write about. But Person of the Year (or P.O.Y. as they call it here) has a special aura around it. When you mention it the bar goes silent, a glass breaks, the editors cross themselves, and an old gypsy woman looks up from the corner and tells them they’d better give you extra pages, if they know what’s good for them.

And plus it was a good story. Zuckerberg is interesting, and Facebook is interesting.

But now I’m thoroughly burned out on my day job and ready for another crack at my night job. I haven’t looked at The Magician King in 6 weeks. I figure it’s probably let its down its guard by now.