I spend the last month of each year thinking about who I want to honor as the person who best embodies the spirit of blogging. I always want to do something unusual, something that makes you think, that stretches the boundaries of blogging, but illustrates something about blogging that's essential, and perhaps not fully appreciated. And -- this year -- celebrates success!
This year's Blogger of the Year writes for the NY Times. In the past I would not have so easily thought you could both be a blogger and work at a mainstream publication. But this year our guy did something remarkable. He used his platform, his pulpit, to change the world in a measurable, significant way.
Nick Bilton decided that it was time to ask a question that the FAA didn't want to deal with, or had no way to deal with, or couldn't deal with for some reason. Political organizations often get stuck. The individuals inside may know it's time to act, but they can't pull it together.
Bilton asked a simple question that all of us who fly have asked. Would the plane crash if I kept reading a book on my iPad while the plane takes off? If not, why do I have to turn it off?
He asked this question for the first time in a post in November 2011, and the decision was made late this year, and now we're all flying with this one inconvenience removed. Sure, it's not like solving global warming, or avoiding the next banking crisis, or even getting good connectivity in Manhattan, but it's progress! And it shows the power of an individual and of a news organization to create change, to act as instigator, a provocateur, a problem-solver.
Thank you Nick Bilton for making our lives a little better, and using your blogging voice to accomplish it.