This year's Person of the Year issue took us all over the world, but the first stop was Palo Alto, Calif. Lev Grossman, who wrote the fascinating profile of Mark Zuckerberg, first sat down with the Facebook founder in mid-November. For someone who eschews privacy, Zuckerberg is a pretty private person. Over the weeks, Lev had dinner with him, spoke to his inner circle and developed a genuine rapport. On Dec. 9, I went to meet Zuckerberg along with assistant managing editor Radhika Jones, who edited this issue and did a truly spectacular job. I found Zuckerberg affable, fun and very quick. He's the first to point out that he doesn't love being in front of a camera, but I think his warmth and intensity come across in my video conversation with him, which you can find at TIME.com.
For our portfolio of the 33 Chilean miners, we sent deputy photo editor Paul Moakley, photographer Peter Hapak and correspondent Tim Padgett to Chile, where they traveled for 12 sleepless days and nights setting up shoots. To create our Tea Party illustration a true work of art photo director Kira Pollack staged an elaborate set to re-create the Boston Tea Party. Joe Klein made two trips to Afghanistan, getting a sense of conditions on the ground for his piece about Hamid Karzai. And for his story on WikiLeaks' Julian Assange, Barton Gellman delved deep into the revolutionary forces of the "cypherpunk" world. Design director D.W. Pine oversaw the issue in print and on the iPad; senior art director Emily Crawford made the cover profile come to life.
Assange was the clear winner of our online poll, with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan second and Lady Gaga third. But Assange wasn't the victor in all respects: he was trounced on Facebook by Lady Gaga, who received 65,508 "likes" to Assange's 46,787.