How exactly does Time magazine measure influence? That exact formula, such as it exists, might be known only to Time’s editorial team, but the rest of us can still exercise our own evaluative faculties in sizing up the mag’s picks for the 2010 Time 100. –KA


Other things haven’t changed. As always, part of the magic of the TIME 100 is the pairing of writer and subject; this year you’ll hear from Bono on humanitarian Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin on iconoclast Glenn Beck, Cyndi Lauper on pop icon Lady Gaga, Jeff Koons on the artistry of Steve Jobs, and Phil Donahue on the talk-show legend that is Oprah Winfrey. We also enlisted a few of our own writers to profile people in their fields — for example, TIME’s political columnist Joe Klein on Admiral Mike Mullen, with whom he’d recently traveled to Afghanistan.

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