With meme-production an increasingly commercial venture, and Washington looking to pass copyright-protection legislation, is the unchecked, often insular and happily antagonistic spirit that fuels so much web comedy in danger of being snuffed out?
The “ROFL” in “ROFLCon” is an outdated web acronym – Rolling on the Floor Laughing – basically an old-timey way of saying “LOL.” ROFLCon uses it ironically. The vintage webspeak is characteristic of the event – a conference that is equally concerned with the past, present, and future of Internet culture. The two-day event, held at MIT last weekend, combined the best elements of a fan convention with a truly academic conference. Don’t let the goofy names of panels, like “Adventures in Aca-meme-ia,” fool you; the featured panelists and giddy audience members were all too eager to dive into serious discussion.
Christina Xu and Tim Hwang, who co-founded the conference in 2008 as Harvard undergrads, curated a lively mix of panels, bringing together speakers from around the world. Topics ranged from how people in China use visual humor to evade censorship (“Global Lulzes”), to what to do when a YouTube video of your kid suddenly goes viral (“Honey I Memed the Kids!”). Amid the chaos, a central issue took shape; web video is radically reshaping pop culture. […]
In this eight-minute documentary, produced and edited by Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, we discovered that even though their lives have been turned upside down, and in some cases totally transformed, by Internet fame, they’re people too. They’re pretty awesome people, actually.
Featuring: Antoine Dodson, Double Rainbow guy, David (of “David After Dentist” fame), the maker of Nyan Cat, and many more of the Internet’s favorite people.
Duncan Robson, an animator based in San Francisco, premiered his latest supercut at ROFLCon, a conference about internet culture, at MIT last weekend. Robson was speaking on a panel dedicated to supercuts, a term for thematic montages of found footage coined by Andy Baio of Waxy.org, who moderated the panel. Baio collects supercuts at supercut.org, and Robson's Three Point Landing marks the 400th upload to the site. Make sure to crank the soundtrack, composed by Joel Robson.
Session to be moderated by the multi-talented Nick Douglas of Slacktory. They’ll be talking about the many tasty flavors of meta on the internet, and the features of platforms that make memes meta like they do. There’ll probably be some pictures of funny cats and wildly offensive image macros going on as well, I assume. We’re vaguely hoping that they talk about talking about panels about memes as well.
It’ll all be going down 4:30 – 5:30 this Saturday. BE THERE.
I’m vaguely hoping my role at this meta panel is to check in with attendees in the back of the room as a roving panel correspondent while somebody else makes memes from what I report back with.
If you spend time working on, thinking about, or trying to understand human behavior and the internet, this keynote is a must-watch. Jonathan Zittrain put together an amazing hour on the meme culture, and how/why things become what they become on the Internet. Take 50 or so minutes to watch this, I promise it’s worthwhile.