Picture of the Day: The Meeting of the Memes

Over the weekend more than 800 people gathered at ROFLCon III, a conference at MIT, to talk about the phenomenon of Internet fame – why it happens, how it happens, and, from the meme celebrities themselves, what it’s like to experience it. Above, two of ROFLCON’s biggest stars, Antoine Dodson, made famous by a colorful rant on a North Alabama news station, and Chuck Testa, whose advertisement for his taxidermy practice went viral last fall.

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Memes Are People Too: Meet the Viral-Video Stars of ROFLcon

The “ROFL” in “ROFLCon” is an outdated web acronym – Rolling on the Floor Laughing – basically an old-timey way of saying “LOL.”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.

Watch. It’s excellent.


Jonathan Zittrain on Memes & Society

There needs to be a class on The Real Internet. This video would be required viewing.


‘Three Point Landing’, A Supercut of the Best Action Movie Cliché Ever

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, who moderated the panel. Baio collects supercuts at, and Robson's Three Point Landing marks the 400th upload to the site. Make sure to crank the soundtrack, composed by Joel Robson.

The Metamemes Panel at ROFLCon

Pleased today to announce that we’ve got a stunningly great line up for our Metamemes featuring the Justice-League-esque talents of:

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.

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I’m Art Fighting Henry Alexander tonight at ROFLCon, so I made a video calling him out.