April 27, 2008


You may not have known it, but in Boston this weekend, the internet came close to attaining physical form; Friday and Saturday marked the first official meeting of ROFLCon, a conference devoted to celebrating, analysing, and — no doubt — creating internet memes. It met on and around the MIT campus (naturally); was attended by such internet luminaries as "the Tron guy", the man behind "Chuck Norris facts" and the "million dollar website guy"; and boasted eye-opening panels such as "Before the LOL", "Pwning for the Good of Mankind", and "Lolcats: I Can Haz Case Study?".

Sadly, I have (marginally) better things to do with my time than attend conferences about internet memes — but I did replace my usual Facebook procrastinatory sessions on Friday/Saturday with visits to the various ROFLCon liveblogs and webcasts that were going on. There are numerous links on the ROFLCon website, including a video clip of Firefox fighting the TripAdvisor Owl (well, someone in a Firefox outfit fighting someone in a TripAdvisor Owl outfit), while onlookers laugh and shout StreetFighter II references in the background.

What you won't find on the ROFLCon blog (at least, not that I can see) is any archives of the panel webcasts, which means you won't be able to watch the amazingly hilarious lolcats "case study" that took place on Friday afternoon. Lucky for you, though, I tuned it for it (unsurprisingly) — so I can offer you a brief summary.

The panelists talked for a while, but things pretty quickly got opened up to questions from the audience. The first words out of the mouth of the first audience member chosen were: "Um, yeah... I have a question for the Star Trek guy?" This was referring, of course, to Stephen Granades, creator of the fabulously over-the-top LOLTrek, and the question was something along the lines of: "Any plans to produce another episode? Because I would love to see Jean-Luc Picard... [rest of question drowned out by audience laughter]."

In the meantime, the other users watching the webcast got into a protracted discussion in the chat window as to who wanted to bang the one girl on the panel, and how exactly they would go about it. (A hot girl in a tight tanktop who creates lolcats is pretty much the holy grail of internet nerds, I guess.)

At this point, one of the panelists had just finished doing his impression of what a lolcat would sound like in real life — kind of like Gonzo with mental retardation, apparently — when another internet celebrity stood up to ask a question. I don't know who it was because the camera didn't pan around, but judging by the gasps and whoops from the audience — and the fact that one of the panelists whipped out his digital camera to get a picture — whoever it was was a pretty big deal. I believe the question that was asked when the cheering died down was: "How have you found that cats themselves react to lolcats?" (The answer: hard to say, but the panelists frequently get emails from irate cat owners.)

After that, things just got a little silly.

Anyway, I encourage you to browse through the ROFLCon blog, and appreciate just how much the internet gives back to the world. And if any of you are looking for gift ideas for my next birthday, well, a registration at next year's conference wouldn't be terrible...

No comments:

Post a Comment