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ROFLCon Summit: Exploring how Internet communities affect everyone IRL

By Tim Hwang and the ROFLCon crew

We’re proud to be a part of the vibrant culture of the web, and are pleased to welcome today’s guest blogger Tim Hwang and the rest of the team from ROFLCon, an organization celebrating all the wonderful memes out there.

On October 1 in Portland, Oregon the first-ever ROFLCon Summit will address the incredible potential of the Internet, memes, funny cats, and beyond.

ROFLCon Summit is a spin-off of the wildly awesome biennial ROFLCon. It brings together the leading generators, preservers and advancers of online culture so they can talk about where it’s all headed and what it means to everyone else. Speakers will include Chris Poole from, Eric Fensler (the GI Joe PSA guy), Bennett Foddy (the creator of QWOP), Jason Scott, and Brewster Kahle. Here’s a useful informational video that we made to help you get a sense of what we’re all about.

Helpful, no? By this point, it’s a cliche to note thinternet culture has become a major engine for pop culture. But perhaps less noted is the background role of web platforms in providing the critical infrastructure for setting these cultural engines into motion. YouTube irrevocably changed the social dynamics of the internet precisely because of its ease of share-ability, the scale of its user base, and its endless catalogue of content. Let’s take one now-famous example.

“Friday.” Released March 14, 2011.

Weeks later, Conan O’Brien had a choreographed performance “Thursday.”

Less than two months later, Glee (one of the most popular shows on TV) performed a rendition of it on FOX. (Skip to 1:25).

And there are countless examples of this, happening every day on scales large and small.

Because they contribute so much to the endless churning of internet culture, what better way to promote ROFLCon Summit than with a video?

We’re huge nerds. ROFLCon is at once a celebration of the present and future of web culture, and an homage to glorious proto-internet days gone by. It’s deeply enmeshed in a childhood forged in late nights of programming in BASIC, River City Ransom, floppy disks, and the glorious days of VHS.
Needless to say, we wanted the conference (and our videos) to reflect that. The audio drops, hiccups and poor quality of the video actually helped show how far we’ve come. And once we’ve seen where things began, we’re much more able to foresee what might happen in the future.

Join us on the internets! We will be hosting a live stream of the ROFLCon Summit event on October 1 on our website, with live updates on Twitter as well.