-Hunter S. Thompson
For the second time ROFLcon - that celebration and exploration of all that's weird or at least quirky on the Internet - came to MIT. As keynote speaker danah boyd pointed out "weird is cool now" or at least, in the era of Youtube and Digg, a route to instant fame and, sometimes, fortune.
For most of the assembled panelists, their fame came as a surprise after a web site, video, or Flash animation went viral. The content could be anything from the antics of cats to riffs on current events, but time after time the creators talked of going from zero to half a million hits in the course of a few days.
A sampling of that was on offer:
- April Winchell a.k.a. Helen Killer writes on Regretsy about stuff she wished she hadn't purchased on Etsy.
- Brad O'Farrell who made Charlie Schmidt's cat famous in the video Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat!.
- Aaron Peckham, whose Urban Dictionary has become authoritative enough to be cited in court.
- Jef Sewell of Despair, Inc. showing off his three editions of The Art of Demotivation, including a $1300 "Chairman''s Edition" that comes in its own humidor (they sold 13).
- Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda telling how easy it was to find locations in the Midwest for Chad Vader.
- Dan Walsh of Garfield Minus Garfield
- Randy Hayes who overdubbed an X-Men cartoon in The Juggernaut Bitch!!
- Rob Bricken of Topless Robot
- Mark Hale and Ken Lowery who satirized the Associated Press on Twitter in @FakeAPStylebook
- Evan and Andrew Gregory who used Auto-Tune to set TV news clips to music in Autotune the News.