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What I learned from ROFLcon

May 6th, 2010 by Christian

(or: You’re Internet Famous, I’m Internet Serious)

O hai dear reader!

(The ROFLcon II official T-Shirt. Click to enlarge.)

At ROFLcon this year I had the honor and privilege of moderating the panel “And the Internet Swooped In.”  What a lineup!  I got to moderate the following Internet celebrities:

Mahir Cagri (of “I kiss you” fame) — the author of the most famous personal home page on the World Wide Web and perhaps the first individual to become “Internet Famous.” (The dancing baby and hamsterdance were not really people, after all.)  Mahir doesn’t speak English well, he speaks Turkish.  He appeared with his dodgy-looking manager.

David DeVore (Jr. and Sr.), of David After Dentist — one of the most popular home movies ever produced and one of the most popular videos on YouTube (58m views+).  David DeVore, Jr. is now 9 years old and I have never moderated a panel with a 9-year-old before.

Charlie Schmidt, creator of the original Keyboard Cat video.  He also created one of the most popular home movies of all time — but it was recorded in 1984 on videotape, then uploaded to YouTube and subsequently discovered by Brad O’Farrell, who turned the footage into the “Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat” meme.  There are now over 4,000 derivative “Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat” videos on YouTube.  (Brad was in the audience.)

(Click to enlarge. Photo by extraface on flickr)

With a Turkish-speaker, a 9-year-old, and no irony apparent anywhere on the panel, it was one of the most difficult moderation assignments I’ve ever been given. The video will be available in about a week so you can see for yourself how it went.  I loved it!  Until then, Alex Leavitt liveblogged my panel.  (Here is his summary: )

But beyond my panel, here’s my big list of…

What I Learned From ROFLcon

  • David (Sr.) of David After Dentist made about $120,000 via his YouTube Partner Program membership (so far).  He was accused of child abuse by a newspaper columnist, and someone wrote that he filmed the video while shooting backwards over his shoulder in a moving car while also driving (not true — the car was in fact not moving).  David (Jr.) of David After Dentist — age 9 — thinks that it was a terrific experience and wishes people would ask him about it more.
  • Clippy, the office assistant from Microsoft Office still gets about 2 fan e-mails per month hoping that Microsoft will resurrect him.  Clippy was drawn on a Mac.
  • Garfield Minus Garfield creator Dan Walsh gets requests to reprint his comic strips.  (He says: “I think you should talk to the Garfield people–these are already stolen.”)  Dan was told by his carrier (tumblr) that his strips were fair use and that tumblr would protect him by keeping him anonymous.  His identity was outed by a newspaper reporter who asked Jim Davis (creator of Garfield) about it without permission.  Davis is a big fan, but Walsh didn’t get a cut of the profits from the Garfield Minus Garfield book.  Dan Walsh takes about 10 minutes to make each strip, and he uses Microsoft Paint.
  • The Chad Vader show idea was at first rejected by many who feared intellectual property liability.  Now it turns out that George Lucas is a big fan.  The major set of Chad Vader (the grocery store) is The Willy Street Co-Op in Madison, WI.  They are allowed to film there but in exchange they must listen to script suggestions from the grocery store’s staff.  Chad Vader is actually two people — one person does the body and another does the voice, which is post-processed.
  • Facebook is the new AOL.  “Facebook is the training wheels of the Internet.” — Ben Huh, Cheezburger Network
  • The most common reason that content is taken down from is that the submitted definitions contain the first and last name of real people.  Most users of Urban Dictionary cannot spell “dictionary.”  The urban dictionary URL used to have a dash in it but the guy squatting the non-dash domain name forgot to renew.  There are 25m unique users per month on urban dictionary — 0.8% contribute words, and the trend to contribute is increasing.  The Oxford English Dictionary added the word “spam” ten years after had the word.  You could use that calculation to say that urbandictionary is always 10 years ahead.
  • The “chairman edition” of the book The Art of Demotivation — which I thought was a joke — actually exists.  It costs $1200 and 13 have been sold so far.
  • moot is a friendly guy.

k bai!

2 Responses to “What I learned from ROFLcon”

  1. Sawyer Says:

    thank you for posting this… i had to be in nyc all weekend and missed the whole affair! Ben Huh’s comment on Facebook is pretty interesting… my younger cousins live on Facebook.

  2. Andy Says:

    Agreed with Sawyer – for me, this started to become obvious when the shared occurrence among young adults are parents wanting to connect with them through their Facebook network. Unfortunately, there’s also no genteel way to decline this request (at least in my family). My parents are AOL ex-patriots looking for a new iCountry.

    Also surprising here – that two notoriously litigious copyright-holding artists seem pacified as normal working stiffs bend and batter the properties at will. Is there some sort of silent negotiation going on there?

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