Recent news from the Center for Civic Media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

From Micro-Fame to Nano-Fame: Nyan Cat, Me Gusta, Huh?, and Double Rainbow at #ROFLCON

ROFLCon has talked about microfame before, but the time to complete internet domination is even shorter than before. Memes now come and go at the rate of several per day, and they're also ever tinier and tinier splices of content: moving away from whole blogs to a few seconds of video here or a single image there.

What's it like to be known for a few seconds or pixels of content?

Mike Rugnetta of MemeFactory is moderating. The panelists include:

When Your 0:15 Seconds of Internet Fame is Up

Panelists: Austin Hall (Daft Hands), Leeroy Jenkins (Leeroy Jenkins), Kyle McDonald (One Red Paperclip), Chuck Testa (Ojai Taxidermy), Christian Lander (mod – Stuff White People Like)

For all those who don’t find their way into the drug-filled corridors of mega-fame and mansion-owning fortune, internet celebrity ends up being just another chapter–albeit a chaotic and awesome one.
So, what do people get up to after their time in the internet spotlight is over? This panel brings together folks that have packed up their bags, moved on, or otherwise returned to life as usual after the meme. What we’re aiming to find is: what has returned to normal? Are they relieved? And, in what ways were their lives irreversibly changed?

When Lulzes Go Global

Moderating is Ethan Zuckerman, the director of The MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media and co-founder of the citizen journalist network Global Voices. He is probably best known for the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism.

There are all kinds of great internet memes out there that we don’t get to understand just because we don’t speak the languages. Memes require an enormous amount of background contextual knowledge to understand what, exactly, makes them funny. Ethan references his previous ROFLCon appearance, where talked about Makmende and challenged the organizers to bring in a more global outlook. Fortunately, ROFLCon responded in force and provided Ethan with an all-star panel of international internet culture translators.

ROFLCon Keynote: Jonathan Zittrain on Memes and Society

Today with Matt Stempeck and Stephen Suen, I'm liveblogging ROFLCon, a conference for things and people who are famous on the Internet. The livenote index is here.

Christina Xu, event organiser, starts off ROFLCon to cheers. It’s amazingly packed venue: “One out of eight people in this room have done something crazy on the internet."

Jonathan Zittrain

Jonathan Zittrain is a Internet phenomenon. Emerging from humble beginnings as a longtime Compuserve forum sysop, he is now Professor of Law at Harvard Law School where he co-founded the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.


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