Spend any amount of time following journalist types and old people on Twitter and you’re liable to think this whole Internet thing is really serious business. The joke’s on those folks though; the Internet’s all about who can lots of hits and the most viral goofball things, like kids being wacked out on prescription drugs and corgis pooping their diapers. Memes rule everything around us, and there’s no better celebration of the most powerful communication devices of our time than ROFLCon, whose third edition starts tomorrow at MIT. Huzzah!
Motherboard visited ROFLCon in 2010, and it turned out to be pretty much ridiculous. It’s hard to know what to expect when you take someone whose personality is so over the top online — like Aleksey “Impossible is Nothing” Vayner or Borat-inspiration Mahir — and bring them into fleshy, normal real life. Things got pretty weird, as evidenced by this wonderful photo spread of the who’s who at ROFLCon, but they also got smart. With the web’s mememakers holding an incredible amount of social sway, ROFLCon isn’t all just lulz and metrics swag: there are intelligent people aplenty discussing how information gets disseminated online, and the bigger social and political implications of viral memes. Also, there’s a panel with Scumbag Steve, who is readying a rap album (see his new already-viral video below). But he’ll probably show up late and ask to bum some cigs.