To quote ROFLcon founder Tim Hwang, “Set your phasers for awesome.”
The third annual Web culture convention is currently underway at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where two days’ worth of panels will address everything from webcomics and supercuts to fangirls and defending the Internet. (Here’s our recap of Jonathan Zittrain’s opening keynote speech.)
If there’s an underlying theme to ROFLcon this year, it’s the unwavering attempt to understand the importance of Internet memes—those cultural ties that bind the Web. You will see that in Jordan Lefler’s linguistic analysis of LOLspeak, the real-life personification of Scumbag Steve, a discussion with Cheezburger Network’s Bun Huh, and a look at the distinct impact of memes around the world.
In other words, we’re about to find out what happens when the Web—and those behind the memes—gets real.
Here’s a curated guide to some of the Daily Dot’s most anticipated panels.
“Mamilos!” Translating Brazil’s entertaining and bizarre memes
Every language communicates with its memes. Brazil’s memes, Bia Granja says, “are a product of social difference.” (Global Lulzes: Friday, 2 pm, Track A)
No Me Gusta: Illustrator Matt Oswald apologizes to the Internet
Oswald recounts the origin story and personal implications of his infamous rage comic, Me Gusta. (From Micro-Fame to Nano-Fame: Friday, 3:15 pm, Track A)
Weebl on Weebl: Web star Jonti Picking reflects on his Internet empire
Ten years after the debut of his still-awesome Web series, Weebl reflects on how the Internet and his work have changed together. (The Distant Future, the Year 2000: Friday, 5 pm, Track A)
Boing Boing’s Rob Beschizza: “We’re not big on cat videos anymore”
Boing Boing’s managing editor discusses the early Web and secrets to success. (The Distant Future, the Year 2000: Friday, 5 pm, Track A)
Behind the scenes of YouTube with Kevin Allocca
YouTube’s trends manager pulls back the curtain and talks about viral videos. (Too Big to Know: Friday, 6:30 pm, Track A)
In the kitchen with Vegan Black Metal Chef
Brian Manowitz dishes on black metal, pad thai, and his forthcoming album. (Drunk Vegan Black Metal Scanwich Chef: Saturday, 11 am, Track B)
Le Meme creator on le GIF
GIF artist and curator Jonathan Vingiano explains the recent resurgence of GIFs on the Web. (The GIFs that Keep on GIFing: Saturday, 1:30 pm, Track B)
The animated history of the GIF
CompuServe’s Alexander Trevor and inventor Steve Wilhite, and Russian artist Olia Lialina trace the rise and evolution of the GIF. (The GIFs that Keep on GIFing: Saturday, 1:30 pm, Track B)
Matt Harding: YouTube channels killed the Internet video star
Where The Hell Is Matt, and why doesn’t YouTube seem to care? (Channels Killed the Internet (Video) Star: Saturday, 1:30 pm, Track A)
Photo via @laureninspace/Twitter