ROFLcon III — the biannual conference about Internet culture — was held at MIT on May 4th and 5th, 2012.

Jamie Wilkinson and Kenyatta Cheese, Greg Rutter, Christopher “moot” Poole and Ben Huh
Mainstreaming the Web panel

In attendance were Success Kid, Chuck Testa, Antoine Dodson, and thousands of other memes and meme-lovers, discussing the impact and magic of Internet culture and hosting panels on everything from Adventures in Aca-meme-ia to Defending the Internet.

Like space-invasion films of the mid-20th century or soap operas of more recent decades, the cultural phenomena of Internet memes reflect societal anxieties or desires, and that through studying these memes we can better understand what is going on in the collective mind of our culture. To ignore Internet memes, is to ignore the huge outpouring of modern folk culture that is occurring online…
Could LOLcats Actually Be Making Us Smart?

Life After The Meme panel

Traditionally, Mr. Zittrain said, something that becomes popular on the Web, like a meme or a YouTube video, tends to get written off as something that is “somehow not real life.” There is a perception, he said, that the people who inhabit the Web are largely separated “from the world at large.” But increasingly that is less and less true, as the line between Internet culture and popular culture blurs. Memes are penetrating the entertainment industry and advertising — think of the recent spate of pistachio commercials starring the Honey Badger — and delivering political commentary through new twists on media, including remixed photos and GIFs, as with Occupy Cop, the overzealous pepper sprayer.
ROFLCon: The Internet Goes Offline to Talk Web Culture

Scumbag Steve posed for photos and Craig Allen, creator of the Old Spice commercials, Skyped in Internet sensation Isaiah Mustafa during an imaginative panel that perfectly captured the current trend of brands becoming memes and memes becoming brands.

…the fact that a one-off joke can now be turned into a (potentially) lucrative mini-franchise is a sign that web humor is no longer as inaccessible — in every sense of the word — as it was even just five years ago. This internet thing might really take off!
At ROFLcon, Internet Memes Collide With Meatspace

It was an incredible weekend, and we’re honored to have been involved both as guests and as sponsors of the event.

Cheezburger ROFLcon party via Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

We threw an epic party Friday night, where attendees took pictures with Mt. Mememore, picked up Cheezburger swag and played board games till 1am.

The Know Your Meme team spoke at a panel called Becomes An Advice Animal; Talks About It

…and CEO Ben Huh’s discussion on copyright law and how we can build a less restrictive and more creative Intertubes was considered to be the most intellectually stimulating panel at the conference:


Success Kid at ROFLcon

Something very apparent at this year’s ROFLcon was just how no longer niche Internet culture is:

Another thing we can all agree on: memes and related internet culture are now mainstream. When ROFLCon started in 2008, memes were still for a niche (if very large) audience. There are great reasons for that. Memes don’t explain themselves very well — you have to know how to read them, and you have to look at several examples before you “get” the joke. … This is true of most memes, and a few years ago, most people simply weren’t in on the joke. That is all changing very fast.
When Memes Go Mainstream

We’re arriving at a time of incredible change because one of the things that humanity invented — the Internet and technology — is really taking off. What we have to do is we have to use that piece of technology and rethink the world, because it’s gotten us an amazing amount of efficiency. What it’s also done is changed people’s expectations about what content is, and how we make it work. At Cheezburger, that’s humor.
– Ben Huh to Adrienne LaFrance

Kenyatta, moot and Ben, via KYM

Want moar ROFLcon pics? Click here!