What do you learn when you get the entire internet together in one room? In this panel, the cofounders of ROFLCon (Tim Hwang, Diana Kimball, and Christina Xu) will share what they’ve learned from cramming the internet’s celebrities, content creators, and community organizers into the same space as their fans and the academics that study it all. We will give you the condensed, Cliff Notes version of what guests like moot, Mahir Cagri, Ben Huh, Tron Guy, and Autotune the News have revealed about the currents at work underneath the internet universe. Beyond merely sharing some moments and the usual pictures of funny cats, we’re also going to focus in a bit on the even more amusing backstage of putting something like this on. What have we learned? How are we thinking about events around internet culture now? And how/why did we get Leeroy Jenkins to do our conference security? This panel will also be taking a step back to grapple with some of the questions that have emerged as the most important in our dealings with the internet at ROFLCon: what happens when internet culture becomes big business? What counts as an “internet culture”? What are the ethics of operating in this evolving ecosystem?
Christina Xu grew up on the internet and now works at Breadpig, an uncorporation trying to make the world suck less by harnessing the goodwill of geeks worldwide. She is one of the co-founders of ROFLCon, a conference that celebrates and investigates internet communities and their cultures. She currently serves as a trustee of the Boston chapter of the Awesome Foundation and a co-captain of Pirateship, a coworking space in Somerville. She is delighted by inside jokes that cross borders, clever reappropriations, the social rituals around technology, delicious food, and ridiculously loud subwoofers. She tweets compulsively about these things @chrysaora.
Diana Kimball fell in love with the internet. In 2007, she started ROFLCon with Tim Hwang and Christina Xu and sent many, many emails to strangers. Fortunately, she received many in return. These days, she lives in San Francisco and works as a program manager on the PowerPoint team at Microsoft. In fall 2011, she'll be moving back east to attend Harvard Business School. In general, she is an enthusiast.
Tim Hwang is a partner at Robot, Robot & Hwang, a San Francisco-based legal research and development firm specializing in the replacement of puny hoo-man lawyers with computers. He is also the co-founder of ROFLCon, a conference about web culture, memes, and internet celebrity. He is also is a founding trustee of the Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, a worldwide organization devoted to small-scale community financing to projects that support the interest of awesomeness in the universe. Formerly, he served as a researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and was managing director of the internet culture research group The Web Ecology Project. He twitters @timhwang and blogs inconsistently at brosephstalin.com.
Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. O’Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the O’Reilly Open Source Convention, the Web 2.0 Summit, and the Gov 2.0 Summit. Tim’s blog, the O’Reilly Radar “watches the alpha geeks” to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim is on the boards of CollabNet, Safari Books Online, and Code for America.
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