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ROFLCon!

Posted by Joshua Glenn  April 28, 2008 02:04 PM

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I blogged about plans for ROFLCon -- a weekend-long conference of "internet microcelebrities" originally planned by Harvard undergrads -- back in February. So this Saturday, I thought I'd better head over to the MIT campus to check it out. I wasn't disappointed.

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The Tron Guy

Minnesota's Jay Maynard, better known as Tron Guy, thanks to his awesome illuminated unitard (based on the one that Bruce Boxleitner wears in the 1982 trapped-in-a-computer movie "Tron"), was there. He and Matt Harding, a video game developer from Seattle who became a cult figure after he filmed himself dancing badly in exotic locations, spoke about what it's like to be famous... online. I wasn't there in journalism mode, so my notes are sketchy:

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I also visited a panel discussion featuring Martin Grondin of the LOLCat Bible Translation Project, Cheez of the LOLCat site I Can Has Cheezburger, Ryan and Arija of LOLSecretz, Stephen Granades of LOLTrek, and Adam Lindsay of LOLCode.

In this photo of the LOLCats panel, taken by Flickr user Super Deluxe, you can barely make me out in the audience (first row, far left):

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Sample questions from the audience: "Are cats man's new best friend?" and "How do cats feel about LOLCats?"

PS: ROFLCon was described in today's Globe as the Woodstock of the Web. Does this mean that, 20 years from now, thousands of people will claim to have been there, even though there were only 500 there?

I was geekily excited when I laid eyes on the likes of Drew Curtis (Fark.com), Leslie Hall (Gem Sweater), and Andy Ochiltree (JibJab). But the best part of ROFLCon for me was bumping into my favorite internet celebrity, Jessamyn West, the Vermont-based creator of Librarian.net and longtime MetaFilter moderator. As luck would have it, while she and I were chatting we were surrounded by members of Anonymous, the online anti-Scientology activist group; so I asked one of the masked protesters to snap this photo:

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What a blast. If only ROFLCon were in town every weekend.

Click here for all photos on Flickr tagged "roflcon."

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

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Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.

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