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ROFLcon post-post-mortem

Christina Xu, one of the founders of ROFLcon, has posted her post-mortem of the event. In fact, she posted this to a mailing list we’re on. Here’s what I posted to that list in reply:

I was there. I thought it was, well, epic.

From the very first sentence of the conference — a call and response
from Leeroy — it was clear that the audience members knew the same
jokes and held the same values, and thus was something more than a
mere audience. The enthusiasm of the attendees was instant,
unbridled and sustained. Given that this was a celebration of a
culture constructed by its own audience, this was appropriate. It felt
more like a movement than a conference.

But, since I am just about three times older than the average
attendee, my reaction is tainted. Oh, sure, I enjoy a funny LOLcats
now and then, but Time magazine covered that meme a year ago. I had to
have a young friend explain the complex history of Anonymous, and the importance of
Leslie Hall only slowly sank in. As for Leeroy, well, I had to look
him up in Wikipedia to get the entire backstory. (This was far more a
WoW than Wikipedia crowd.) It was a revelation to me how far outside
the Net mainstream I’ve become.

So, it’s hard for me to judge how important ROFLcon was. It might have
been a watershed event in which the culture assembled itself into one
physical place long enough to sense its own heft. Woodstock, anyone?
Or it might have been
“merely” a place in which bonds formed and themes coalesced that will
affect the future. I do suspect that it was, in any event, more than
just a good time.

(I might add that, Christina’s modesty aside, the degree of looseness
the event achieved came as a result of especially meticulous,
transparent, organizing by Christina, Tim, and a large, loose cadre). [Tags: ]

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