Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 in Internet Fads: A Top Ten Adventure

To gear up for the new year and the return of Central Michigan Life to regular publishing next week, Lifeline Online will be posting a series of "Best Of"s for the past year. Movies, music, internet fads, and even Central Michigan University itself will all be itemized and evaluated, with a grand finale of the 10 most important cultural figures in next Monday's paper.

We'll kick it off with the ten best Internet Fads of 2008.

10. "I'm F---ing Matt Damon"

It's very occasional that Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show is funny. You've basically got "This Week in Unnecessary Censorship" and this:

9. "Charlie Bit Me"

Sometimes exceedingly adorable children is all you need to get a video featured in national commercials.

8. "Italian Spiderman"

This may be quite obscure, but it also happens to be the best thing ever.

7. Miss South Carolina 2007 Caitlin Upton's incoherent response

6. Y'arr, New Facebook ahoy

A beta version of a new interface for hyper-popular social networking ubersite Facebook was put up in Summer 2008, and the new interface became permanent in September, to the loud complaining and protesting of many a high schooler. Those who took the time to learn and use the new streamlined system, however, were generally happy with it.

Another related change occurred on September 19, in observance on International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Facebook added a new language option, English (Pirate). As verbalized on this very blog, it is awesome.

5. The Internet vs. Scientology

Scientology got a one-two punch of mob-rage and idiocy this year.

Scores of mass-coordinated protests and rallies against the Church of Scientology were carried out in front of Scientology centers around the world several days last year.  Carried out under the name "Project Chanology," the protesters coordinated their protests mainly over the imageboard 4Chan.

4. Joker becomes a meme

After the dynamite opening of "The Dark Knight" this summer, the internet was infatuated with the late Heath Ledger's Joker. One could not go onto a forum without seeing "Why so serious?'

3. Puppy Cam!

A webcam trained on a box full of Shiba Inu puppies became one of the most fad-tastic stops on the Internet last year, and were featured on everything from CNN to Bill O'Reilly.

Because who doesn't love puppies?

2. Twitter

This social networking site, revolving around 140-character or less mini-posts, has seen its user base double in the last year. Media outlets from newspapers, websites and TV networks to Joe the Blogger are all twittering up a storm, with no sign of slowing from the Little Social Network That Could.

1. Rickrolling

The Internet knows the rules and so do I.

Technically beginning late 2007 in the dark orifice of the Internet known as the 4Chan imageboards, the act of Rickrolling is tricking somebody into unexpectedly watching a video of the '80s hit "Never Gonna Give You Up," by Rick Astley. Starting in the early part of the year, the phenomenon grew astronomically.

Rickrolls found their way to sporting events, and board meetings, and YouTube got in on the fun for April Fools' Day, turning every link on their frontpage into a Rickroll.

During the madness of the election, an Obama-themed spinoff known as the "Barackroll" became a huge hit, made from clips of Barack Obama's speeches edited together so that he sings the entire song.

The swan song for this phenomenon came at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, when Rick Astley appeared on a float and performed approximately a minute of the song, effectively Rickrolling an entire national holiday.

2008 will forever be remembered as the Year of the Rickroll. Mainly because, God willing, this fad will not continue into 2009.


Fredric said...

Anonymous owns the Internet. Since the notoriously criminal Scientology corporation hates free speech, Anonymous has decided that Scientology must be removed from the Internet.

Brad Canze said...

My opinions on Scientology aren't exactly sparkling, and I'm saying yours are any worse or better.

But if I were to define "Irony," it would be a blogger with his name, photo, and links to his blog and website visible, speaking in Anonymous catchphrases.