Rolling on the Floor, Meeting

If any more proof were needed that technology can lead to the creation of events, ROFLCon seems tailor-made to provide it. The conference, which was first held in 2008 and was reprised this spring on the MIT campus to a sold-out audience, is named after the acronym,”rolling on the floor, laughing” — Internet-speak for “That was really, really funny.”

The idea spun out from a tweetup of Harvard undergraduates who founded the conference as a way to meet their online heroes, such as the viral phenomenon known as The Tron Guy. Attendees seemed to have had a good time — who wouldn’t get a kick of out of meeting the creator of Clippy? — while tackling serious subjects, like how the Internet is changing cultural notions of celebrity, and race and the Internet.

What really struck me is how durable the concept of meeting face-to-face is proving to be. For ROLFCon’s attendees, who are utterly at home in cyberspace, meeting face-to-face still is something to get excited about — even when the subject is cyberspace.

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.