You’ve been Rickrolled

By Joel Wilson

Have you ever been on the internet and clicked on a link that said something along the lines of: “OMG WOW YOU WON FREE MONEY PLS CLICK HERE FOR FREE MONEY”, only to be greeted by a gif (gif: a moving picture or a clip short) of a man eating ice-cream off his own body while the tune of True by Spandau Ballet plays softly in the background? Well you have the Rickroll to thank for that.

The Rickroll is a well-known internet hoax in which something is falsely advertised (such as free money as mentioned above) which when clicked on activated a video of Rick Astley’s 1987 song Never Gonna Give You Up and thus, Rickrolling was born.

Rickrolling can be traced all the way back to 2007 (which is more like 700 years in internet time) to the 4chan video games board where someone posted an apparent video of the GTA IV trailer. The game was only teased (speculated) at that point and many people clicked on it hoping to see the first glimpse of a new age revolutionary video game. Instead, they were greeted by a video of Rick Astley shuffling to the sound of a familiar 80’s tune.

Rickrolling was influenced by another similar internet hoax known as ‘duckrolling’, where a person would click on a video or link only to be greeted by a picture of a duck with wheels for feet (I know, the internet is a strange place). That person would then be duckrolled.

Rickrolling had a profound effect on the internet community as well as Rick Astley himself, citing that Rickrolling reignited his singing career (even though he only received about $12 in royalties from the YouTube videos). Rickrolling has also been used in real life demonstrations such as Scientology Protests as well as other events such as the 2008 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade where a live Rickroll occurred, with Astley himself making an appearance.

Here you are then. Keep an eye out for the moves on the bartender.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ&feature=kp

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Is it memes you’re looking for?

By Joel Wilson

(Pronounced- me-m)

What are memes? You may have seen them plastered all over the internet in the form of pictures and writing, you may also think that they are a recent phenomenon. None of the above is entirely true, as the purpose of a meme is to convey a social or cultural phenomenon satirically from either a comedic point of view or, less commonly, a serious point of view. Therefore, any sort of satirical message (such as graffiti or political cartoons) can be classified as a meme.

Having said this, there is no way to truly determine what the first meme was or when it happened. Depending on your perspective of what memes are, the first meme could range from cavemen painting on walls in prehistoric times to the Hampster Dance in the late 1990’s.

But the types of memes I will be discussing today are the ones of the internet variety. So with the lengthy introduction out of the way lets look at some of my favourites:

The ‘Nope, Chuck Testa’ meme: Surfacing in 2011, this meme is actually an ad for a taxidermy company operating out of Ojai Valley, California. The ad consists of scenarios where animals seem to be doing human-like things. The owner of the company, Chuck Testa, will then jump into the screen and say, “Nope, it’s just Chuck Testa”. The ad was popular due to its lacklustre budget and hilariously terrible acting. The ad went on to be shown across a number of news stations and shows, such as Commercial Kings.

The ‘I Know that Feel Bro’ meme: This meme originated in 2010, but where exactly is unknown. The meme shows two poorly drawn men embracing with the caption “I know that feel bro”. The meme is used to express sympathy towards a person over the Internet. It also coined the term “feel” which is used over the Internet to show your sadness. Some variants of the meme include ‘Right in the Feels’, ‘Nobody give a Feel’, ‘why can’t I hold all these feels’ and my favourite: ‘We’ve become that feel bro’. You can find this meme by searching “I know that feel bro”.

The ‘Doge’ meme: This meme started just last year, in 2013. The meme shows a Shiba Inu (a Japanese breed of dog) sitting on a couch with font around it. The font normally says something along the lines of: “Wow, such (X), very (X) or many (X).” Due to the popularity of this meme the amount of Shiba Inu dogs brought as pets have risen sharply, and these dogs are now referred to on the internet as ‘Shibes’. The meme can be found by searching ‘Doge meme’ on Google.Image

Those are my favourite memes, you can find more by searching up Memebase. They have detailed and varied articles about memes.

What in the Weibo!?

This post is by guest blogger and digital native, Joel Wilson.

Weibo copy

(Pronounced: We-a-bo)

(We-a-bo: Chinese for ‘microblog’)

Everyone has heard of social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (#nofilter); these companies are iconic businesses that dominate the social media market. For example, Facebook has over 1 billion users1 (that’s roughly around 1/8th of the world’s entire population), Twitter’s most active country is the Netherlands2, and 13% of the World Wide Web uses Instagram3.

But what are the other options for social media sites? MySpace has fallen by the wayside and other current sites, such as SnapChat have a strong fanbase but a weak influence when compared to sites such as Facebook. But what if there were no options, what if there was only one social media site that could be accessed or, god forbid, no social media sites at all?

Well in China its citizens aren’t really spoiled for choice when it comes to social media. Since the Chinese government has banned almost all forms of online communication, with the exception of emails and a select few chat rooms all of which are moderated by government officials there only exists one option and that option is Weibo.

Weibo is the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, albeit a more watered down version of it. It was formed in 2009 by the SINA Corporation and has over 500 million users. While other versions of Weibo exist, SINA Weibo is the dominant blogging site in China.

But Weibo is not a place of free-speech, like other Chinese blogs and chat-rooms Weibo is under constant surveillance by the Chinese government. As a result, anti-political and other taboo topics are not allowed to be posted, and will be deleted by an administrator if posted as well as certain words (such as Big Yellow Duck, Google it) being blacklisted, meaning that the words can be used in a search, but no results would be shown.

Here is the link to Weibo, but keep in mind that it is shown in Chinese and that you must be a Chinese citizen to create an account:

http://weibo.com/

Sources:

  1. mashable.com/category/facebook
  2. http://twitterfacts.blogspot.com.au/
  3. http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/

Forget the children, freelancers are our future

When I resigned from my job to start freelancing as a freelance media consultant/writer/university tutor I’m sure my colleagues secretly thought I had lost my mind (sometimes, when I look at the hours I’m putting into business, I think they were right).

Slashies, people who get income from more than one source, are on the rise, as are freelancers. Personally, I love having the freedom to immerse myself in the digital media world everyday and drive my own career.

Freelance.com has identified the 3D sector as one of potential growth, as people get their heads around the possibilities of 3D printing. Mobile developers are big winners, and if they can create the next Candy Crush Saga they will be very big winners.

Sadly, I don’t know how to do either of those jobs but I do know how to write. As social media becomes more and more prominent as a business tool, businesses are placing more emphasis on quality copy. Your receptionist may have a few spare moments in the day to set up a Facebook page but without engaging copy, it’ll fall flat.

Freelancer.com echoes this sentiment, seeing a jump in writing related jobs. Ghostwriting has risen 41.5 per cent and copywriting lifted 17.7 per cent.

Done properly, good social media management doesn’t take 40 hours a week. Keep the freelancer option in mind.

Thanks to memeburn.com and freelancer.com for the stats.