Mother Jones has another good interview with Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger Network: I Can Haz Media Empire? He drops some knowledge about the LOLcats phenomenon and the way we use the internet:
Mother Jones: I was poking around the US Naval Institute website the other day and found a photo captioned with LOLcat language. Weird, right? When did LOLcats go mainstream?Four years in one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the country, and this is what you get. Call it grammatically-incorrect inanity or entrepreneurial genius, the guy has made a fortune from silly cat photos. Funny, because he's allergic to cats.
Ben Huh: The meme of LOLcats is definitely more mainstream, but we certainly haven't crossed the Rubicon. I was just at a conference called ROFLCon—which despite the funny name is a very serious and academic discussion about Internet culture—and the reality is, we live in this tiny little bubble called technology. The rest of the world is 10, 20 years behind. Even the rest of America is several years behind. To them the Internet is the thing you use to buy airplane tickets. Or look up airplane tickets so you can call your travel agent and book them over the phone, because you don't trust the Internet with your credit card numbers. That still happens today, and it's a significant portion of how people use online, which is as a tool. We use the Internet as a medium, they use it as a tool. Two very separate things. And in order for Internet culture, the subversive culture, to actually go mainstream, those people have to see the Internet in a very different light.