Although I am a big fan of Leo Laporte, and his many geeky podcasts (he convinced me to start an Audible account); the latest episode of TWIT (This Week in Tech) brought to light a fatal flaw in my appreciation of the golden-throated podcasting Goliath!
Whilst tearing apart a recent NY Times article, Laporte and his co-hosts, including the snidey (but actually quite amusing) John C. Dvorak and wannabe web-guru Wil Harris made a fatal error…or should I say exception, come on, we’re all geeks here.
It appears, much to my amazement, that the host and guest have totally missed, in my and many others opinions, the most important online movement of the 21st century!
The author of said NYT article, an expose of 4chan, encycolpediadramatica.com and it’s many major-players and clones, must have been ‘Rick-Rolled’ (old-meme) claims the TWITs, mistaking trolling for flaming.
Anyone who follows this site, however, will know that the people being referred to in the article, including 4chans m00t, are players in the much lager Anonymous group. To not have noticed this huge and impressive online collective, who’s routes famously lie in mass trolling both online MMORPG’s such as Second Life and Habbo Hotel, as well as real-life efforts such as their campaign to spoil the ending to the final Harry Potter book, seems like a massive oversight.
The most irksome moment in the episode though has to be when Laporte and company fail to recognise the popularisation of the word ‘lulz’. At it’s mere mention, Dvorak predictably jumps on defensive accusing the NYT of watching too much Lord of the Rings, as Harris sniggers geekily in the background. This would be all good and quite possibly an ‘epic-win’ for the cohort, if it wasn’t for the fact that ‘lulz’ is a massively used meme, and the prime philosophy of all modern-day Trolls online; and even worse FOX 11 reported on it over a year ago!:
This, at least to me, highlights a major problem with the more popular branches of media that cover the Internet. It’s very easy to follow the popular and glossy subjects and dramatise them enough to make them newsworthy, such as the recent Scrabulous ‘scandal’. But it also means that huge movements such as Anonymous slip under the radar, which to me is sickening. I mean really, who is going to care about a fricking scrabble application for Facebook a year down the line?
In all fairness to Laporte though, he does normally pickup on these things and I highly recomend the more tech-minded of our readers and listeners to go check out twit.tv and the massive amount of original content available there, and if Leo happens to read this, IT’S NOT PRONOUNCED LOOLZ! 😉
You can check the offending episode here, conversation starts at 1:07:37