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Its our ten year anniversary, my future girlfriend...
August 7, 2008 4:27 AM   Subscribe

Handy Internet Meme Timeline
posted by allkindsoftime (54 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
hamster dance was way earlier, wasn't it?
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 5:06 AM on August 7, 2008


Firefox Download Day is on there but not Christmas. Damn libruls.
posted by DU at 5:28 AM on August 7, 2008


Actually this appears to be a Web time-line. An inclusion of the Usenet would have extended back to 1979...
posted by jim in austin at 5:32 AM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


What, no tubgirl?
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:32 AM on August 7, 2008


In Russia, all your Star Wars Kids have been RickRolld.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:41 AM on August 7, 2008


Goddamit.

I remember reading William Gibson in 1989 and there he was talking about cyberspace and how it was going to be this incredible place where you 'flew' to the translucent flourescent pyramid that was your bank.

I wanted my Ono-Sendai deck.

And here we are with the real deal, and what's it all about?

Freakin cat's with captions, rick-rolling, will it blend, OK go.

I want my cool future net back.
posted by sien at 5:46 AM on August 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


^^ And apostrophes everywhere. On the web, if in doubt, use an apostrophe!
posted by autodidact at 5:51 AM on August 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


Missing: July 14, 1999: Cat-Scan.com: Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by TedW at 5:52 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


OK Go + lolcats > 3D stylized wankfest.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:53 AM on August 7, 2008


Er, Homestar Runner was a thing at least a year (if not two) earlier than that timeline suggests. Or are they pretending they can measure a tip rather than the creator's inception?

This is just a prettier version of a top ten list.

Seconded, though, BrotherCaine. Real people doing real inane things > discovering the fantastical unlimited imagination of a species rendered godlike in their consensual hallucinatory universe leading inevitably to a proliferation of ego-sculpted 90 foot penises with neon hairdos. And swords.
posted by abulafa at 5:59 AM on August 7, 2008


What have you done, allkindsoftime?! What if the Timeline of Memes itself becomes a meme, creating a GIANT RECURSIVE MEME VORTEX THAT WILL DESTROY THE INTERNET?!

Also, I hope you people realize that within 50 years there will be a legitimate academic field called Internet History. People will be publishing articles in refereed journals with titles like "Who Won the Great alt.politics Flamewar of 1985?: Consequences and Reinterpretations."
posted by nasreddin at 6:02 AM on August 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


I always enjoy these things, but they often leave out the more obscure memes. This timeline does a good job, but it's in a difficult-to-read format. I think this site has a better layout.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:03 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't believe meme means what the creator of this timeline thinks it means.
posted by cgomez at 6:03 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The "meme" has jumped the shark.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:07 AM on August 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


I swear the bald dude from OK GO is Cory Doctorow's older eccentric brother.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:17 AM on August 7, 2008


OK Go. I liked them better when they were called "the Buzzcocks."
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:18 AM on August 7, 2008


Also, I hope you people realize that within 50 years there will be a legitimate academic field called Internet History. People will be publishing articles in refereed journals with titles like "Who Won the Great alt.politics Flamewar of 1985?: Consequences and Reinterpretations."

But not exactly like that, because the alt.* hierarchy didn't exist until 1987.
posted by xchmp at 6:20 AM on August 7, 2008


I was surprised to note the omission of Craig Shergold. One of the first mass emails I ever saw was my boss sending one out, encouraging everyone he knew to send along those business cards.

The other one I noticed was missing was Hatt Baby, although whether this was an actual meme or not is debatable.
posted by Danf at 6:26 AM on August 7, 2008


danf: craig shergold's search for cards predates the web, so i guess it's not part of this "internet timeline" (sic)
posted by rmd1023 at 6:39 AM on August 7, 2008


Bert is Evil was way before December 2002. I remember someone holding up a poster that had Bert and Bin Laden together in Pakistan just days after 9/11. It was my first smile in about a week after the horror of the attacks. Clicking on the Bert is Evil mention on the page says it won a Webby award in 1998. So why does it get placed at 2002?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:41 AM on August 7, 2008


Hat Baby is on there. I don't get the relative sizes -- some items seem too small or too large in relation to their meme-iness. "I Kiss You," for example, should be huge, at least as I recall it.
posted by Mid at 6:55 AM on August 7, 2008


Tourist Guy showed up on 9-10?

HE DID WTC!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:56 AM on August 7, 2008


Please. I'm aware of all Internet traditions.
posted by Bromius at 6:57 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


nasreddin: giant recursive meme vortices aren't actually that much fun. See the 'Milhouse is not a meme' meme and its spawn for an example.
posted by tylermoody at 7:03 AM on August 7, 2008


No Jennicam?
She's as much an "internet meme" as that damn coffeepot was. And just as entertaining.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:09 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Despite the best efforts here, via the trolling thread and Prof. Wesch, I had heard of exactly 18 of those, and it doesn't count because I heard of every single one either through traditional media or my young adult kids. Therefore, I now pronounce it officially-- I have no idea what is going on on teh internets.
posted by nax at 7:18 AM on August 7, 2008


Metafilter: GIANT RECURSIVE MEME VORTEX THAT WILL DESTROY THE INTERNET
posted by nax at 7:21 AM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can't believe I just got Rickrolled. Damn you, allen.spaulding!

I was looking for a web-meme timeline the other day, but this is not quite what I hoped for. It lacks, um, rigor, I would say.
posted by etc. at 7:23 AM on August 7, 2008


Metafilter ate my balls.
posted by horsemuth at 7:42 AM on August 7, 2008


Wait wait wait wait wait. Bert is Evil in 2002? No way man, that's some old school shit. That was around ever since the days of the "Andie McDowell is the Devil" page, and that one where you could slowly kill Barney with a variety of blood patterns.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:55 AM on August 7, 2008


Yeah, the timing is definitely wonky. It looks like anyone can submit an event, so I don't think there's necessarily a high level of accuracy. All Your Base, for instance, hit the scene way before 2001. That was making the rounds in a relatively small way in 1999. And the source material is another ten years older than that. So maybe they really are aiming for the "peak" date? Otherwise Rick Astley needs to get pushed way back, too.
posted by heresiarch at 7:57 AM on August 7, 2008


I don't believe meme means what the creator of this timeline thinks it means.

Yes, somebody should hack that word.
posted by jbickers at 7:57 AM on August 7, 2008


No "David Hasselhoff Is The Antichrist?"
posted by EarBucket at 8:25 AM on August 7, 2008


Goatse is almost 10 years old? Somebody should hold a birthday party!
posted by Skeptic at 8:25 AM on August 7, 2008


o JenniCam?
o suck.com (a fish, a barrel, a smoking gun)?
o Tommy Seebach's 1970s video of Apache?
o This is hugh!!!111!! I'm series!!!111!! Get a brain, morans!!!111!!
o get your war on?
o surely this?

Also, what cgomez said. 'Meme'?
posted by Herodios at 8:28 AM on August 7, 2008


On the upside, the timeline includes Bubb Rubb... "The whistles go Whoooooooooooo, whooooooo!"

On the downside, Kenya was much better than Badger Badger or Bananaphone but it's completely missing.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:34 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think some people are missing that you can zoom in to see more. This is a titanic achievement.
posted by empath at 8:40 AM on August 7, 2008


You are all ignoring Cubic 4 day Creation. And Kids in Sandbox. (Uh, obligatory NSFW disclaimer on the latter.)

Return to your stations. That is all.
posted by beelzbubba at 8:42 AM on August 7, 2008


Is Godwin's Law or Rule 34 an internet meme? Why are they not listed?
posted by beelzbubba at 8:43 AM on August 7, 2008


no Tunak Tun?
(summer, 2001)
posted by JBennett at 8:45 AM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is teh awesome. I just found what I'll be doing for the next hour - figuring out how close to the beginning I was on various memes (prediction: not very, in almost every case).
posted by jennaratrix at 9:40 AM on August 7, 2008


Empath, in an attempt to refine my snark, I zoomed to the edges.

I must submit that at the most-zoomed-out, all that shows up is This does not look like the memetic history of the last couple decades. I would expect that zoom level to look more like posted by abulafa at 9:45 AM on August 7, 2008


leekspin.com is still my favorite thing ever.
posted by aubilenon at 10:26 AM on August 7, 2008


sien writes "I want my cool future net back."

I maded you a cool future, but I eated it.
posted by orthogonality at 11:00 AM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wikipedia: It looks like anyone can submit an event, so I don't think there's necessarily a high level of accuracy.
posted by Sk4n at 11:50 AM on August 7, 2008


No brunching. No suck.com. And no "Fail."
posted by JHarris at 1:33 PM on August 7, 2008


I want my cool future net back.

That's the problem with futurists. They think the future will always be ruled by hip, in touch, techies or intellectuals, who found their creations on some noble ideals. They never care to think of the future with Joe Average in it. You really gotta lower your heads from the clouds to forsee stuff like Caturday, youtube comments, furries, 9/11 conspiracy websites, vanity pages/myspace, timecube, and alt.tasteless invades rec.pets. This is what happens when you empower normal people. Neuromancer is what happens when you empower the characters in William Gibson's head.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:58 PM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


No brunching. No suck.com. And no "Fail."
posted by JHarris


"Fail" is there. Look for "Fail Blog" at May 15 2008.

There were display tools here and there,
So it wasn't hard to bear.
The day. . . I surfed a meme.

Still, it could have been a little better designed.

Is Godwin's Law or Rule 34 an internet meme? Why are they not listed?

The timeline seems to be focussed on visuals. Godwin and Rule 34 are certainly prime examples, but perhaps a bit more difficult to illustrate.


.


.


.


All right, you are now thinking of linking to devastatingly clever examples illustrating Godwin and Rule 34. (Two memes, one cup!)

This time, please, just chuckle quietly to yourself.
posted by Herodios at 3:28 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


What, no Canter and Siegel?

I remember the net's innocence before that.
posted by marble at 5:33 PM on August 7, 2008


They definitely overlooked some of the best.

Trogdor it wasn't about homestar.
George Washington motherfucker had like 30 goddamn dicks
Rogue Helicopter Pilot Rant chameleon lemon headed coward terrorist pussy
The Fifth Avocado the ducky's name was Jammaalll
Is it Christmas? No Is the sun burning? Yes
Red vs. Blue
Mcsweeney's Lists Victoria's Secret: herpes
Tucker Max's Date Application inspired a best selling book and started an asshole empire
The Best Page in the Universe am I right or what?
posted by clearly at 6:48 PM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I got your Rule 34 illustration right here.

posted by Dr-Baa at 7:15 AM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Forget that.

I didn't see a single pan, nor a pot.

Not even 1 cup.
posted by Samizdata at 11:27 AM on August 8, 2008


what, no I LIEK MILK?


George Washington motherfucker had like 30 goddamn dicks
yesssss still one of the best.
posted by manguero at 2:24 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I forgot to mention engrish, but this one might be more obscure.
posted by manguero at 2:25 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


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