Dad is Ded!

“THEN WHO WAS PHONE” is an example of a not-scary “creepypasta.” If you were scared, I apologize. If you have no idea what is going on, I’ll explain later. [Edit note: I forgot to mention that I think “THEN WHO WAS PHONE?” is absurdly hilarious. The schlocky story and the bad grammar and spelling fits with my twisted sense of humor.] I was reading about creepypasta on Know Your Meme, the encyclopedia website I wrote about in January that documents the universe of Internet memes. A website called Tubefilter, which I had never heard of before Monday, broke the news that Know Your Meme was being sold to the Cheezburger Network. Maybe this is where I start to lose you again. Cheezburger is the home of LOLcats, as in “I can haz cheezburger?” I wrote about the Cheezburger Network getting $30 million in venture funding in January. Some of that money was used to buy Know Your Meme.

Know Your Meme was owned by Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron. In his Tumblr blog after the news broke Monday, he acknowledged in a post titled: “THE ROCKETBOOM INSTITUTE OF INTERNET STUDIES SELLS LABORATORY, KNOW YOUR MEME,” that he got “a super seven figure deal.” He wrote further:

The framework of the site is now established, successful and able to run on its own. In fact, consider that this very valuable property only requires two-full time and two part-time paid staff members to keep the site operational and growing. The rest happens through an incredible community of passionate moderators, editors, researchers and contributors, all there because, like me, they just love the work.

The website is an amazing accumulation of research of the best time-wasters the Internet has to offer. Cheezburger founder and CEO Ben Huh (I don’t make these names up) said in a press release that “this acquisition is a natural compliment for our community.” With Know Your Meme, “we can help the public understand the origins of memes and how content goes viral on the Web,” he said. Baron reportedly was running out of money and some employees had abandoned ship, so this is good news for people who rely on Know Your Meme, like me.

The press release also offered this handy explanation of meme vs. viral: “An Internet meme is a piece of content or an idea that’s passed from person to person, changing and evolving along the way. A piece of content that is passed from person to person, but does not evolve or change during the transmission process is considered viral content.”

Yay. So what is creepypasta? It is a variation of copypasta, stories that get copied and repeated. Here’s the story on “THEN WHO WAS PHONE?