ROFLCon Panel – Internet Fame

Weinberger also (see previous post) stayed to moderate a panel on what it means to be internet famous.

Panel description:

YOU CAN GET PAID FOR THIS?: MAKING SOME BUCKS (W20: Sala del Puerto Rico): How do you make money? Are you making lots of money? Has all that money corrupted you? How about now? Are you a fluke are you generalizable? What are some other ways the rest of us can make money? Please?

Moderator: David Weinberger

Panelists: Kyle Macdonald (One Red Paperclip), Joe Mathelete (Joe Mathelete Explains Marmaduke), Ian Spector (Chuck Norris Facts), Andy Ochiltree (, Andrew Baron (Rocketboom), Alex Tew (The Million Dollar Homepage)

My rough rough notes:
(Mostly these notes don’t reflect how good Weinberger is as a moderator with an unpredictable crowd, including the panelists – he did a great job getting them to answer questions without getting in the way of their natural humor and randomness.)

DW: Who are you, and how do you make money?

Maramaduke Explained – it’s remarkable I haven’t gotten sued, Make money on google ads, have sold t-shirts

JibJab – this land, the bush kerry collage animation. Make money on merchandize, sendables, some sponsored things with big brands.

The Chuck Norris fact generator. We tried calendars, some merchandise (though we can’t use his face / likeness). They also have Vin Deisel Facts, Mr. T facts.

One red paper clip guy – traded up to a house in Seattle.

Andrew Barron – rocket boom.

The million dollar web page guy who sold pixels. No ideas for recurring revenue.

DW – in some ways learning by example is flawed. What do you guys think – is there anything people can learn from your success?

jibjab – greg and evan, who started it, got lucky in some ways but were prepared to take advantage of it.

one red paperclip – kind of fell into it backwards.

marmaduke guy – I’m 100% fluke. Never had any idea it would happen. Someone emailed one day – you’re on boingboing and I said what’s boing boing?

one red paperclip guy – I really am a fluke, totally – no way to know it was going to be that big. There’s a lot of things n the web you can’t predict – you got to be in it to win it.

rocketbook – we’re very dependent on the web. we get everything we discuss from the web, from recommendations bottom up not centralized top down.

DW: Do you see your million dollar web page as some kind of commentary on advertising, and what people are willing to pay for?

Million dollar web page guy: No.

DW: Do you feel any sense of connection to Chuck Norris at this point?

Chuck Norris Facts guy: No. I was always under the impression that the jokes are funny no matter who’se name you put there. plus he’s suing me. (

DW – I know you can’t say that, but obviously you’ve helped his career and the fact that he’s suing you means he’s got his head up his ass.

DW – how do you stay webby, while being courted by and profiting from the mainstream media?

jibjab – open dialogue with your viewers/readers/audience. Listening to real feedback from real users – makes all the difference. Critical to deciding what to do next – these folks helped make us, let’s listen to what they have to say.