The journey of a joke & digitial history
Consider this stupid office humor image:
Someone in their early 20s was circulating that at my office today. And all I could think is: where did you get an AOL chain email from?
Imagine the journey something this might have taken over the last 2 decades:
- Typed up in an old word processor.
- Printed on an early printer (we can't see the edges to know if it had feed strips).
- Hung up in the office on a clipboard.
- Someone either A) took a film photo and scanned it or B) used an early digital camera and manually transferred it via an external media card reader.
- Put it on a floppy disk and passed it to a friend.
- That guy eventually attached it to an email and sent it to all their friends.
- Someone thought it was so funny they saved it to their zip drive of funny images.
- They uploaded it to some bulletin board.
- Someone else saved it and uploaded it to imgur.com and posted it on Reddit.
- Someone saw it on Reddit and pasted it into HipChat.
- I grabbed a copy and uploaded it here.
And it could've been even more meandering than that. Who knows how many dozens of types of media that thing passed thru before a kid who possibly wasn't alive when that joke got written found it on Reddit and thought it should get passed around yet another office.
And people worry our generation isn't leaving a permanent historical record.