Tuesday, September 13, 2005

dictionaraoke is forever

things can move pretty fast on the net. the latest internet fad can spread all over the web in a few days... hours in extreme cases. similarly, thanks to the blogosphere, news stories (as well as lies, rumors, and deliberate misinformation) can spread rapidly and rabidly if they happen to get front-paged by the right site—even if they have been completely ignored by the mainstream media. we've seen this enough times that i shouldn't even have to cite examples (though really i'm just lazy and don't want to take the time to think of any).

but on the internet, objects tend to stay in motion and at rest at the same time. fads circulate quickly, but most of that old content is still out there. yes, sites sometimes die and disappear forever, creating more wasted information for us to mourn. but other sites stick around long after you've forgotten them.

such is the way with all those clearly false, long-ago-debunked urban legends that people forward you or post online sometimes. just yesterday someone on one board i frequent posted that old "target is french and hates veterans" chestnut, which was absurdly unbelievable and obviously false even three years ago when it was first written and disproved (in case you don't feel like clicking, target does support veterans, and is american-owned... as if it would really matter if they were french). a quick trip to snopes will instantly defuse 90% of more of these discussions, but occasionally you run across the extremely stubborn who refuse to acknowledge snopes's authority... that's a good sign that you should get out of the conversation.

but a lot of those old fads are still around too, and continue to get traffic. case in point: the resurgence of dictionaraoke.

dictionaraoke is the phenomenon of online dictionaries singing popular music. it originated long ago on the snuggles list, and a bunch of us eagerly put together more than 100 songs, all available for free download. we did so by finding instrumental and/or midi versions of popular songs, downloading the spoken word samples from dictionary sites like merriam-webster and put them together with often hilarious results.

dictionaraoke is old. older than this blog, and maybe older than animalswithinanimals.com altogether. old enough that the snuggles list had long ago moved on to other things. my two contributions are both under the "animals within animals" name because at the time, i was still trying to do all my collage-based stuff under that name: i hadn't yet done any collage under the stAllio! name... it's that old. but suddenly it's making the rounds again.

a few months ago, someone at lucasarts found the site and circulated the link to her co-workers.

last week, it was posted on metafilter (for at least the second time). if you look through the comments, you'll see several raves about my contributions (closer and nuthin but a g thang) as well as the girl from ipanema, which was done by the lovely virago (under the name mittelschmerz).

then later that day (perhaps coincidentally, though i doubt it), it was posted as entertainment weekly's site of the day (which, as james allensbach pointed out on snuggles, is only three years after the site was mentioned in the actual EW magazine).

and now, jima and d^2 have been interviewed for an article by canwest, canada's largest wire service. so canadians aplenty will be reading about dictionaraoke soon if they haven't already. it's a good article; d^2 posted it to snuggles so i've read it, but i haven't found a linkable online version yet (no hits on google news, for example), but when i find one, i'll post it.


dj empirical said...

i'm actually the one who made up the word "dictionaraoke".

it's weird seeing something i made up on the spot (when we were throwing around names for it) become plastered all over the internet.

jima said...

Yeah, tell me about it.