My Contribution

I’ve finally contributed something original to the Internet. I’ve chronicled many interesting things over at Found on the Web and I always felt like I needed to make something that others would use, get a kick out of, and then blog themselves. At last I’ve done it!

I call it the Meme Obfuscation Machine, which I just now noticed can be shortened to MOM—which I will not do. I had a spare domain that I’ve been paying for since 2003 (bridgeforsale.com) so I decided to donate it to the cause.

I created it Friday, February 29th. I’ve been intrigued by the phenomenon known as the Rick Roll for a couple of weeks now but on Friday it struck me that at some point it’s just too obvious that you’re being Rick Rolled. I remembered the serpentine redirects they used to use in the Slashdot community to land people at Goatse and suddenly it all just clicked.

It took me an hour to get all the necessary mod_rewrite rules down pat and then another hour to write up the Web site and hand-rolled feeds. The basic idea is that you craft a URL to suit your mark. For example, if your friend is a woodworking enthusiast (and who isn’t), send him a link to www.bridgeforsale.com/articles/stunning-cabinet-plans-for-free.php. He’ll gleefully click it and find himself on the business end of a Rick Astley.

I decided to make Rick Roll the default behavior for now so that any extension not already mapped (.aspx for Goatse, .jsp for Just Google It) would go to the campy video. But if you want the link to work forever, use “.php” or leave off the extension since those will be future proofed. Future meme additions will take up undefined extensions.

I hope this serves you well. Either way, I had a blast making it.

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