Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nerd Word of the Week: HOPA girl

Image mercilessly stolen from theChive.
HOPA girl (n.) - An internet meme that seems too good to be true, but becomes popular anyway. Also known as a dry erase girl, whiteboard girl, Jenny DryErase or HPOA girl. Named after a hoax perpetrated by theChive, a meme-centered website, in which a brokerage employee resigns by mass-emailing pictures of herself holding a whiteboard to her colleagues. The whiteboard details the employee's reason for the theatrical resignation: Her boss referred to her as a HOPA, a mangled form of the acronym for hot piece of ass.

I bring it up because: HOPA girl went down this week, and in so doing sparked a navel-gazing debate amongst the blogosphere about the nature of memes and the gullibility of traffic-starved bloggers. Basically, once one major site runs with a HOPA girl meme -- which by definition seems too good to be true and thus likely to be a hoax -- every other major meme site has to run with it too. All it takes is one high-profile sucker and the whole Internet is obligated to play along for fear of losing immediate traffic. Thus, expect to see more HOPA girls, not less --especially since the guys behind HOPA girl have done this before. So much for the web being the future of (serious) journalism.
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