Ok, this is different to most of what i have posted in Widgets Lab but still manages to stay within the Widgets Theme even if this is more of a BoingBoing like post
The Fail Whale Story
The Fail Whale is the illustration you see above. this illustration called â€œLifting A Dreamerâ€ is part of the work ofÂ Â Yiying Lu, a shanghai born now gone Aussie graphic designer that originally put the illustration in iStockPhoto as a way to showcase her work and make some money and as with any good story never expected what happened next..
Next arrived in the form of Twitter that bought the rights to use the stock photo graphic at 10 dlls as the graphic to be used by twitter whenever the site would need maintenance. the graphic was chosen because of the striking match in color pattern to twitter design and of course for the birdies. it is one of those things full of serendipity like Wizard of OZ and Pink FloydÂ â€œDark Side of The Moonâ€ things no one can explain but get to happen.
Then came the name of Fail Whale coined in a Tweet (pure poetry right?) by Nick Quaranto in a rare â€œEurekaâ€ moment.
Why Fail Whale?
The graphic original purpose was to serve as background for whenever Twitter needed to do any sort of maintenance toÂ the Twitter service. but as anyone that has ever used twitter that never came to be just like that.Â just after the graphic was not only created but purchased (the rights of use)Â Twitter once thought â€œmomentaryâ€ growing pains to scale their service came back to haunt it and it started failing repeatedly during all march of 2008 where people got to get familiar with the â€œlifting a dreamerâ€ graphic. problems passed on and off during April and returned heavily in May when at the end of that month it would be named â€œFail Whaleâ€by Nick QuarantoÂ and so it stuck by the reassurance by Jeff McNeil to Barbara K. Baker of that name that happened in the comments of a Photo that Dave Winer uploaded to Flickr that shows the then still elusive graphic for all to see.
The term Fail comes from the common Internet Culture produced expression â€œFAILâ€ that got is own Cult following as a denominated Memetic Phenomenon (a idea/concept that spreads virally thanks to word of mouth and get ingrained into everyone in the process) and is originally derived of the series of phrases â€œFull ofâ€ (Full of Win, Weird, Fail, etc) that originated in Video Games internet forums and that the actual exact source i am not aware. Fail is meant to be said when something has not being accomplished, when something is lame or when the attempt to do something turned awkward.
So you could easily pin all of those to Twitter as a service. even then many were NOT OK with the name and the graphic of the Whale and thought of replacing it with something else like a â€œBigÂ TweetBird sitting on a power lineâ€ by Mykl Roventine
But the disdain and the discomfort that continued with Twitter and the Graphic only fueled the Fail Whale Fame (thanks to Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone naive push) that finally got its name set in stone (pun intended)Â whenÂ Evan Williams, creator of Twitter (Pyra, Blogger, Odeo) acknowledged the name in a Tweet after Tom LimongelloÂ sent him a box of FailWhale T-shirts from the then new Fail Whale Zazzle Merchandise Store that Yiying Lu had set up after deactivating the selling of the now known as Fail Whale Graphic from iStockPhoto because of the demand many had for merchandize with the now famous whale that had its own FanClub (started by Sean Osteen) and Photo Group at Flickr called (Twitter Over Capacity) that is not meant to be a Fail Whale photo group perse but that turned into one because most of the pictures in the photo group had the whale in it. there is even a little animated short too.
The 3D Fail Whale Widget
Everything that gets famous needs a widget. so the Fail Whale needed one and here it is. it is a very simple video widget of the Kinetic Sculpture of the Fail Whale done by Australian Artist and Puppet Master Hilary Talbot. the reasons behind the making of such thing come from her very optimistic ways on twitter and this post:
The best of the widget is that it of course represents a funny statement all by itself and at the same time showcases the very cool piece of work made by talbot of what is now a â€œFamous Characterâ€ captured inÂ a video with Tweets and all that can be seen in full screen without your visitors need of leaving your page.
<div><iframe src=”http://spiritsdancing.com/failwhale/whaget.htm” width=”185″ height=”225″ frameborder=”0″ name=”whaget”></iframe></div>
(just copy and paste)
This Widget is good if you are a unashamed Twitter Apologist, a Fail Whale Lover or simply you like to kick Twitter while it is down (pun intended) you just need this widget adorning yourÂ blog to make yourÂ favorite Twitter Widget or Badge company.
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