When I write about imageboard Web site 4chan, I always worry that a reader unfamiliar with the site will check it out. Please don't. It's unbelievably offensive, unacceptable, and one of most creative things on the Internet. It's also one of the most influential sites when it comes to Web culture. Most of the memes we've been subjected to have come from there: Lolcats, Rickrolls, and my fave, Brushie.
It's OK if you don't know what those are; the point is that the Web underground becomes the mainstream, and 4chan, particularly the "random" board known as /b/, is the home base of that underground.
But some 4chan users are saying 4chan is looking stale. It's known that the founder of 4chan, Christopher Poole, better known as "moot," is working on something new. He's raised $625,000 for the new venture, which is likely going to live at canv.as, a domain name Poole recently bought, a source close to the purchase who wishes to remain anonymous tells CNET. The image above shows what it looks like.
Like 4chan, it's a way to share and comment on images, but unlike 4chan it's not in the form of individual posts, but rather sort of a chat room. Images are uploaded and roll off the top of the screen as comments are made.
The image above is taken from a beta version I tested of what will likely be the engine that will power canv.as. As you can see, it's currently being live-tested, and by the images the testers are /b/-tards, the users of /b/.
What remains to be seen is whether the barbarian masses of Anonymous, another name for so-called /b/-tards, will like the new format. It definitely moves faster than 4chan, and depending on how it's implemented it could work for what 4chan users want to do. But Anonymous doesn't like change, and when an adjustment is made to 4chan, users are generally pretty vocal about hating it. They also greatly cherish their anonymous status, and the beta I tried required a user to log in. That could be troublesome.
No matter what canv.as ends up being, it should be an interesting change for Internet culture.