4chan Chronicle/Endless Summer
(Circa Jul 2007)
By 2007, 4chan’s Internet presence reached the point where most Internet culture spawned from its womb. There wouldn’t be a corner of the Internet that hasn’t been touched by 4chan, be it in the form of memes or raids. An exponential growth led to a massive surge of newcomers during the American summer. This time, quality of content dropped massively, many users came from notoriously annoying sites such as AnimeZuki and Gaia Online. Even more came in expecting to find a hacker paradise. The age median lowered, going underage. Many aspects of 4chan culture, like GETs, completely disintegrated. The Raid culture was severely distorted from coordinated raids to simple zerg rushes of spam and memes, losing an important part of their effectiveness. Though there was a considerable amount of high-quality content in a self-fulfilling cycle, the sheer number of pointless threads, repost and spam made /b/ the equivalent of having to swim though an ocean of shit just to find the diamonds that glitter.
This upheaval of new users led many other *chans to despise /b/ even further, and began to take precautions to keep them out of their forums, like entering partyhard mode every time /b/ or 4chan was down, commonly used by 7chan with the infamous partyhard.css and 420 with the rave mode.
Not long before this, increased migration to and from 4chan had pushed its culture memes into the forefront of Internet fame. Something Awful users emulating 4chan's Caturday sparked Eric Nakagawa to create I can haz cheezburger, which began, and later monetized, the meme industry outside of 4chan. On the fledging site Youtube, 4chan users popularized Tay Zonday's Chocolate Rain and created an adaptation of the Duckroll for video, known as the Rickroll. The Rickroll would later become the most definitive meme of the era. 4chan trolls spread it across the Internet to cause rage. After the Fox News report on Anonymous, 4chan's /b/ eventually regains a strong raid mentality that the mods have given up on stopping.
The rise of the meme industry produced unwanted interest in the site that created it all. The social problems of population growth, quasi-mainstream appeal, and problematic subcultures reached its greatest crescendo during the “newfag summer”, and it’s seen by many users as 4chan's Eternal September.