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What I Know About X are intentionally low quality slideshow presentations which give bad explanation of what’s supposedly the author’s knowledge about the specific topic if he/she only had a vague resource to rely on, created in the style of the presentation software Microsoft PowerPoint. On the microblogging site Tumblr, these presentations are often used to explain popular fandoms and subjects present on the site from the perspective of an outsider who has only learned about these topics from what they’ve read on Tumblr. The presentation commonly contains features such as low quality copy & pasting, randomly placed narration and a comic sans font.
The earliest instances of instructional slideshow parodies stemmed from of other humorous or parody slideshown presentations made on a variety of topics ranging from getting a kitten or why roommates should do the communal dishes. These slideshows could typically be found on the Tumblr tag “Powerpoint”, however some went around untagged. One of the earliest slideshows using the approach of someone explaining a topic they do not know about was posted on October 28th, 2012 by jacknoir-sexual, whose sister who had never read the webcomic Homestuck attempted to explain its plot.
Precursor: Parody PowerPoint Presentations
Outside of Tumblr, there have been many parodies of stereotypical slideshow presentations. In 2000, the current Director of Research at Google Peter Norvig created a slideshow for the Gettysburg Address. On YTMND, there are nearly 30 PowerPoint style sites. The most viewed site was created in 2006, depicting Obi-Wan Kenobi giving a presentation about what would happen if the Death Star was attacked. In January 2012, the non-profit Growing Leaders put together a video (shown below) on how to not give a PowerPoint presentation, parodying stereotypical over-the-top slideshows.
These types of slideshow presentations are commonly found on Tumblr with tags such as What I Know and What I Know About. On November 11th, 2012, Tumblr user JinnyMoose created a post titled “What I Know About Tumblr” (shown below), containing a slideshow giving an explanation about Tumblr itself and well known subjects present throughout the site. In just over a week the post gained more than 35,000 notes, resulting in JinnyMoose creating a second part on November 15th.
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