Archie Europe Roundabout Cam Purmerend
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Purmerend's Roundabout Cam (Dutch: Rotonde Cam) is a live-streamed traffic webcam feed of a roundabout in Purmerend, The Netherlands operated by the software company Archie and hosted on YouTube. Upon its initial discovery by Dutch internet users in May 2015, the roundabout soon became a topic of obsession and some even tried to mobilize a flash mob event on the site, but the livestream page garnered a new level of online notoriety following its re-discovery by members of the social news aggregation community Reddit in July.
The webcam is stationed on the roof of a building facing the roundabout in Purmerend. The feed is operated by the Dutch software company Archie, who initially placed the webcam there to test if their systems worked properly (shown below). On May 28th, 2015, Dutch entertainment website GeenStijl wrote an article after their discovery of the webcam, in which they promoted people to start a flash mob on the roundabout in the style of the Project X events.
Following the spread of GeenStijl's article, the roundabout gained notable attention throughout the country. The video reached over 50,000 views by June 1st, and had surpassed 250,000 views by June 4th. GeenStijl was also rewarded with champagne by Archie after the video surpasses 50,000 views during their shooting of a video on the roundabout (shown below). Various Dutch news outlets reported the sudden increase in views on the roundabout, including the NOS and Nieuws.nl.
The Flash Mob
A Facebook page titled "Flashmop de rotonde Purmerend" (Flashmop the roundabout Purmerend) was launched which tried to organise a flashmob event by having participants do a polonaise around the roundabout. After around 150 people signed up for the event, Purmerend's city council decided to cancel the event due to traffic safety (shown below) and Archie would shut down the webcam. The flashmob and the reaction was covered by various Dutch news outlets, such as Algemeen Dagblad and RTVNH. The Facebook page of the event was deleted shortly after and the webcam later went back online.
"No flashmob on roundabout.
Due to traffic safety a flashmob on the roundabout will be disallowed."
On July 14th, 2015, a post on the r/videos sub-Reddit notified the site's community about the roundabout's lifestream. Following the post, a Purmerend citizen who goes by the Reddit handle SomeoneOutThere_ replied to the post and was subsequently challenged to appear on the webcam (shown below). Within a day, the video of the SomeoneOutThere_'s appearance on the webcam managed to gather over 45,000 views and his reply became the top voted reply with over 14,000 points.
Following SomeoneOutThere_'s appearance on the webcam, that same day various other Redditors used the opportunity to also appear on the webcam. In the following 24 hours, various messages were written on the roundabout, including "OP = Faggot" and "Reddit = 4 Fags", by Redditors and outsiders. Redditor Damindenie also made a reply to the post with hyperlinks to pictures of various events that took place on the roundabout throughout the day. Another Redditor, who goes by the Youtube handle Slechte TV, also drew an image of Dick Butt on the roundabout alongside Ellen Pao's name and a website URL. Redditor Johan-Senpai also appeared dressed in a witch outfit (shown below, left), and other Redditors later appeared to clean off the website url after Redditors complained about the website presumably hijacking the roundabout (shown below, right). Eventually that night police started to patrol around the roundabout, after which activity died down. Archie respectively took down the webcam, although it was already back up again the next day.
At its peaks, the livestream counted over 4,000 viewers during the events. A sub-Reddit dedicated to the roundabout, r/otonde, was also launched on July 14th, which managed to gather over 60 subscribers within 24 hours. Dutch news outlets also covered the events that took place on the roundabout, including Algemeen Dagblad, The Telegraaf, Metro and PowNed. Outside of The Netherlands, the events were also documented on TheNextWeb. On July 15th, a Reddit livefeed was also created which documented the events taking place on the roundabout. Later that day, a website dedicated to the roundabout was also launched.
Following the rising popularity of the roundabout on Reddit, 4chan's /b/ (random) board also gained an interest in the webcam. On July 16th, multiple threads appeared on the board to discuss events that could take place. Because /b/ doesn't archive its threads, the events combined with local times can also be found on the Reddit livefeed. A bit prior to 5 pm (local time), a /b/ user appeared on the roundabout wearing a paper crown with "/b/" written on it (shown below), and was later joined by another /b/ user who created a newfag triforce using the road markings.
Shortly prior to 10 pm (local time), another /b/ user started to spread oatmeal across the roundabout (shown below, left), gaining him the nickname oatmeal guy. City enforcement arrived at the scene a few minutes after, taking oatmeal guy with them and later forcing him to clean up his own work. Following the arrest and the cleanup, /b/ users showed their respect to the man, claiming he "dindu nuffin", and started posting tweets with the hashtag #FreeOatmealGuy (shown below, right). Archie later took down the webcam around midnight, after being requested by the police, and put it back online the next day.
 Youtube – Archie Europe Rotonde Cam
 GeenStijl – ProjectXRotonde: live webcam rotonde Purmerend
 Facebook – Flashmop de rotonde Purmerend [Now Offline]
 Algemeen Dagblad – Webcam beroemde Purmerendse rotonde stopt
 RTVNH – In polonaise over de rotonde in Purmerend
 RTVNH – Gemeente Purmerend verbiedt polonaise op rotonde
 NOS – Kwart miljoen kijkers voor 'magische rotonde' in Purmerend
 Nieuws.nl – Kwart miljoen kijkers voor ‘magische rotonde’ in Purmerend
 Facebook – Gemeente Purmerend
 Facebook – Gemeente Purmerend
 Reddit – Livestream of a roundabout in The Netherlands
 Reddit – SomeoneOutThere_ Comment
 Youtube – Reddit = 4 Fags
 Reddit – Damindenie
 Youtube – Dickbutt drawing on roundabout on Livestream
 Youtube – Drawing Dickbutt on the roundabout in Purmerend
 Algemeen Dagblad – Amerikanen kijken mee naar Purmerendse rotondestream
 Telegraaf – Nederlandse rotonde nu wereldhit
 Metro – Rotonde in Purmerend is internationale hit
 PowNed – Amerikanen Checken Rotonde Stream
 Reddit – Live Archie Europe Rotonde Cam
 The Next Web – Reddit had fun watching a livestream of a Dutch roundabout but, of course, someone had to ruin it
Jul 15, 2015 at 09:13PM EDT
Jul 15, 2015 at 07:24PM EDT
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