The Story Of The Fail Whale

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I’m always intrigued to find how items that have created such a connection with pop culture come into being.

Thus, the story of Twitter’s Fail Whale.

As with many Web-popularity stories, there’s a lot of flukiness to Fail Whale’s rise. For starters, Lu had never heard of Twitter when she created the image (which she called Lifting Up a Dreamer) as an electronic birthday card for a friend overseas while she was still finishing her visual communications degree at the University of Technology, Sydney. In July 2007, she uploaded a number of her illustrations, including that one, to a service called iStockphoto. That’s where, almost a year later, it came to the attention of Biz Stone, a Twitter founder.

Yiying Lu, an artist from Sydney, Australia, created the image, uploaded it to a website and her art was recognized. That’s pretty nifty.

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  1. paulbalcerak (Paul Balcerak) on February 21, 2009

    The story behind Twitter’s Fail Whale:


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