Secrets of the Hamster Dance
  • One of the page's meta-keywords is "dedodedo."
  • See also...
    ... by David Cassel
    ... in the Scope section
    ... from August 3, 1999
  • If you stare at it a little ways back from your screen, it's a stereogram.
  • The site's creator, Deidre LaCarte, is HTML-illiterate. "GeoCities kind of helps you out, it's got the FTP files, you just click on it. That's why I went to GeoCities to start up."
  • The hamsters have names. Holding your cursor over the individual hamsters on the original site reveals names like Evil Franster and Heidi popping up in a window -- fifty, so far. LaCarte is dedicating hamsters to users who've sent her touching emails. "A woman told me her grandkids really liked the hamsters. I named one after both of her grandchildren and her." She even named one of the hamsters after her art teacher in a quest for an A+. "Didn't work."
  • The site's access logs show the page has been accessed by viewers in 190 countries. "I think that's all of 'em." According to LaCarte, the Science Museum in London wants to put the Hamster Dance on permanent display "to show children the good things about the Internet."
  • Though LaCarte borrowed the tune from a Disney film, her fans include Disney's animators themselves. She says at least one of them contacted her, and "They want to make a reference to the Hamster Dance in an animation movie they're making."
  • Hampton -- the real-life hamster that inspired the site -- has his own AOL profile:

    Member Name: Hampton Hampster
    Location: Heartland/Bluffs/4157
    Birthdate: November 1, 1997
    Marital Status: Single
    Hobbies: Hamster Racing, Karate

  • Because AOL's mail client can only handle about 500 messages at a time, she's been logging on twice a day to download it all. "One day I spent twelve hours answering 4700 pieces of mail." She estimates she's received at least 50,000 pieces of e-mail. And "I go through every one."
  • She's working on the Son of Hamster Dance. "I'm going to have to find something to sustain the momentum." What will that be? "I haven't the slightest idea. I've got to find the time, with all this mail."
  • Hampton recently fathered a litter of real-life hamsters.