Thursday, July 12, 2012

What is a Meme?

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First off let's start with the pronunciation - you can go with with meme which rhymes with 'theme' this seems to be the most accepted pronunciation for the word. An internet meme is something that initially starts as a fascination among a few individuals who then begin to propagate and spread the word. A good example would be planking which started in 2011. The meme became so popular that it spawned other memes like Owling, Tebowing etc. A popular meme that is currently growing strong in 2012 is 'Overly attached girlfriend'. This meme started when Laina Walker posted a video of herself as the 'Overly attached girlfriend' singing Justin Bieber's girlfriend. The video spread quickly around the web and became popular on sites like Reddit. With people taking image macros of the video and posting comments that bring out the creepiness of someone who is overly possessive. 

How an Internet Meme begins
A meme is on the internet is a image or a video that is able to propagate on its own. Internet users like the idea and a meme can suddenly get a life of its own. it can keep mutating as it progresses but it stays alive nevertheless. A meme that starts in a particular culture usually stays within that culture or subculture. It is a way for many cultures to express their ideas which are especially relevant to their surroundings and especially friends. A meme is like a Gene and can replicate itself. a meme can also be seen as a cultural unit passed from from generation to the next by non-genetic means. 

How do Internet Memes spread
A meme can be started by just misspelling a word or a phase like 'I Can Haz Cheeseburger. Or a picture, video, phrase, Hashtag. Memes usually spread on Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit - they usually get a huge push by bloggers who write about these memes and in some ways add cultural context to them. With all the apps available on Smartphone - memes have found another way to spread. 

How to generate and create a meme.
If you want to just add a caption to an already existing meme you can use services like meme Generator, quick meme or even Google+ to generate a meme. If you want to become a meme you will need to have a really quirky photo or video or phrase that other users will be interested in. Which they in turn will spread into the far reaches of the internet. Bad Luck Brian is a meme based on a photo of Kyle  - Kyle became an internet meme. 

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