Steamed Hams?: How Communities Shape Their Memes

How are memes born? While there’s no set answer to such a wide question, there are some interesting trends to consider. A cursory glance through the archives of Know Your Memeย proves that anything’s game.

For instance, stolen footage of home video embarrassment ranks among the earliest memes. In fact, such examples predate the internet with terrible shows likeย America’s Funniest Home Videos. Years after its televisual popularity, the same mean-spirited instinct becomes meme with the Star Wars Kid and his cohorts.

Of course, not all viral videos or images are entirely accidental. Accidents, after all, can be contrived. Corporations have gone to great lengths to capture the magic of memes for marketing, even if it includes trying to sell shoes by having Kobe Bryant pretend to jump over an Aston Martin.…   [continue reading]

Facebook’s Meme Explosion: Why Are There So Many Memes on Facebook?

Itโ€™s easy to disregard memes as the scourge of your news feed โ€” which used to be populated with nothing but narcissistic diary entries โ€” but they have a much richer history than that.

Memes are iterative visual jokes developed by a community. Confined to the internet, where the tools to remix and republish are in the hands of every user, they should technically see more innovation as distribution increases. As weโ€™ve seen with the explosion of memes of Facebook, this is no longer the case.

Memes, which rise and fall democratically, are often jokingly referred to in economic terms.…   [continue reading]

YouTube Poop: Advocating Low-Quality

If you’ve never encountered YouTube Poop, you’ve probably never delved too deep into that weird side of the internet. I can’t precisely recall how I first stumbled across it, but it’s something you can’t forget when you do. As one of the most confrontational and polarising forms of YouTube content, it’s widely seen as large-scale trolling. Even its moniker is off-putting. However, is there something of merit in the folds of their merciless edits? The deeper you fall into its aggressive charms, the more it warrants analysis. Firstly, for the uninitiated, exactly what is a YouTube Poop?

Many researchers and fans trace its true beginnings back to 2004.…   [continue reading]