World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Internet memes

Article Id: WHEBN0001828056
Reproduction Date:

Title: Internet memes  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Publishing, Kawaii, TheWolfWeb, Encyclopedia Dramatica, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Internet memes

An Internet meme (/ˈmm/ ) is an idea, style or action which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet, as with imitating the concept.[1] Some notable examples include: posting a photo of people in public places lying down planking, or uploading a short video of people dancing to the Harlem Shake.

A meme can be considered a mimicked theme, including simple phrases or gestures. An Internet meme may take the form of an image, hyperlink, video, picture, website, or hashtag. It may be just a word or phrase, including an intentional misspelling. These small movements tend to spread from person to person via social networks, blogs, direct email, or news sources. They may relate to various existing Internet cultures or subcultures, often created or spread on sites such as 4chan, Reddit and numerous others. Fads and sensations tend to grow rapidly on the Internet, because the instant communication facilitates word-of-mouth transmission.

The word "meme" was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads;[2] Internet memes are a subset of this general meme concept specific to the culture and environment of the Internet. In 2013 Dawkins characterized an Internet meme as being a meme deliberately altered by human creativity—distinguished from biological genes and Dawkins' pre-Internet concept of a meme which involved mutation by random change and spreading through accurate replication as in Darwinian selection.[3] Dawkins explained that Internet memes are thus a "hijacking of the original idea," the very idea of a meme having mutated and evolved in this new direction.[4] Further, Internet memes carry an additional property that ordinary memes do not—Internet memes leave a footprint in the media through which they propagate (for example, social networks) that renders them traceable and analyzable.[5]

History

In the early days of the Internet, such content was primarily spread via email or Usenet discussion communities. Messageboards and newsgroups were also popular because they allowed a simple method for people to share information or memes with a diverse population of internet users. They encourage communication between people, and thus between meme sets, that do not normally come in contact. Furthermore, they actively promote meme-sharing within the messageboard or newsgroup population by asking for feedback, comments, opinions, etc. Another factor in the increased meme transmission observed over the internet is its interactive nature. Print matter, radio, and television are all essentially passive experiences requiring the reader, listener, or viewer to perform all necessary cognitive processing; in contrast the social nature of the Internet allows phenomena to propagate more readily. Many phenomena are also spread via web search engines, internet forums, social networking services, social news sites, and video hosting services. Much of the Internet's ability to spread information is assisted from results found through search engines, which can allow users to find memes even with obscure information.[6][7]

Evolution and propagation

An Internet meme may stay the same or may evolve over time, by chance or through commentary, imitations, parody, or by incorporating news accounts about itself. Internet memes can evolve and spread extremely rapidly, sometimes reaching world-wide popularity within a few days. Internet memes usually are formed from some social interaction, pop culture reference, or situations people often find themselves in. Their rapid growth and impact has caught the attention of both researchers and industry.[8] Academically, researchers model how they evolve and predict which memes will survive and spread throughout the Web. Commercially, they are used in viral marketing where they are an inexpensive form of mass advertising.

One empirical approach studied meme characteristics and behavior independently from the networks in which they propagated, and reached a set of conclusions concerning successful meme propagation.[5] For example, the study asserted that Internet memes not only compete for viewer attention generally resulting in a shorter life, but also, through user creativity, memes can collaborate with each other and achieve greater survival.[5] Also, paradoxically, an individual meme that experiences a popularity peak significantly higher than its average popularity is not generally expected to survive unless it is unique, whereas a meme with no such popularity peak keeps being used together with other memes and thus has greater survivability.[5]

Writing for The Washington Post in 2013, Dominic Basulto asserted that with the growth of the Internet and the practices of the marketing and advertising industries, memes have come to transmit fewer snippets of human culture that could survive for centuries as originally envisioned by Dawkins, and instead transmit banality at the expense of big ideas.[9]

Marketing

Public relations, advertising, and marketing professionals have embraced Internet memes as a form of viral marketing and guerrilla marketing to create marketing "buzz" for their product or service. The practice of using memes to market products or services is known as memetic marketing.[10] Internet memes are seen as cost-effective, and because they are a (sometimes self-conscious) fad, they are therefore used as a way to create an image of awareness or trendiness.

Marketers, for example, use Internet memes to create interest in films that would otherwise not generate positive publicity among critics. The 2006 film Snakes on a Plane generated much publicity via this method.[11] Used in the context of public relations, the term would be more of an advertising buzzword than a proper Internet meme, although there is still an implication that the interest in the content is for purposes of trivia, ephemera, or frivolity rather than straightforward advertising and news.[12]

Examples of memetic marketing include the FreeCreditReport.com singing ad campaign, the "Nope, Chuck Testa" meme from an advertisement for taxidermist Chuck Testa, and the Dumb Ways to Die public announcement ad campaign by Metro Trains Melbourne.

See also

Internet portal

Further reading

References

External links

  • Gary Marshall, The Internet and Memetics - academic article about Internet and memes.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.