By: Pat O’Shea and Mike Schneid
A meme is a popular quote, or image which is copied, imitated, and spread all over the internet. Web 2.0 is a label given by Tim O’Reilly that is “the ‘architecture of participation’ created by web enterprises whose applications invite, facilitate, encourage or make it possible for users to interact, share knowledge and information with each other and construct content.” Web 2.0 and memes are based on the same principles. Any user can share a meme that they made so others can see it. This is the basic purpose of Web 2.0: to invite, share, and encourage participation by users to make different types of content. Memes are an example of what Web 2.0 has to offer. It is a product of Web 2.0. This is also connected to Web 2.0 due to the widespread sharing that occurs with memes on various form of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
The term meme has been around for a while and in 1976 Richard Dawkins, said that a meme was “a unit of cultural transmission” (Laine Nooney and Laura Portwood-Stacer). His definition is similar to what a meme is seen as today in the fact that a meme does usually generalize some thing that is taking place in a certain culture. However there are many famous memes that have been around for a while such as the Alfred E. Neuman meme which has been around for many years (seen below). A meme become famous when many people can relate to the image at hand and have some sort of feeling towards the meme such as a personal connection, or seeing the humor that the meme causes. Meme websites have also become a very profitable buissness with companies such as I can Has Cheezburger making large profits from advertisements as well as the selling of merchandise such as t-shirts and books.
I made a meme for this class and found it to be a very interesting experience. I went to a meme website and created a meme relatively fast that I thought was funny. After showing it to my friends they agreed with me, and there was a sense a satisfaction felt seeing something you created make other people laugh. It did not however generate any buzz in social media because I never posted it to any form beside the class blog.
Nooney, Laine, and Laura Portwood-Stacer. “One Does Not Simply: An Introduction to the Special Issue on Internet Memes.” Journal of Visual Culture 13.3: 248-52. Sage Publishers. Web.