Memes and Web 2.0

By: Amanda Pape and Megan Malewich

PeScreen Shot 2015-04-09 at 8.37.37 PMople use the internet as a means to entertain themselves. A huge part of this entertainment on the internet comes from memes. A meme is a funny image, video, or text that is spread rapidly throughout the internet by users. Memes are the epitome of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is a way for inexperienced/beginner internet users to be able to navigate through the internet and create their own content. Memes partake in Web 2.0 as what the textbook considers “Participatory Art.” Sites like Can I Have a Cheezburger and Meme Generator allow anyone to put out their ideas for the entertainment and enjoyment of others. Since websites like these are user generated, they typically make money through advertisements that are displayed throughout their web pages. These sites get intense amounts of viewers per day, which is why they are able to make their money through advertisements. Memes and viral videos are comical and universal and provide enjoyment to wide varieties of internet users. The Cheezburg network has 192.5 million page views per day, expressing how popular memes are. Before the use of memes through Web 2.0, memes started out as graffiti, bumper stickers, and political campaigns and then became popular on the internet where they could be shared and created more rapidly. Nearly 50% of US adults have contributed to content online. Part of that content is memes.

Through our own experience of creating our own memes, we were able to get a sense of what kind of memes generate the most “buzz” on the internet. We both made our memes by selecting a funny picture and then adding our own captions on the pictures. We were really surprised with just how many memes are circulating throughout the internet today. Unfortunately, neither of our memes created any buzz. This is probably because we posted them on a website used mainly for blog posts. We learned that in order to generate buzz on your memes, it is important to post them to websites where comical images or videos appeal to their users.

Some of the more popular memes that we came across were “Bad Luck Brian,” “Skeptical Baby,” “First World Problems,” and “One Does Not Simply.” You can find different version of these memes created by users all over the internet. Even though those are the most popular memes, there is still an infinite amount of ways to create even more comical and entertaining memes like those. The use of content through Web 2.0 is constantly growing and the possibilities for creating memes are endless.

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