Oct 10, 2009 at 07:56PM EDT
A trend or a meme, hmm?’
That’s an interesting question to ask. Ususally, the problem is that people rush to call something a meme before you can even see if there’s a trend at all.
There really ought to be an observable trend in order to refer to something as a meme. All memes are trends, but not all trends are memes.
In the case of Auto-Tune, a great deal of comedy has been produced. It’s been something of a multi-year fad. In calling Auto-Tune a meme, we are really referring to the body of work, typically songs that are produced for comic effect being a meme. Series like Auto-Tune the News and other specialty “x with Autotune” videos call attention too the novelty/ridiculousness of the software.
Just to be clear, videos of software being used are not really memes themselves, but rather it’s the unique use of software in an unconventional manner (and of course, in a contagious fashion, by many different users) that qualifies as a meme.
In the case of Songsmith, the software is so bad that the majority of the videos were created with the intention of satirizing it.
Both of these memes serve as examples of trends in which videos of a similar theme were created not simply to demonstrate the software, but offer a layer of implied commentary. In other words, The AutoTune meme is really more about doing unconventional things with software that was intended to make someone sound like they can sing, but is instead used for sounding like a robot, and is often applied to unconventional sources from cats to babies, in new and abstract ways.
The Songsmith meme is a trend of people creating videos that exhibit how poorly the auto-music-generating software performs when paired with hit songs that everyone knows. This is not what the software was designed for, but it’s a unique trend that many people have participated in.
Seeing people recreate classic songs, especially songs that are important to memetic hubs like 4chan and YTMND, but in Mario Paint Composer seems like meme material to me. But in order to help strengthen your case and improve your article, it would be a good idea to find out when the first of these videos appeared on Youtbe, list the user responsible, the number of views, and set a time frame of when other people began to imitate that user by creating their own videos.
If possible, find out if there are any archived threads where people have discussed this meme already. Cite your sources. List dates. This helps to put the meme in context. Tell whatever backstory you are able to find out. The better the information, the more quickly it will be approved.
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