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Memebase Staff AMA: Austin

Last posted Dec 22, 2011 at 02:38AM EST. Added Dec 19, 2011 at 11:40PM EST
79 conversations with 16 participants

Skitch the Wolf, KYM Community Pet wrote:

Dec 20, 2011 at 01:28AM EST
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First we start off with easy questions…

  • What’s your favorite video game?
  • If you could choose one meme to have a resurgence in popularity, what one would you do and why?

Now comes the HARD QUESTIONS!

  • What do you think about the commercialization of memes and of viral culture in general?
  • What are your feelings on the spread of internet culture onto the more mainstream as well as your personal effect in aiding this phenomenon?

And finally, an easy question.

  • How did you begin to become involved in internet culture and be where you are today in relation to it?
Last edited Dec 20, 2011 at 02:19AM EST
Dec 20, 2011 at 02:19AM EST

How long Memebase has been part of the Cheezburger Network for?
Can you describe how it all began?

Dec 20, 2011 at 02:39AM EST
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Chris wrote:

First we start off with easy questions…

  • What’s your favorite video game?
  • If you could choose one meme to have a resurgence in popularity, what one would you do and why?

Now comes the HARD QUESTIONS!

  • What do you think about the commercialization of memes and of viral culture in general?
  • What are your feelings on the spread of internet culture onto the more mainstream as well as your personal effect in aiding this phenomenon?

And finally, an easy question.

  • How did you begin to become involved in internet culture and be where you are today in relation to it?

Ah, real questions. I like.

My favorite video game would have to be Braid, since I talk about it all the darn time. Though I was partial to Day of the Tentacle in the day. Anything with clever innovative gameplay (regarding time travel) and I am hooked.

I wouldn’t mind seeing older weird things come back like Animutations, though I haven’t really given this that much thought. I just like things that aren’t easy to replicate/take time to make, even if the result is ridiculous. I think people have both overly-embraced and shunned the extremely ridiculous. It seems like a paradox but I hope you know what I mean.

The commercialization of memes is a tricky business. I guess I feel that it was inevitable, because anyone will try to sell anything anyway they can to any audience that will eat it up. The hipster snob within me sometimes hates that it’s passed into such “mainstream” markets, but I try not to be a miserly curmudgeon and realize that maybe there’s some good to come out of memes’ mainstreamness both in terms of cultural awareness and potentially greater input. Think SOPA, etc.; if the politicians knew more about the way the internet worked, they might (but who knows) be less inclined to blindly vote for such a thing. Also: there are always more jokes. There will always be things known to only a few, and I think the most we can do is just try to make things we like regardless of monetization. Personally, I try to aide the world by showing them what I feel are “good” things. I try to adhere to my own personal standards, whatever they are, and I feel privileged to have what little “power” I have to showcase neato things. I want the world to be cool, so if that involves me forcing my audience to “know that feel, bro,” I consider myself having done a good job furthering the cool.

What led to me becoming involved with “internet culture” was nothing more than being a curious child aged appropriately enough with the advent of the internet. My parents completely oblivious, I clicked link after link after link until I knew way too much. Today, I guess I’d say I’m at the “forefront” of it, whatever that means, if only because I literally get paid to be internet-knowledgeable, so any less and I don’t feel like I’m doing my job. Also, I still like being that hipster snob who knows new trends before anyone else. “Oh I was already sick of Chuck Testa by the time you saw his video.”

Gosh I’m garrulous. Let me know if this didn’t answer your question(s)?

Dec 20, 2011 at 02:47AM EST
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Tomberry wrote:

How long Memebase has been part of the Cheezburger Network for?
Can you describe how it all began?

Memebase began last… October if I recall. So it was only about a year ago.

Mostly we needed a place to put all our non-FAIL, non-cats stuff. It was originally nothing more than Advice Animals and Rage Comics, back when Troll Science was pretty prevalent. It’s funny to think about that, now. But eventually, somehow, it started growing a userbase of its own and it became a pretty powerful force in our Network and eventually we realized it needed a lot more attention and focused on everything current instead of the “classics.”

Dec 20, 2011 at 02:52AM EST
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Awesome, thanks for the quick response.

I feel that that’s a really good goal to have in this new ‘frontier’ to help keep oneself from becoming sick of their job. That’s pretty much my goal when I write for this website. I feel that if something entertains me, it is something worthwhile sharing to possibly entertain others.

One last question,

Do you think that we will see a migration from television to the internet as far as the mainstream media outlets go?

Dec 20, 2011 at 02:57AM EST

Chris wrote:

Awesome, thanks for the quick response.

I feel that that’s a really good goal to have in this new ‘frontier’ to help keep oneself from becoming sick of their job. That’s pretty much my goal when I write for this website. I feel that if something entertains me, it is something worthwhile sharing to possibly entertain others.

One last question,

Do you think that we will see a migration from television to the internet as far as the mainstream media outlets go?

I am hesitant to say there will be a “migration” – but I do think there will be much better integration between the two. I think the networks will finally figure out that the internet is a more important tool than they realize now, and will either stream shows simultaneously online as well as on air, or digital distribution will take on a new form of this be-all television-or-monitor you-decide kind of monster.

Dec 20, 2011 at 03:02AM EST
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What do YOU feel about the Chevy Sonic campaign? And do you think Cheezburger is making KYM better or worse?

Dec 20, 2011 at 08:14AM EST
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Cheezburger already makes the episodes for KYM.

Do you see more various ways of Cheezburger and KYM cooperating in the future?

Dec 20, 2011 at 09:21AM EST
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Why are there so many sites on Memebase/Cheezburger? Don’t you think having all those different subsections is a bit much?

Also, what is your opinion of the pony craze?

Finally, is it alright if we don’t have a new advice animal every two weeks?

Dec 20, 2011 at 09:36AM EST
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Mister J wrote:

What do YOU feel about the Chevy Sonic campaign? And do you think Cheezburger is making KYM better or worse?

The Chevy Sonic campaign hardly bothered me – I guess their banners seems to paint a picture of “influence” but I don’t believe any of the content was changed because of it – merely reminders about “classic” memes. I love Know Your Meme so I want them to get money so they can do better cooler things and keep doing the same cool things.

From being on the more “Cheezburger” side of things, Know Your Meme operates much more autonomously than the rest of the network, which I’m happy about. Except for maybe some ad-related things, Cheezburger isn’t changing the mode of operations of Know Your Meme as far as I know. I think it sucks to lump an objectively neutral presence with one that has negative perceptions, but I think people start to realize that Know Your Meme is operating the same way it always has/has been for a while, at least.

Dec 20, 2011 at 06:08PM EST
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RandomMan wrote:

Cheezburger already makes the episodes for KYM.

Do you see more various ways of Cheezburger and KYM cooperating in the future?

I think there are definitely ways for them to interact – I don’t know that we’ve thought of many yet. Whenever a meme “breaks,” I try to redirect my users to Know Your Meme so they understand, which I find to be a great way to tie our sites together. Cheezburger is probably going to undergo more changes all the time while Know Your Meme stays the same, so maybe the potential for awesome collaboration is yet to be unlocked.

Dec 20, 2011 at 06:10PM EST
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Fridge Logic wrote:

Why are there so many sites on Memebase/Cheezburger? Don’t you think having all those different subsections is a bit much?

Also, what is your opinion of the pony craze?

Finally, is it alright if we don’t have a new advice animal every two weeks?

I love not having advice animals all the time. I personally think the stock image humans are worse, and we should shy away from image macros in general because people think that a new “character” is the only way to create a new “meme,” which I think fosters unoriginality and lame attempts at “getting famous”.

I’ve watched maybe 20 episodes of the new My Little Pony in order to stay on top of and understand things, and I have yet to get into it. I don’t understand it. I think people delude themselves into thinking they like things to join a community, but also I’m a snob who thinks obvious storytelling is boring. I like the overall chaos of the “craze,” but I think the chaos is a little too tame for my taste.

I actually like the subsections for the most part – it enables each site to post more content tailored to a demographic that otherwise might hate stuff. For instance, the “Bronies” are hated in such quantity on Memebase.com that we wouldn’t be able to cope with their insanity without their own site. Pokémon is another good example of a community with great content and jokes without bogging down general “memeness” of the home page.

Dec 20, 2011 at 06:17PM EST
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I have to say, you seem like a pretty choice guy. It’s amazing how talking to people can help you make connections with them on a decent level.

Here’s another question. How high are you up in the Cheezburger hierachy? How much influence do you have in making decisions? Do you own the entire memebase, or do you just run it?

Don’t worry about the ponies, by the way; they’re really not for everyone. If you want complex story, try Homestuck. More timey-wimey wibbley-wobbleys in that one than the entire last season of Doctor Who.

Dec 20, 2011 at 06:44PM EST
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Fridge Logic wrote:

I have to say, you seem like a pretty choice guy. It’s amazing how talking to people can help you make connections with them on a decent level.

Here’s another question. How high are you up in the Cheezburger hierachy? How much influence do you have in making decisions? Do you own the entire memebase, or do you just run it?

Don’t worry about the ponies, by the way; they’re really not for everyone. If you want complex story, try Homestuck. More timey-wimey wibbley-wobbleys in that one than the entire last season of Doctor Who.

Well thanks! That’s exactly what I mean about the whole Otherness – we assume everyone has weird evil motives but I think we all want the same thing.

I’m a “cluster lead,” which means I make most decisions regarding Memebase and its subsites (our “cluster”). I don’t “own” it, as it is Cheezburger’s, but I am rarely at odds with my superiors (sometimes I post something too insensitive or I insult one of our advertisers and get in trouble) and have a large amount of freedom. They trust me, which is great, and in turn I have a “team” of dependable moderators that do great jobs across all the subsites so I don’t have to worry in the slightest.

I used to be really into webcomics, and “MS Paint Adventures” was one that I was exposed to a little too late. I loved “Sluggy Freelance” for the longest time. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it.

Dec 20, 2011 at 07:13PM EST
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What is your favorite viral video?
Out of all the videos you made, which one is your favorite?

Dec 20, 2011 at 08:20PM EST
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Mister J wrote:

What is your favorite viral video?
Out of all the videos you made, which one is your favorite?

Favorite viral video? Egads, that’s tough. Does “All Your Base” count? I know it’s before “video” really, but it has a special place in my heart. Maybe the Fifth Avacado, if just for the Pixies ending? Again, flash days not video, but…

This is probably my favorite video I ever made:

Last edited Dec 20, 2011 at 08:30PM EST
Dec 20, 2011 at 08:26PM EST
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What was the worst thing you ever posted on Memebase?

Dec 20, 2011 at 09:55PM EST
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Don wrote:

What was the worst thing you ever posted on Memebase?

Worst as in “offensive” – I think you know.

Worst as in “dumb” – probably this entire day.

Dec 20, 2011 at 10:03PM EST
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Austin wrote:

Worst as in “offensive” – I think you know.

Worst as in “dumb” – probably this entire day.

If you look at it right, that broom could be a torch or a giant match.

Dec 20, 2011 at 10:09PM EST

Austin wrote:

I have to say I think the protagonist is the best character in Ghost Trick. I don’t remember his name but I just really like his hair.

Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations does a great job of tying the first trilogy together, but I must say I have a soft spot for the new innovations introduced in Apollo Justice. Also I’m obviously looking super forward to Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. Italics, bro. They’re official.

Meme Dates is an experiment website where I’m trying to get a bunch of Forever Alone meme-nerds together and make out. It’s just a bunch of images though and no profiles so its success is hard to guarantee.

Protagonist? Sissel
GHOST TRICK, THAT MOTHAFUCKING GAME I FUCKING LOVE THAT GAME.

Dec 20, 2011 at 10:10PM EST
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I loved the sistah day.

What is your favorite color? Breakfast food? Pizza topping?

Dec 20, 2011 at 10:32PM EST
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amanda b. wrote:

I loved the sistah day.

What is your favorite color? Breakfast food? Pizza topping?

Incidentally, the answer to all three is “colored greens”

Dec 20, 2011 at 10:39PM EST
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Austin wrote:

Favorite viral video? Egads, that’s tough. Does “All Your Base” count? I know it’s before “video” really, but it has a special place in my heart. Maybe the Fifth Avacado, if just for the Pixies ending? Again, flash days not video, but…

This is probably my favorite video I ever made:

Hmph, I thought this would be your favorite.

It’s my favorite anyways.

Dec 20, 2011 at 11:06PM EST
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Mister J wrote:

Hmph, I thought this would be your favorite.

It’s my favorite anyways.

Haha, that one’s the worst because of my gum-chewing.

Dec 20, 2011 at 11:08PM EST
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If you had to bang anyone in KYM, who would it be, and why?

Dec 21, 2011 at 10:51PM EST

Nikolaki8 wrote:

If you had to bang anyone in KYM, who would it be, and why?

Don because I already have.

Dec 21, 2011 at 11:00PM EST
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amanda b. wrote:

I loved the sistah day.

What is your favorite color? Breakfast food? Pizza topping?

Speaking of the sistah day, what the hell was that anyway? Why’d you do that?

Dec 21, 2011 at 11:16PM EST
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Fridge Logic wrote:

Speaking of the sistah day, what the hell was that anyway? Why’d you do that?

So, one of my personal goals is to separate Memebase from the plethora of other meme-sites out there – sites like 9gag or Memestache or infinite others that just spit out content and don’t have a “personality.” So we decided, for the ultimate reason of “for the lulz,” to just append “, Sistah” to the end of every post. It was funny to us because it was just a dumb nonsensical nothing; we didn’t realize it would create such an outpour of confusion/discussion/hatred. We didn’t even think people would notice, for the most part. Instead, people assumed EVERY SINGLE POST FOREVER had “, Sistah” in it, threatened all sorts of things, just got all-around irate, but really it was just one day’s worth of posts, and as quietly we started, we stopped.

It created, however, some sort of weird community-driven mutualism where everyone was in it together to try to decipher what their “freakin’ mods” were up to. In the end, I guess, I felt like it was beneficial to the site’s “aura.” It’s a reason why I let lots of meta/mod-related stuff through – to show there’s a person behind this otherwise potentially cold and stoic site.

Dec 21, 2011 at 11:24PM EST
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