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Meme submission tips.

Last posted May 16, 2009 at 01:21PM EDT. Added May 15, 2009 at 05:21AM EDT
12 posts from 5 users

Today was a first for me. Three deadpools in a row. So I figured I might as well give out some tips on the type of information that makes a meme entry worthwhile.

Who created the original source material and when did they do it? What website did the meme first appear on? Did it spread to other sites?

Example: The original “O RLY?” Snowy Owl image macro is based on a photo taken by nature photographer John White, which he posted to the newsgroup in 2001.

“O RLY?” originated on the Something Awful forums, where it was used as a deadpan response to anything you found doubtful, unimpressive or just plain dull. On 4chan it was ’shopped onto an image of an incredulous snowy owl and quickly spread out of control.

Are there many derivatives or variations on the meme?

By all means, don’t hesitate to post them. If they don’t exist, then it probably isn’t an internet meme. Please don’t create lots of images on your own in an attempt to make something look like a meme. This is ban-worthy.

How is the meme used and in what context? Is there a formula involved?

Example: Yo Dawg follows a simple format:

Standard: {yo,sup} dawg, I herd you like X, so I put an X in your Y so you can VERB while you VERB
Repetitive: {yo,sup} dawg, I herd you like X, so I put an X in your X so you can X while you X
Abstract: {yo,sup} dawg, I herd you like X, so I put an Y in your Z so you can VERB while you VERB

Example 2: Typically, a picture of a Slowpoke Pokemon is posted to accompany a relatively tame troll that focuses on old but divisive issues.
An example would be something like this:

OMG! Hey guys! You hear about Britney freaking out and shaving her head?
The text is rarely ever superimposed onto the picture. Slowpoke simply exists as an image meme, but not necessarily an image macro.

If the meme existed in pop culture prior to its use on the internet, then how does the meme’s presence online differ from its presence IRL?

A “Bel-Air” is a 4chan /b/ copypaste meme for which Anonymous will start off with a story about some interesting subject and right around the climax of said story, waiting for something awesome and then the sentence moves with the lyrics to the theme of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Examples of catchphrases that have been simply popular but are NOT internet memes:

“Who is your daddy and what does he do?”
“Get in the choppa!”
“What’s the deal with airline peanuts?”
“Don’t have a cow man!”
“Happy Happy Joy Joy!”
“How am I not myself?”
“Very Nice!”
“Got Milk?”
“Where’s The Beef?”
“Pork: The Other White Meat.”
“Baby: The OTHER other White Meat.”
“You’re in good hands, with Allstate.”

I hope this helps.

May 15, 2009 at 05:21AM EDT

FWIW the dev team and I are planning features to make classification more granular. This will allow us to include more niche Internet phenomena without necessarily having to “call it a meme”.

“Deadpool” was more intended for things that are straight up self-aggrandizing, commercial, or are true forced memes (not like milhouse -- like actual “hay guise look at this meme me & my friend made”)

the DB is an ongoing work in progress… thanks for helping shape this thing

May 15, 2009 at 02:06PM EDT

why bother writing up an epic history of it if there’s a chance it might get deadpooled?

May 15, 2009 at 02:38PM EDT

“Ongoing work in progress”? You mean there will never be a day where you guys say " Way to go guys, let’s take a break."? There will never be a day we can say we have classified all the memes? How will you know when you’ve reached perfection?

May 15, 2009 at 02:42PM EDT

James, the lack of history and explanation is what caused a lot of the entries to be deadpooled. I’ll go through and un-deadpool some of the entries so you can fix them up. I’ve probably been a bit overzealous about deadpooling bad submissions. As Jamie said, classification of memes will become more granular, allowing for more niche memes to have a place on the site.

May 15, 2009 at 03:07PM EDT

here, go yell at jamie for not putting enough research into his shit

May 15, 2009 at 08:25PM EDT

James, you got me! We still have some old entries in the database that need fixing up. When the site first launched, most of the entries were pretty simple, so some of the older ones may require more research.

May 16, 2009 at 11:58AM EDT

Where do webcomics fall? If a webcomic is parodied, changed or mutated enough, does it become a meme? Or are they never memes EVER?

May 16, 2009 at 12:07PM EDT

Like Hockey zombie’s Singing Shark or the Perry Bible Fellowship’s Box of Hate.

May 16, 2009 at 01:20PM EDT

I’d say that if a webcomic is the source of a joke that goes on to inspire a huge number of parodies, then sure it’s a meme.

May 16, 2009 at 01:20PM EDT

But the webcomic its self isn’t a meme, the joke contained in the comic would be the meme and the webcomic would be the origin.

May 16, 2009 at 01:21PM EDT

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