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Some submissions are too broad.

Last posted Nov 20, 2009 at 07:51PM EST. Added Nov 19, 2009 at 03:24PM EST
10 posts from 4 users

I’m not pointing out any specific meme here, but we get a lot of suggestions for REALLY BROAD concepts that have little internet significance.

If you really want to, you could try to look at the phrase “wash your hands” from a memetic view.

Meme Title: Wash Your Hands!

We could go around trying to track the first time someone ever said “wash your hands” online, but that would be pointless. It’s just too broad.

Let’s please stick with things that are more specific.

I don’t have an answer for that yet.

But in the meantime, it would make the meme confirming process much simpler if we could avoid the practice of trying to fit things into the context of Internet Memes when the are really much bigger and much older concepts.

Hello, I just found this site very recently and have been checking it out. I like it a lot, tons o’ fun, but one thing that’s been bugging me touches on what you’re getting at here.

I think the problem you’re talking about is a lack of defining terms. I mean that the true definition of meme refers to any transferrable idea, like religion, language, or celebrity (in any form). When a poster tries to declare something “not a meme”, they have no point, because anything that can be talked about with a complete stanger and still be understood is a meme, regardless of how broad. In fact, the broader, the memeier. Memier? Memyer? More memetic? Metamitchelmarymuselage? MIMIMIIMIIMIMIMIMIMIMIIIMIMIIM

I think the website should establish, maybe in some kind of introductory page, the criteria specifying an “internet meme” by the standards of the website. Or move the discussion more to quantative popularity (i saw a post brainstorming a rating system with a slide meter) as opposed to inventing a qualative definition that the original meaning of the word already transcends.

It’s almost like saying anything outside of the internet doesn’t exist… which is creepy.

I know a lot of the people who visit the site can grasp this concept without a convenient text, but the comments sections leads me to believe a lot of them can’t, and making the criteria crystal clear may cut down on the broadness of entries (and idiotic arguments).
Food for thought. Sorry about length; I don’t post often. Thanks.

I’m going to disagree really strongly with you when you say, the broader the memeier.

A broad meme like handwashing is definitely a strong meme in the conventional sense; in the way Richard Dawkins, Susan Blackmore, and company analyze memes.

You could definitely write up a thesis on the cultural impact of “wash your hands” signs hung in places of work and how they have helped to improve public sanitation.

The problem is that it has little relevence to the subject of Internet culture.

I think we both agree that the broader the meme, the less relevence it has to Internet Culture. As you said, to treat these broad concepts as though they are Internet Memes is like saying they don’t exist outside of the Internet.

But, not every Internet Meme has to have original content as a source material in order for it to become an Internet Meme. The source material can definitely be from a mainstream event and still be an Internet Meme as long as the people have invented a new joke or new idea ABOUT that mainstream cultural unit that is recognized, shared, and propigated in online communities, in a context outside of general fandom.

We’re still not much closer to having a clear, concise definition of an Internet Meme though. We definitely need one. There are journalists who love to declare “OMG! THE NEXT BIG MEME!” as soon as they possibly can, after only a few photoshops have been made, before any genuine search interest has even occurred. I view this as being as low as inventing a news story for the ratings. A meme ought to be defined by genuine public interest, which is something that can only be measured after the fact.

This is why I encourage people to be a little bit skeptical before deciding whether or not something is an Internet Meme. When people are too soon to jump on New Meme Bandwagons, they undermine the whole idea that a meme can become contagious and twist it into some meaningless buzzword.

I just got done writing up an explanation of what I believe to be the difference between a meme and and Internet meme over in this thread:

Keep in mind, this isn’t any “official” definition. This is just how I see it. I’m open to discuss and debate.

Broader the memeier was actually poor wording, in more ways than one.

My main point is that the word “meme” has much broader applications than what the website specializes in, internet memes – and that each user who visits the website has they’re own perspective of where it sits on the spectrum. I get the feeling that some younger ones might not even know that it’s a word that can be used outside the net, since that’s what it mostly is used for.

I totally agree that there is need for a more concise definition of an internet meme, branching it from a general one. What I really want to suggest is that this website, it being the only one of it’s nature (that I know of), be the one to step in to fill that need – if not for everybody, at least for itself. With all the examples and statistics at it’s disposal, it can generate a clearer idea of where to draw the line in the sand, and better communicate to participants what that is. It could even be concocted democratically.

Over time, as the definiton becomes more well known, the problems that arise in subissions that are too broad, obscure, lame, etc. should shrink significantly. There will always be people who want to submit “wash your hands” to the site, but it could save one from much wasted time and frustration when all they have to do is tap the “wash your hands – not welcome” sign, instead of drawing it out every time.

So just having read your linked thread, it turns out our opinions on the defintions of “meme vs. internet meme” are virtually the same. The only issue I’m expressing is that it’s still open for debate. The fact that you warned it wasn’t the “official” definition is what I’m talknig about, because what you gave should be the official definiton (no quotations, lol). I understand why it’s still being passed around as a matter of opinion, but that can only go on for so long until it’s agreed – and if ever there was a place for it to find solidarity, it would be here.

Anywho, I’m off for now. Thanks for your time.


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