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Should spinoffs be grouped with the original?

Last posted Apr 11, 2009 at 07:58AM EDT. Added Apr 08, 2009 at 03:35PM EDT
4 posts from 2 users

Many memes have garnered spinoffs over the course of the years, and I’m just wondering: should we categorize these spinoffs with their original meme, or should they stand alone as independent meme’s?

Example: Advice Dog created Courage Wolf, Pokedads, and many more.
Also, how Catuday created LOLjesus, the LOLrus, etc.

I don’t know, maybe I’m alone on this. Just thinking of ways to make it less cluttered and user friendly.

I definitely agree that associations between these memes should always be addressed in the meme entry in the database. When creating a seperate meme entry for things that came from Advice Dog, it’s important to always mention that this meme is a member of the Advice Dog Family. Also, LOLJesus needs to make mention of Raptor Jesus, and both are members of the Lolspeak image macro tree that branches off of Lolcats, which were of course born on Caturday.

I’ve been mentioning to the devs for a while that a fun project for a “labs” section down the line would be to create an interface to visualize the meme database as an evolutionary tree. I don’t have a clue how far down the road that is, but there are constantly subtle changes making their way through the site, with massive developments planned.

More back to the point: Courage Wolf deserves its own Meme entry because it has enough examples to differentiate its self from Advice dog to warrant two seperate groupings of two very closely related memes. In a sense, Courage Wolf is the son of Advice Dog. No amazing backstory there, it just happened, like many of the Advice Dog offspring. But it’s still prolific enough to need an entry of its own.

I’ve found the clinical answer.
Metamemes and Memeplexes.

n the field of memetics, a metameme (or meta-meme) is defined as a meme about a meme. A metaphor or the idea of memetic engineering are, thus, metamemes.

Therefore, Advice Dog’s variants are all metamemes.
The same goes for most lolcats.
Every Yo Dawg is inherently a metameme.

Much of the study of memes focuses on groups of memes called meme complexes, or “memeplexes.”

These conceptual memeplexes can be true and useful or false and harmful to the mind carrying them, and both useful and harmful memeplexes are able to self-propagate. [1] Different memes in a memeplex can interact to reinforce each other, and it is thought that different memeplexes can work either against or with each other, perhaps also altering their consistency by absorbing or ejecting particular memes as their usefulness is proven or disproven. This process is not yet fully understood, but a model like that of natural selection may be useful in understanding the behavior of memeplexes. Philosopher Daniel C. Dennett and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins have spoken publicly on this subject. [2][3]

Trolls are a memeplex. Oldfags and newfags are memeplexes. Image Macros are memeplexes. Anonymous is a memeplex. Internet forums are memeplexes. Youtube is a memeplex. Knowyourmeme is a memeplex.

It definitely would be interesting to see a meme “family tree.” Almost like a meme genome project, categorizing where the meme’s have come from and possibly predicting which way they will turn in the future.

Good point with the connection between the metameme’s and memeplexes as well. Although sometimes I’ll admit, spin-offs don’t have as rich of a history as original meme’s, they do deserve individual spots (of course, if the theme is different enough and is widespread enough.)


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