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Declaring a meme.

Last posted Sep 19, 2009 at 01:56PM EDT. Added Sep 18, 2009 at 08:07PM EDT
7 posts from 4 users

Imagine that one day something hilarious happened on a website. It happens all the time. Now imagine that a friend of the website’s owner saw that funny thing, and announced on his own website that “THIS SHOULD BE A MEME” before anyone had even decided to create derivative works.

Sounds dumb, right?

Well hold on. Imagine that the loyal readers of these sites decided to comply and create image macros.

Now imagine that all of the website owner’s friends who were all writers, editors, or publicists of some kind decided to create a number of webpages with titles like “The most EPIC meme ever!” and “The birth of a meme!”

Now imagine that they decided to write themselves into wikipedia.

Now imagine that they had one of their own create an entry right here on the MemeDB.

There are derivatives, the content got spread around (with a TON of coaxing) and there are some basic mutations.

What is your opinion of professionally engineered memes like this?

Sep 18, 2009 at 08:07PM EDT
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Well, I guess a forced is still a meme. There are quite a few forced memes already on hre and they required alot less effort by a much smaller group. If they took all that time to shove a meme down their throats, maybe they deserve an unpopular meme page here where they could hang and pretend its great. Also, if we know anything about the internet, people usually don’t have the time and friends to do this.

Sep 18, 2009 at 08:40PM EDT
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I think there’s a big difference with what I would consider “genuine” forced memes and Engineered ones.

A forced meme from an anonymous’ point of view doesn’t involve a link between the one who tries to force a meme and the ones who create derivatives.
It’s not the work of a small group when the meme expands itself. Even forced, many people from different horizons come to add their own touch on it when they feel the need.

But when a meme caught on only within a community, only stayed in that community as some kind of inner-joke and expanded itself only when the members of that community created wikipedia entries and made advertisements everywhere in order to force it to the breaking-point, the meme loses its essence.

When it needs publicists efforts like this, it is not a meme anymore…

If the meme is astroturfed but it’s so hard to tell the difference, then the meme can live on its own without too much difficulties.
Here, it’s a little too obvious I think.

Sep 19, 2009 at 03:12AM EDT
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“Also, if we know anything about the internet, people usually don’t have the time and friends to do this.”

Jumpropeman, they did have the time. They did have the friends. They generated enough hype to get others to blog about it being “The next big meme.” What they didn’t have was a genuinely contagious meme. I’m referring to “Whose responsible this.”
http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/whose-responsible-this

Some tried to build up hype by calling it “the greatest internet meme ever”
http://worldofwardcrap.com/index.php/2009/09/13/whose-responsible-this/

But if you take a look at it on Google Insights and compare it to “All Your Base are belong to us”, “over 9000”, and Boxxy (legitimately great phenomena) you’ll see that there’s nothing great about it. Even with all that press, they haven’t been able to muster any great amount of interest.

http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=%22all%20your%20base%20are%20belong%20to%20us%22%2C%22over%209000%22%2CBoxxy%2C%22whose%20responsible%20this%22%2C&cmpt=q

That tiny little green bump there is “Whose responsible this.”

Now, let’s compare “Whose responsible this” with Forty Cakes (Lex Luthor).
http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=%22whose%20responsible%20this%22%2Cforty%20cakes&cmpt=q

to be fair, “Whose Responsible this” peaked much higher than Forty Cakes. Forty Cakes never made one big splash. Instead, it has had a small but persistent trend. It’s an extremely obscure meme, but it has produced twice the volume of search traffic over its history.

Whose Respnonsible this has more derivatives (as instructed by the PR campaign) but if it doesn’t last then it’s no more notable than Forty Cakes has ever been. That’s not even as many as four tens. And that’s terrible.

Sep 19, 2009 at 11:04AM EDT
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The thin I’ve been wondering about WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS is how it would stand up “in the wild” so to speak. I mean this meme is heavily propped up and I don’t know if it can reach outside audiences. F*ck yeah Seaking was supposedly originally forced but it seemed to catch on but from what I saw WRT has only been met with confusion and ridicule.

I’ve always thought of local memes as animals in zoos. In the zoo everyone loves them and they always get attention. But if that animal wishes to continue to reproduce it will have to leave the zoo and goes out in the wild. Now if you have to force other zoos to take that species it might not be as well loved, or it wil be plain ignored.

That is how I see it. I don’t think WRT will spread far enough for it to be considered a full-blown meme.

Sep 19, 2009 at 11:40AM EDT
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In the wild, it was called out for being what it was.
http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?p=3396143


Not bad, some of them are funny, but trying to “create” an internet sensation by advertising it as the new internet sensation is pretty lame. They should have started with something a little more viral and less “news story about meme.”

I hope this will serve as a message to advertisers and other professional buzz-generators: You can find content that looks potentially viral and easily exploitable and introduce it to an environment conducive to meme-birthing, but don’t announce that it is a meme until the meme forms naturally. Let your audience make the meme without telling them to do it. If it has the potential to become a meme, the audience will decide. By telling your audience to make something into a meme, you’re basically telling them they’re not intelligent enough to recognize meme potential when they see it.

There are good viral marketing campaigns that succeed in catching on and even turn into memes, and there are people who don’t understand that something must first become viral before it can be called a meme. Unfortunatly, we saw a whole lot of the latter with this one.

Sep 19, 2009 at 12:46PM EDT
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I hope this will serve as a message to advertisers and other professional buzz-generators: You can find content that looks potentially viral and easily exploitable and introduce it to an environment conducive to meme-birthing, but don’t announce that it is a meme until the meme forms naturally. Let your audience make the meme without telling them to do it.

That’s exactly my point too.
But then, to me, it killed the meme completely at birth (even before the birth in itself), in that case.
Concerning its presence on KnowYourMeme, does it still worth it ?

Sep 19, 2009 at 01:56PM EDT
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Skeletor-sm

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