There’s something about memes (part 1 of ?)

Memes – love them or hate them, they’ve been around forever. But, due to the critical mass in social media, some people are just beginning to discover them in earnest. Thanks to some of Facebook’s newer functionalities the ’25 Things’ meme has had some new life breathed into it. So much so, even TIME and Newsweek wrote about it earlier this month.

It occurred to me that now is as good a time as any to explore memes in more depth. Have you ever wondered what exactly a meme was anyway?

A lot of memes take the form of surveys or lists that will ask you to do things such as list 10 things you love that start with the letter “M” or, like a Cosmo quiz, will rate how girly you are based on your answers to questions such as “Do you go tanning?”  and “Do you paint  your nails?” Other memes are harder to define or even explain.

Case in point: Barack Obama’s inauguration took place  in front of the Capitol Building on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 where Aretha Franklin performed decked out in a particular hat.

Tell'em Aretha!

Tell'em Aretha!

The general public and the media was abuzz about the hat. Thanks to BuzzFeed, the truly obsessed  started editing pictures of the hat on themselves, their dogs, even the Capitol Building itself! And thus a new meme was born.

Stephen Colbert likes hats!

Stephen Colbert likes hats!

So do these little guys!

So do these little guys!

The Capitol Building is definitely rocking the hat!

The Capitol Building is definitely rocking the hat!

 Do you understand memes yet? I’ll be putting out a continuation of this post soon-ish. I could have probably defined a meme and its potential applications for our clients in just one post, but it’s way more fun to show off  pictures while I’m at it, right?


5 Responses

  1. I LOVE the pics — and I love memes. I don’t always participate, but i love that it’s happening

  2. nice! there’s this really cool meme site out there. will post shortly.

  3. […] There’s something about memes (part 1 of ?) […]

  4. Yes! Love that hat and those pics. And good point on the critical mass of social media contributing to prompt proliferation – and broad exposure – of memes.

    Continuing on the Aretha hat, we had the Facebook Fan Page (I think 70,000+ fans of her hat, last I checked?), the Yahoo Answers page – “would you rather that hat adorned with laser beams or lightening bolts?” (alas, I paraphrase slash made half of that up but it’s something like that!), and I know Twitter was a-flutter with comments on the hat.

    Another fun Meme – Stanky Legg. Just look it up on YouTube. Vid has more than 5 million views when I looked last week! I was Googling it and there is also a Yahoo Answers (“what is a ‘stanky legg?'”) and it came to me via the Urban Dictionary “word of the day” as well. Just some kids from who-knows-where-America who made up a song and dance move and BOOM – the momentum! Never ceases to amaze me, some of these memes.

    Great post!

  5. I love the smell of a fresh meme in the morning – who doesn’t? It takes whatever people are talking about (“Dang, Aretha, that is SOME hat.”) and sets it on fire. Best of all, not a single person in the world can figure out what is the next new meme. Just goes to show ya, CONTENT is everywhere.

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