There’s Something About Memes (part 4 of ?)

Memes are defined as a unit of pop culture. The term was first coined by a British scientist, RichardDawkins,  to describe the evolution and spread of cultural ideas. Somewhere along the line, the term degenerated to describe LOLcats and Rickrolling.

The success and longevity of a meme depends upon how culturally relevant it is. Case in point, this past Sunday, MTV aired its annual Music Video Awards. As a big television event, the award show had lots of eyeballs on it, so when the  unexpected happened, it did not take long for that moment to bear fruit to a new meme. During an acceptance speech by country/pop singer Taylor Swift, hip hop artist Kanye West grabbed the microphone from her hand to proclaim that Beyonce, who Taylor had beat out for the award, had “one of the best videos of all time.” (Video here) This opened the door for a brand new meme that caught on like wildfire yesterday.

An example:

 kanye-moon

Continue reading

Advertisements

Web Site Story – CollegeHumor video pokes fun at trendiest Web sites

Story of our lives, huh?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

There’s something about memes (part 3 of ?)

First, a public service message: This is our 100th post! (Woot!)

Admittedly, I’ve not gone back to memes since my post in February. Yikes! However, I wanted to share a video series from Rocketboom called “Know Your Meme” which explains the origins and proper use of a number of Internet memes while wearing nifty labcoats. With a number of “tutorials” and counting, you might want to check it out next time a friends or colleagues starts obsessing about the Shiba Inu Puppycam or replies to one of your emails with a cheeky “O RLY?”

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the Know Your Meme: Yo Dawg video.

SF renames Bush St – aptly

So this rippled through the Interwebs today but I had actually stumbled upon it rather organically (or, ignorantly, as the case happened to be) and got a huge kick out of it – perhaps greater than if I had seen it online first then sought it out after – the beauty of a perfectly-executed stunt!

I was on my way to an appointment after watching the new Pres be sworn in this morning. Of course I was very excited, but also running a little late. As I biked quickly up the hill toward my appointment on Bush Street, I squinted toward the street sign to see if I’d met my destination (I don’t know this part of town well so was trying to get my bearings). I wasn’t wearing my glasses, either, but I swore – and as I got closer – did it really say? It looks like… OBAMA St!!

I stopped my bike at the corner and pointed toward a sign, exclaiming to a random man. English wasn’t his first language, so it took a second for us to get on the same page, then we smiled at each other, laughed and went our separate ways. It was beautiful. I snapped a photo on my phone and posted to Twitter.

 

Obama Street (at Hyde St), SF

Obama Street (at Hyde St), SF

After my appointment, I saw some students snapping photos but no one knew at the time who had executed this stunt. It was fun, though, watching people react to it – drivers honking, yelling, pedestrians smiling, snapping pics, etc. So super cool.

A friend of mine IMd me once I got back to my desk to inform that it was the work of Laughing Squid – how appropriate!

Well done, guys! This thoroughly made my morning. :)

~Jes

UPDATE: Apparently I assumed this was done by Laughing Squid, however just learned that a group called Survival Research Laboratories (they have a Wikipedia page) was behind the stunt. Thanks, Derek, for the tip! http://sfcitizen.com/blog/2009/01/20/survival-research-labs-changes-bush-street-to-obama-street/

*cough, cough* I can’t come to work today, I have Discomgoogolation

YouGov, an international market research firm, conducted a study in late July which polled 2100 Britons about their Internet dependency and came across some interesting findings.

  • 76% say they cannot live without the Internet
  • 44% say they feel confused and frustrated when they are unable to get online
  • 17% say the longest they’ve been without Internet access is less than one day
  • 47% say the Internet is more important to them than religion
  • 20% say they pay more attention to the Internet than their partners
  • 19% say they would spend more time on the Internet than with their family
  • 17% say they miss the Internet more than their friends

Apparently, the YouGov study, conducted on behalf of UK web-based directory assistance service 118.com, was apparently done through an online survey. This would indicate the results were at least a little skewed, however, I can’t seem to find a link to the actual study in order to verify. Still, the results were shocking enough for YouGov to create a new term to describe the anxiety one feels when unable to connect to the Internet – “Discomgoogolation.” [Via Reuters UK, ShinyShiny]

In searching for a US-based study on roughly the same topic, I came across a WebMD article about Internet addicition.  A US-based survey of 2513 adults conducted via phone found that 14% of adults in the U.S. had a hard time staying offline for 4 days in a row. While I couldn’t find any other comparable stats, it’d be interesting to see how the general US population ranks the importance Internet connectivity in their lives.

Please enjoy this rather fitting description of the hysteria that ensues when people are denied Internet access – compliments of South Park.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The video above is all in good fun, but for sure consumers and news media have become dependent on the Internet as a source of information.

 

Posted by Cristina