The Meme For Today Is Memes – Are You Jumping On The Meme Bandwagon ?
Meme – “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Definition from Webster’s Dictionary.
It seems that more people are talking about Memes in internet marketing circles these days. In fact, I’ve seen two products released recently that seem to be cashing in on this trend. More shovel sellers giving people an opportunity to mine fools gold or are memes the real thing ? Let’s find out…firstly, what are Memes ?
What Are Memes ?
Memes are something that is trending. A story or an event that captures the imagination, seemingly, of the world. An incident that goes viral you could say.
- Tiger Woods crashing his car and the ensuing story could be considered to be such an incident. Talk Shows lampooned or satirized the incident. Halloween costumes were made of golf clothing and a fake golf club that you could wrap around your neck.
- “I took an arrow in the knee” is another example of a meme. This occurred with the release of the “The Elder Scrolls : Skyrim” computer game. The quote was part of the game and was basically an excuse for not doing something. It captured the imagination of the game players and they started adding the quote to photos of people/animals making excuses and failing. It even became a t-shirt.
- Another example of this was the “Keep Calm and Carry On” quote. I think this was originally a poster or slogan created by the British government during the second world war. It has since gone on to be a range of products.
It seemed to be a meme to me as I kept on seeing it pop up in places like Pinterest, Facebook or Digg. People would change the quote slightly to mean something different but keep the same poster style of the original.
- A more recent example is the Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. She was expected to win a gold medal at the London Olympics. Unfortunately she had a fall and ended up with the silver. Her expression when receiving the silver, one of disappointment, became a meme. So her picture would be added to a photo of disappointment and a message to the effect of McKayla is not happy.
It’s hard to spot a meme initially but looking on sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Digg or even what is trending on Twitter, Alexa or Google trends could be a way to do it. Also, major news stories, TV shows or movies are generally sources of memes.
I would say that memes are generally humorous or try to see a funny side of an incident. They are light relief….internet style.
These days, people are changing the definition of what a meme is to be a picture with a satirical or humorous caption. I don’t think this is really the case but it could be if the picture goes viral and captures the imagination of the internet.
Why Are Memes Popular For Internet Users ?
Memes are popular because they are popular…..but it’s a bit more than that. As already mentioned, they are generally humorous or make you think. They could have an arresting image with an inspiring quote or humorous adage attached to it. For the internet user they are a fast and interesting way to consume content. The trend for more visual content and less reading is on the rise. People don’t want to spend time reading (or not all the time anyway). If you have got this far, you must be an exception
How do you make a meme ?
You find a photo of a trendy story or incident and add your humorous take to it.
I don’t really know about the copyright issues of using a photo that somebody else owns. I would say that most people that do something like this are infringing the copyright of the original owner.
But since a meme is viral and short lived, you may find that it’s pointless for the owner to do anything. They may even appreciate the added attention that the photo or product gets as a result of it becoming a meme.
Once you have your photo or image, you simply add it to your graphic software and make an alteration.
You could use Photoshop or Gimp. You could even use something like picmonkey.com that is tailor made to creating such images.
Why create a Meme or jump on a meme bandwagon ?
Well, this is pretty obvious, it’s for the attention that the meme gets. For instance, if you could tie your product into the McKayla Moroney or the “I took an arrow in the knee” meme, then you might get plenty of people seeing your product. So it’s a form of marketing or advertising.
People without a product may even do it simply to get traffic to a website.
It could even be used as content on a website. I think that “I haz cheesburger” site is an example of this. It seems to be pictures of animals that have funny quotes attached to them. They aren’t really memes as such, but some have gone on to be really popular in the internet.
How do you promote a Meme you have created ?
You simply publish it on common places on the internet so that it gets a chance to “go viral”. So Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, digg and things like that. You could probably do more than that but it really depends how much time you have and how good you think your idea is.
The reality is that most things that people create aren’t going to make it. Creating something that goes viral, even if it is getting boosted by a current trend, is not something you can just schedule.
“I’m going to spend 45 minutes creating a viral image based on a current meme” isn’t something you can put on your to do list. It takes a bit of luck and knowledge on the current trend to even stand a chance to create an epic image. Then a bit of creative thinking.
What do you think…are you creating images based on memes ? Or even humorous images ? Why ? For traffic or for fun….