What is a meme? A funny Internet post? A picture with text at the top mentioning something funny? A remix of a movie? To understand what a meme is we need to look back to the beginning of YouTube, 2005.
In February of 2005, three men who were former employees of PayPal came together to create a website where people could upload home videos of random things ranging from comedy to Christmas morning gift openings; this service was called YouTube. YouTube was an innovation never seen before allowing many to share their videos with the world. This is also where the first “meme” appeared.
It’s not exactly sure what the first “meme” was, but many speculate it to be the famous “peanut-butter jelly time” banana which appeared on Newgrounds.com in 2002 and became more widespread because of YouTube. However, many believe the first meme was actually Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” a 1984 single that was turned into a “Rick Roll” because of the song’s common appearance on YouTube people began to troll people by mistitling videos with the song appearing instead of the title name hence the first widely seen meme.
But, what is a meme? Usually a meme is a funny parody of an educational cartoon or even a children comedy evolved to be more funny for adults and trends happening. One such of these is the tv show “Lazy Town” which stars humans and puppets on their wacky adventures in the town of Lazy Town. Users from 4chan and YouTube have taken their time to primarily make two characters the center of recent memes “Robbie Rotten” and “Stingy the puppet”. Basically the Robbie Rotten meme is based around the song he and his hench men sing called “We are Number One.” Internet Users have used these songs and remixed them or have added other sound effects rather than the regular song, essentially creating what we know as a meme.
But how does one make a meme? Many have theorized how a successful meme is created, but usually memes are created based off of three main components. First, there are trends—trends are essential while creating a meme so it can appeal to the masses and not just a certain group of individuals. Next, you must follow the ways of memes past—as many say, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. You can reuse the same picture another poster has used and just retitle the text above or make a different remix of a funny meme you see going around.
Finally, social sharing is key to spreading your meme and creating a successful meme. One way to do this is by sharing the link to your meme to your friends, and if your friends find it funny they might share it with their friends and onward. If you don’t have friends, YouTube or even IFunny are great ways to share your meme with others and will spread by themselves through these networks. The most important thing, however, is to give credit to whoever helped you with the meme or if your meme is a reuse of someone else’s meme.
Because of the attention of this article, Bird Eye News have decided to create a meme contest in which students can take part in. All you have to do is email your meme and how you came up with it to FBCSjournalism@gmail.com; the winner will be announced one week after this article is published. Our favorite “memester” will receive a lunch for themselves and one friend, paid by the Bird Eye News.