PR's Blog

February 25, 2010

Hash Tagging

Filed under: Uncategorized — perryrobbin @ 3:08 pm

One of the keys of a meme is its ability to mutate. Depending on the meme’s format, this can mean adding text to a picture, re-cutting a video or adding your own personal touch to a verbally-spread meme.

One of the things I really like about hashtags on Twitter is when they are used to start open-ended sentences or otherwise leave a blank for people to fill in. #tosavemoney and #thingswewantback are basically invitations for people to add meaning to the tagged phrase. #tosavemoney has over 700 new tweets in the five minutes since I opened the search page for it. #thingswewantback has had over 600 in the same time.

These work as memes in two parts: the boilerplate text that defines the meme coming in front, giving everyone who participates a ground rule on what to do, and people’s personal mutations of the meme, which give the meme significance and individuality, coming after.

I particularly like this one, because it sort of subverts the whole concept of “things we want back.” Is the writer really longing for something that tasted bad at first, but he eventually got used to? Maybe. Sometimes, people like weird things for weird reasons.

It's... blue?

Personally, I thought Pepsi Blue sucked. I remember driving to Boston in high school with some friends, one of whom was drinking Pepsi Blue. This was only a short time after it came out. A few minutes into his first sampling of this new product, he turned pale, demanded the driver pull over, exited the car, and puked blue all over the grass by the side of the road.

I guess the point here is that hashtags work really well as a meme because they leave a void that has to be filled. This forces the meme to change constantly and helps it spread. A fair amount of hashtag memes are related to nostalgia, so they also rekindle warm and fuzzy, or in this case blue and puke-y, memories.

Also, I liked Crystal Pepsi better.



1 Comment »

  1. @Perry: #Very, #Good #Post.

    Comment by Rick Hancock — February 25, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

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