PR's Blog

March 23, 2010

Massive Memes

Filed under: Uncategorized — perryrobbin @ 1:57 pm

Memes, Internet memes especially, are often like inside jokes. Part of their popularity stems from other people not knowing about them, the element of exclusion makes them more exciting. Memes often start and stay in a specific group. When they enter the larger consciousness, part of the new/interesting/cool/different factor can be lost, especially for the group that nurtured the meme.

Sometimes though, even the people who started the meme probably want it to go away forever:


Memes can occasionally gain strength from their size and popularity. Facebook theme days, for example, become more effective as more people participate. The oldest one I remember is Talk Like A Pirate Day, and they have branched off from there. Some are jokes and/or references to other media, like the upcoming Harry Potter Status Day (which gained 5,000+ followers from midnight last night till 9:30 this morning). Some express sympathy, like status days for Iranian protesters over the summer and victims of the Haitian earthquake this winter.

Status days are work as large memes because they provide a lot of room for individual participation. While the sentiment or theme is set in stone, the actual expression of those concepts isn’t. Their overall purpose is to share in a theme and not much else, which makes room for people to express themselves. And, they are much more interactive than any dancing baby.


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