PR's Blog

April 27, 2010

UConn Rave

Filed under: Uncategorized — perryrobbin @ 3:40 pm

Facebook’s use as an organizational tool is sometimes overlooked. People tend to focus more on status updates and wall posts, but the event function can lead to big-time results. Case in point: UCONN RAVE 5/2/10. If last semester’s event is any indication, the rave on May 2 will be one of the biggest gatherings of students all year.

Last semester's rave

While the attending/maybe/not categories on Facebook are definitely not responses set in stone, over 4,800 people say they are attending, about 1/4 of UConn’s total student population (although it is hard to determine the invitees that do or don’t go to UConn, a cursory look at the guest list shows that the majority are UConn students).

The only thing that would make this rave better than the last one? No Joey Homza, who sounds like he could be on speed, about to cry, or both, in this rather self-centered video about the rave last semester.


April 6, 2010

Local Memes: Russell’s Mom (part 2)

Filed under: Uncategorized — perryrobbin @ 5:00 pm

After laying the groundwork in part 1, I started thinking about what actually makes Russell’s mom a meme. If you define the meme as most of Rosemary’s Facebook output, then the concepts of variation and replication play an important part. Rosemary’s Facebook posts often concern UConn sports teams and her family, all in her own unique style. These topics, and other recurring elements like the Maya doll and her propensity for Daisy Dukes, give followers of the meme¬†a sort of touchstone, but the actual content changes with each post. Because people know what to expect from her, there is a sense of familiarity and a sense of anticipation.

Maya the Husky doll makes another appearance

I think the most important factor in the Rosemary meme is the replication and spread of her Facebook postings. While most were introduced to her via Russell’s wall and then her own Facebook page, she has not been content to just stay there. Originally, we were the ones who went to her wall or Russell’s wall to see her latest post. Now, she has started posting in a few of the Facebook groups we use for classes, like our own class page and the group about college gambling used in one of Professor Dufresne’s classes. That her post on the gambling group’s wall seems to be directed to Russell (not a member of that class) and not the group adds to the meme.

Another recurring element, the UConn christmas tree (recently put in the front yard to 'let people know the women are playing')

The key to the Rosemary meme has been it’s proliferation. While her overall output has been at turns humorous and engrossing, the most endearing part has been her slow, steady spread into the Facebook lives of her followers.

And let’s not get into the whole psychic powers thing. Or these two new finds.

April 1, 2010

Local Memes: Russell’s Mom (Part 1)

Filed under: Uncategorized — perryrobbin @ 2:19 pm

Facebook connects people to things they would never encounter otherwise. It can create small-scale memes that still flourish because of ease of access. Russell’s mom Rosemary is a prolific Facebook user and does not privacy protect her wall from being viewed by people who aren’t her friends. Since the first time I saw her post on Russell’s wall, with her frequent, idiosyncratic “LOL”s and exultations of the Huskies and her son, I knew that her Facebook page would be a source of mirth (and memes) for myself and others who know Russell.

Rosemary's oft-recurring lucky husky doll, Maya

The first thing that really got my attention about Rosemary’s page was her choice of profile picture. While it is now the husky doll pictured above, it was a fire truck for a few months. Why a fire truck, you ask? Russell said she used it because she liked the picture. It must have been a family thing, because Russell’s father and brother used pictures of tractors for their profiles at the time.

The truck in question

This of course led to a meme being created, the Kate Monohan fire truck (a.k.a. the Monotruck)

Rosemary "LOL"ed at this

The fire truck was only the tip of the iceberg. A short time later, Maya made her first appearance and those of us who would frequently check her page found she had posted a number of videos. Foremost among these is this gem (I can’t emphasize the word “gem” enough here)¬†featuring Russell’s dad Bob performing a short melody (a combination of an original composition and the Johnny Russell country standard “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer”), Rosemary speaking a sort of cat language to her pets and this immortal exchange:

Bob: “Hun, how come you got two, two handkerchiefs in your pocket?”

Rosemary: “I don’t know…”

Bob: “One to wipe and one to blow with!” *Laughter*

Bob and Rosemary chillin' with John Deere

I’ve covered a lot of ground so far, so join me here next Tuesday as I move on from just talking about Russell’s mom to talking about Russell’s mom AND how Facebook makes meme creation among small groups easy.

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