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THE AWESOME DOSSIER: Constructing the Ultimate Internet Meme __________________________ This report will be looking into the curious phenomenon of ‘Internet Memes’, how they work and why they are so surprisingly popular. A large majority of Internet memes are circulated by adolescents and post-adolescents. The “meme” word was first introduced by evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, in 1976 from his book, The Selfish Gene. Most of these internet memes are humour and shock-value curiosities, as these grab people’s attention more quickly than deeper meme content. Although, more intelligent forms of memes are become popular every day. The most well known are memes like; Rick Rolling, Numa Numa Dance, LOL Cats, Star Wars Kid and More Cowbell. To understand what the hell those all mean I recommend you enter each one into google and youtube, you may not enjoy all of them but you will be curious, which is the point. Paul Gil, a columnist from About.com makes an interesting point by stating that an Internet meme is “...like a flu or a cold virus, travelling from person to person quickly, but transmitting an idea instead of a life form.”. Think of it as ‘cyber swine flu’, it starts off as simple or complex in-joke between a few people and then those people give it to the people they each know individual and before you know it, a majority of the internet population have succumb to it’s infectiousness and so begins a cult following of the subject thus turning it into an Internet meme almost overnight.

Throughout this report the following questions will be addressed: How does one create an internet meme? How does an Internet meme spread so fast? What is the target audience of an internet meme? Are the majority well thought out ideas or complete accidents? Are Internet memes important for the design world (i.e. viral advertising)? And if so why?

Considering the results that are made from the research, we can then look into how we, ourselves, can create our own I.M., test run it and record the resulting outcome. Perhaps a website will be made from this as well as the report itself.


The Study Outline ___________ After all research into Internet Memes is done, and enough information has been collected, the experiment into creating a Meme from scratch will begin. Firstly, all forms of Meme shall be listed and individually looked at and studied. Hopefully a pattern will emerge either from the Meme itself or the response from it’s audience. Then a selected few will be chosen and taken apart categorically so as to possibly understand their essence. The world’s most popular Memes and also the ‘failed’ attempts will all be compared to see if a correlation occurs from the results. If a decent amount of information and data has been found then the fun part begins. The ‘basics’ of a Meme will be written up and studied thoroughly, so that a Meme can be created from scratch using this outline. This would include; what format will it be based on (video, image, animation etc) and how to make it popular with the target audience. Once that has all been done a test Meme will be made and put up onto the internet, which a vast audience (hopefully) will catch on and mimic. After this, all responses, as well as pros and cons, will be recorded and presented at the end of the report.


Internet Meme Images _____________


Chapter Title Possibilities ________________ I An Introduction A brief overview on what this report will be written on and what I will attempt to achieve after researching the Internet Meme. II It’s Not You, It’s Meme! A detailed look into the world of the ‘Internet Meme’. Including information on what it is, how it came to be, who makes/watches them, how they’re discovered and why they’re so popular. III Meme, Myself and I A list of the most popular and famous Memes. As well as the history on each and a breakdown on what they are and why they are at that level of popularity in the internet community. IV Well, I Guess it’s up to Meme After my research into various Memes there will be an in-depth study into creating a new Meme, making it cult material and attempting to promote it to the masses. V Please! No More Meme Puns! And finally, a conclusion rounding up all that has been discussed and all that has been created. Then to see if anything interesting or new was discovered from this report.


Useful Quotations To Use In Report _______________________ “ Gone are the days of hamster dance and Star Wars kid, of Leeroy Jenkins and Peanut Butter Jelly Time. In their place a new generation of Internet memes is emerging. They’re just as much fun as ever, but they’re also smarter, more respected, and positioned to make a heck of a lot more money than their predecessors.” -Ruberg, B. Think.com “ Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.” -Astley, R. Never Gonna Give You Up “ The basic definitions for what constitutes a “meme” remain fairly constant, but debate rages about whether memetics is a science, a philosophy, a part of cultural studies or simply a buzz word to describe something we were all aware of anyway.” -Hodge, K. It’s all in the memes. Guardian.co.uk “ The Internet, as mentioned earlier, supports the rapid and accurate world-wide transmission of the memes of its users. This is a supplement to, and not a replacement for, the traditional means of spreading memes. It is also, clearly, a means which makes use of a different medium. To the extent that the characteristics of the medium differ from those of the traditional medium, so the result of dispersing memes is, in turn, different. -Marshall, G. The Internet and Memetics


Books ___ Obey The Giant - Rick Poyner Unspeak - Steven Poole The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins Websites _____ http://www.facebook.com/ http://www.twitter.com/ http://manbabies.com/ http://failblog.org/ http://www.fmylife.com/ http://playhimoffkeyboardcat.com/ http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/ http://theoatmeal.com/comics/dolphin_ punch http://www.thingsbearslove.com/ http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/ http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Main_ Page http://domonomnom.tumblr.com/ http://www.youtube.com/ http://m.assetbar.com/achewood/home http://www.hicksville.co.nz/PerfectPlanet.htm www.americanelf.com http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/internetlanguage/f/whatismeme.htm


The Awesome Dossier [draft]