Not to be confused with Image macro.
An Internet meme (MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via the Internet. An Internet meme may also take the form of an image (typically an image macro), hyperlink, video, website, or hashtag. It may be just a word or phrase, sometimes including an intentional misspelling. These small movements tend to spread from person to person via social networks, blogs, direct email, or news sources. They may relate to various existing Internet cultures or subcultures, often created or spread on various websites, or by Usenet boards and other such early-internet communications facilities. Fads and sensations tend to grow rapidly on the Internet, because the instant communication facilitates word-of-mouth transmission. Some examples include posting a photo of people lying down in public places (called "planking") and uploading a short video of people dancing to the Harlem Shake.
The word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads;Internet memes are a subset of this general meme concept specific to the culture and environment of the Internet. The concept of the Internet meme was first proposed by Mike Godwin in the June 1993 issue of Wired. In 2013 Dawkins characterized an Internet meme as being a meme deliberately altered by human creativity—distinguished from biological genes and Dawkins' pre-Internet concept of a meme which involved mutation by random change and spreading through accurate replication as in Darwinian selection. Dawkins explained that Internet memes are thus a "hijacking of the original idea", the very idea of a meme having mutated and evolved in this new direction. Further, Internet memes carry an additional property that ordinary memes do not—Internet memes leave a footprint in the media through which they propagate (for example, social networks) that renders them traceable and analyzable.
In the early days of the Internet, such content was primarily spread via email or Usenet discussion communities. Messageboards and newsgroups were also popular because they allowed a simple method for people to share information or memes with a diverse population of internet users in a short period. They encourage communication between people, and thus between meme sets, that do not normally come in contact. Furthermore, they actively promote meme-sharing within the messageboard or newsgroup population by asking for feedback, comments, opinions, etc. This format is what gave rise to early internet memes, like the Hampster Dance. Another factor in the increased meme transmission observed over the internet is its interactive nature. Print matter, radio, and television are all essentially passive experiences requiring the reader, listener, or viewer to perform all necessary cognitive processing; in contrast, the social nature of the Internet allows phenomena to propagate more readily. Many phenomena are also spread via web search engines, internet forums, social networking services, social news sites, and video hosting services. Much of the Internet's ability to spread information is assisted from results found through search engines, which can allow users to find memes even with obscure information.
Evolution and propagation
An Internet meme may stay the same or may evolve over time, by chance or through commentary, imitations, parody, or by incorporating news accounts about itself. Internet memes can evolve and spread extremely rapidly, sometimes reaching worldwide popularity within a few days. Internet memes usually are formed from some social interaction, pop culture reference, or situations people often find themselves in. Their rapid growth and impact has caught the attention of both researchers and industry. Academically, researchers model how they evolve and predict which memes will survive and spread throughout the Web. Commercially, they are used in viral marketing where they are an inexpensive form of mass advertising.
One empirical approach studied meme characteristics and behavior independently from the networks in which they propagated, and reached a set of conclusions concerning successful meme propagation. For example, the study asserted that Internet memes not only compete for viewer attention generally resulting in a shorter life, but also, through user creativity, memes can collaborate with each other and achieve greater survival. Also, paradoxically, an individual meme that experiences a popularity peak significantly higher than its average popularity is not generally expected to survive unless it is unique, whereas a meme with no such popularity peak keeps being used together with other memes and thus has greater survivability.
Multiple opposing studies on media psychology and communication have aimed to characterise and analyse the concept and representations in order to make it accessible for the academic research. Thus, Internet memes can be regarded as a unit of information which replicates via internet. This unit can replicate or mutate. This mutation instead of being generational follows more a viral pattern, giving the Internet memes generally a short life. Other theoretical problems with the Internet memes are their behaviour, their type of change, and their teleology.
Writing for The Washington Post in 2013, Dominic Basulto asserted that with the growth of the Internet and the practices of the marketing and advertising industries, memes have come to transmit fewer snippets of human culture that could survive for centuries as originally envisioned by Dawkins, and instead transmit banality at the expense of big ideas.
Public relations, advertising, and marketing professionals have embraced Internet memes as a form of viral marketing and guerrilla marketing to create marketing "buzz" for their product or service. The practice of using memes to market products or services is known as memetic marketing. Internet memes are seen as cost-effective, and because they are a (sometimes self-conscious) fad, they are therefore used as a way to create an image of awareness or trendiness.
Marketers, for example, use Internet memes to create interest in films that would otherwise not generate positive publicity among critics. The 2006 film Snakes on a Plane generated much publicity via this method. Used in the context of public relations, the term would be more of an advertising buzzword than a proper Internet meme, although there is still an implication that the interest in the content is for purposes of trivia, ephemera, or frivolity rather than straightforward advertising and news.
Examples of memetic marketing include the FreeCreditReport.com singing ad campaign, the "Nope, Chuck Testa" meme from an advertisement for taxidermist Chuck Testa, Wilford Brimley saying "Diabeetus" from Liberty Medical and the Dumb Ways to Die public announcement ad campaign by Metro Trains Melbourne.
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6 Best Tools for Editing College Papers
A good college paper has two requirements: good research and good writing. While there aren’t many tools available to do the reading and research for you, the Web abounds with editing tools. With so much help out there, there’s no reason your papers should contain grammar or spelling errors. Many of the tools go beyond that and check for ways to enhance style and vocabulary. Some not only help edit your work and check for plagiarism, but actually teach you to become a better writer. Whether you’re looking for something that will enhance your writing skills or you’re in need of some editing SOS, here are some of the best-rated editing tools for academic papers: PaperRater is a free service that uses algorithms to analyze the following areas for your paper: plagiarism, spelling and grammar, style, word choice, readability, title For best results, choose the type of paper (lab report, thesis/dissertation, essay, resume, etc.) and your education level (high school, undergraduate, masters, etc.). It also offers a vocabulary building tool to enhance your vocabulary skill level. Scribendi is a favorite of many students and a reputable editing resource. The message on their website says a lot: “Trusted with more than 752 million words.” They offer different services in a variety of price ranges. For college papers, “Essay editing” and “Essay proofreading” are the categories that best apply. Prices are tiered depending on how much of a time crunch you’re in. If you’ve only got 8 hours until deadline, editing a 1,000 word essay will run you $60. If you can wait a week, the price drops to $28. Their services are available 24/7. Their staff will check for the standard aspects such as: word choice, clarity, tone, sentence structure, spelling, grammar. They also offer suggestions on how you can make your argument stronger and how to improve organization and structure. JetWriters is a high-quality service that offers professional help with essay writing and editing. Whenever you get stuck writing your paper or just need comments from experienced editors, you can contact their team. Simply pick the type of your paper and indicate the deadline – one of the main advantages mentioned on their homepage is that this service provides “express writing solutions”. So, what software can be better than recommendations from live professional editors? ProWritingAid improves your text by doing the following:
- highlights passive verbs and adverbs;
- identifies repetitive phrases;
- removes overly complicated, dense or abstract phrasing;
- eliminates cliches;
- corrects spelling and grammar errors;
- checks for plagiarism;
- improves readability.
There are three versions of their editing services:
- Free – allows you 19 free reports with a maximum of 3000 words;
- Premium – allows you interactive editing, compatible with MS Word and Google Docs, no word limit for $35/year;
- Premium+ – also gives you 50 plagiarism checks for $40/year.
StyleWriter is an editing software whose claim to fame is that it goes beyond spellcheck and grammar and gives you the instruments to become a better writer. This program requires a commitment on your end to want to write better and not just cut and paste your text into a program that will fix things for you. It’s a step-by-step process that helps you define and polish your writing style. One of their unique features is the ability to program it to check for specific problem areas that you know you need to work on. They have three editions, Starter ($90), Standard ($150) and Professional ($190) with various perks for each. Their websites recommends the Standard edition for college students. Grammarly claims to be “the world’s most accurate grammar checker” and has won accolades from academics and professional writers. So, it’s worth a look. Some of its features include:
- a scan of 250 different grammar rules for your text;
- a spellchecker that takes context into consideration;
- a vocabulary builder feature with suggestions for word choice.
It also has a Plagiarism Checker that analyzes your text next to 8 billion web pages so you can be sure your paper is plagiarism-free. And there’s a Citation Generator that cites your sources in MLA, APA or Chicago for you. Best of all? It’s free. Maybe you’re looking to enhance your writing skills. Or maybe you’re just looking to make the deadline without any typos. Whatever you editing needs, these services will help you get your paper on time and in excellent condition. Cari Bennette is a ghost writer, editor and freelance blogger. Cari loves to share her writing advice, so check her Twitter.
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