When the Internet Chooses You - Memes, Viral Videos, and Internet Subculture for Educators
When The Internet Chooses You A Primer on Viral Videos, Memes, and Internet Subculture for EducatorsThe Claw by Danny Handke - http://disney.go.com/disneyinsider/galleries/wonderground-gallery/p/WonderGround-Gallery-The-Claw When The Internet Chooses You - A Primer on Viral Videos, Memes, and Internet Subculture for Educators
Lucas Gillispie Instructional Technology CoordinatorPender County Schools, NC On Twitter: @PCSTech
www.edurealms.comAll of the resources shared in this presentation are linked from http://edurealms.com/?page_id=701. Keep in mind, some of the resources and communities linked and discussed inthis presentation may not be suitable for everyone. They are included for informationalpurposes.
Why? What are those kids in the hall talking about? It affects our learners... and US! Because I never want to be at a loss for something to share at the water cooler or copy machine.Some of this stuff is really funny. The Interwebz (People) Fascinate Me!
The Sub-Culture Is Invading The MainstreamWhat used to be sub-culture is now becoming part of mainstream culture. The Big BangTheory is a perfect example of how elements of Internet culture are increasingly becomingmainstream.
How Ideas SpreadAs technology has developed over time, so has our ability to communicate ideas. Thedevelopment of the Internet and the ease at which digital media are created and shared hasfostered the development of memes and viral videos.
http://cdn.crowdscience.com/blog/2011/08/internet-60-seconds-infographic.jpg This infographic gives examples of what happens in a typical minute online.
How Did It Come To This?So, how did we go from cave paintings to Chuck Norris jokes?
Let’s Travel Back In Time To Get Some PerspectiveLet’s look at the history of the Net to get some perspective. What’s better for time travel thana Tardis (ala Dr. Who)!
1982 The EmoticonThis is Scott Fahlman. He’s credited with the ﬁrst use of “digital” emoticons while proposingtheir use on an Internet message board at Carnegie Mellon so readers could distinguishcomments that were jokes. (Avoiding Flame Wars!)
1989 The Internet OracleThe Internet Oracle would allow users to send questions that would, in-turn be answered byothers asking questions. All messages would ﬂow through the Oracle, and be anonymizedmaking them seem they’d come from the Oracle itself.
1993 The Trojan Room Coffee PotThe Trojan Room Coffee Pot was arguably the world’s ﬁrst web cam. Originally, it wasdesigned as a high-tech way for those working in the University of Cambridge to see if it wasworth the effort to travel from one’s office to the Trojan Room to get coffee. Empty pot?Don’t bother.
Then Came... The World Wide WebThough the Internet already existed, the development of the World Wide Web brought evenmore people to the ‘Net.
1996 The Oracle of BaconWebsite that linked articles in the IMBD to determine the number of degrees of separationbetween any actor/actress and Kevin Bacon. (Based on the Six Degrees of Separation idea).
1996 The Rise of the Viral VideoThe Dancing Baby aka - “Baby Cha-Cha” The Spirit of Christmas (pre-South Park)The Dancing Baby was created by animators Michael Girard and Michael Lurye. They sharedit via email and it began to spread. The dancing baby even made regular appearances on AllyMcBeal as she often had hallucinations featuring the dancing baby. Around the same time,an animation created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone was commissioned Fox executive, BriadGraden. It was passed around and spread across the Internet catching the attention ofComedy Central. South Park was born.
1998 The Rise of “Photo-shopped” Images Bert Is EvilIn 1998, Dino Ignacio began the Bert Is Evil website, featuring images of the popular SesameStreet character in digitally-edited images of Bert in disasters or historical events, often witha small backstory. Since Ignacio allowed the site to be mirrored, the idea spread.
1999-2003 Flash Animations Attack! Xiao Xiao JibJab Frog In A Blender Badger, Badger Zombocom Sponge Monkeys Homestar RunnerIn the late 90’s, Flash-based animations and sites began to appear all over the Web. Many ofthe early examples were animations that were developed in Flash, exported and shared viaemail and ﬁle transfer. Soon, sites that hosted this sort of content sprang up.Newsgrounds.com and Weebls-Stuff.com are early examples.
2001-2005 The Pressure Builds Chuck Norris Facts (2005) Numa Numa (2004) The “Internets” (2004) Tron Guy (2004) All Your Base Are StarWars Kid (2003) Belong To Us ORLY? (2003) Trunk Monkey (2003) (2001)As more individuals came to the Web in the early part of the 21st-century, affinity groupsemerged. People with very speciﬁc interests in skills were able to more easily connect witheach other, develop content, share it, and critique each others’ work. Community normsemerged as well as cultures in these communities began to develop.
2003 Meme “Breeding 4chan (2003) Grounds” Emerge My Little Pony Obsession (2010) RickRoll (2007) Chocolate Rain (2007) LOLCats (2005) Anonymous (2003)One early community, still active today, is 4chan. 4chan allowed its users to create imagecontent and share it anonymously. Some of the earliest memes and viral videos owe theirstart to the 4chan community. Likewise, segments of the 4chan community began to becomeInternet-based activists. A well-known example is the group known as Anonymous.
2005 Here Comes EverybodyIn 2005, YouTube launched, providing a platform for easy content uploading and sharing.
Critical MassThe launch of YouTube, the growing use of camera-enabled phones and smartphones, andthe emergence of social networks brought increasing numbers of people to the Web. Theincreased ease by which ideas were shared and spread also meant an explosion of user-generated content.
Early YouTube Stars Ask A Ninja (2005) Evolution of Dance (2006) David After The Dentist (2009) Leeroy Jenkins (2005) Charlie Bit My Finger (2007) Benny Lava (2007)These are some of the earliest examples of YouTube videos that went viral. Some, like “Ask ANinja” evolved into regular series and gave rise to YouTube channels.
Viral For Profit Subservient Chicken (2004) Old Spice Responses (2010)It wasn’t long before corporations began to take notice of the viral spread of ideas. What anideal way to spread your brand! Burger King was one of the earliest (pre-YouTube) with theSubservient Chicken website. A later example of a viral campaign incorporating YouTubevideo and social media stemmed from the success of Old Spice’s “Smell Like A Man”campaign.
“Me” Tube Leave Britney Alone (2007) Boxxy (2009) Keenan Cahill (2010) Double Rainbow (2010)With all the webcams pointed at users, a new generation of stars emerged, no agentsrequired. In fact, stars like Justin Bieber owe their start to YouTube.
Viral Backfire! Rebecca Black’s Friday (2011)Some individuals began to capitalize on this potential. Hiring a production agency, RebeccaBlack uploaded her now-infamous “Friday” music video. Though receiving millions of views,it became one of the most down-voted videos on YouTube.
“We” Tube Fillipino Prison Thriller (2004) Harlem Shake (2013)YouTube has also emerged as a creative, playful outlet for groups of people, too. One of theearliest examples of a group-based video project going viral is Michael Jackson’s Thrillercovered by prisoners in the Philippines. A more recent example, The Harlem Shake, features30-seconds of music and wildly dancing individuals. To date, the original has spawned over40,000 spinoffs and over 175 million views.
The News Goes Viral The Whistles Go... woo.. woo... (2006) I Like Turtles (2007) Ain’t Nobody Got Antoine Dodson Time For That (2013) (2012)Sometimes, video from outside the Internet ﬁnds it way there and goes viral. Local newsinterviews are a great source of personalities.
prosumer /pro-SOO-mer/ Noun 1. a consumer who becomes involved with designing or customizing products for their own needs.The ease and ﬂuidity with which digital media can be shared online propelled a new type ofperson into spotlight... The Prosumer. These individuals are neither fully consumers orproducers, but rather expect to be able to both consume media, remix it to their own creativewhims, and re-share it online.
The Re-Mix! Star Wars Friday (Parody) (2011) Charlie Bit My Finger - Remix (2007)This participatory culture spawns countless spinoffs of memes.
LOLCatsLOLCats emerged as an early image-sharing topic early on the Web. Somewhere along theline, patterns emerged including the cats’ poor speech/grammar, a love of cheeseburgers,and the likelihood that the cat was destroying your personal property.
Rage Comics The “Troll” The “Derp” Raging LOL Guy Gasp Guy Forever Alone Y U No? Challenge Accepted Me Gusta“Rage Comics” owe their origin to 4chan. They are typically poorly-drawn faces/ﬁguresdesigned to express common emotions. The Reddit community has expanded considerablyon the variety of “rage faces” and they are showing up in more mainstream online media.
Here’s a classroom example of a six-panel rage comic.
____ all the things.A spinoff image series that began with rage comics is the “Clean All The Things” comic. Avariety of these have emerged and typically follow a X all the Y format.
Not Sure If...The squinting image of Futurama’s Fry has recently emerged as a common meme. Theytypically follow a “Not sure if.... X or... Y” pattern.
The Most Interesting Man in The World“The Most Interesting Man in The World” is a meme based on Dos Equis Beer advertising.They typically have a pattern of “I don’t always X, but when I do, I Y.”
What my friends think I do...An image-based meme that has become a frequent visitor to your Facebook feeds is the“What my friends think I do...” picture. Typically, these refer to the realities and perceptionsof a person’s career from different points-of-view.
Ermahgerd!The ermahgerd meme began in 2012 on Reddit. Originally, uploaded as an image of girlshowing off her Goosebumps books, it evolved certain patterns. Typically, they includespeech meant to sound like someone whose speech is impeded by an orthodontic retainer. Anumber of variations have emerged.
...Stahp!Stahp (“stop”) comics are typically four-panels. They often feature a disturbed-lookingsubject and a progressively zoomed in shot. They follow a pattern of 1. X 2. Wat R U Doin?3. X 4. Stahp!
Grumpy Cat (“Tard”)“Tard” the Grumpy Cat resulted from an image of an Arizona cat uploaded to Reddit. Withinthe ﬁrst 48 hours, it received over 1 million views and instantly spawned a series of imageswith grumpy phrases.
DemotivatorsDespair, Inc. is credited with the development of Demotivational Posters. Typically, theyfeature some optimistic characteristic or phrase, an inspiring image, and a comicallypessimistic line.
Other Notable Personalities Scumbag Steve Ridiculously Photogenic Guy Bad Luck Brian Overly-attached Good Guy Greg GirlfriendContent-sharing communities like Reddit consistently give rise to new meme-based“personalities.”
Hijacked Product ReviewsAnother viral phenomenon is in comical product reviews on e-commerce sites such asAmazon.
Three Wolf Moon Shirt The Hutzler 571 Banana SlicerTwo notable examples include the Three-Wolf-Moon shirt, famed by reviewers for it’smystical, aphrodisiac-like properties and the Hutzler 571 banana slicer.
Where Memes Are Twitter.com 4chan.com Starting Today 9gag.com YouTube.com Imgur.com Reddit.com Facebook.comMore people and more communities result in a faster and more widespread propagation ofuser-generated content. The Reddit community (and the related imgur) is a major source ofmemes today. YouTube is still the king of viral videos as the de facto video-sharing site.Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are typically secondary networks.
Some Common Appeal to Emotion Elements of Viral Videos Brevity Community Participation Surprise Humor Follow Trends Irony Low Budget Unexpectedness BrevityThere are certain characteristics that are common among viral videos and memes.
What Does This Mean For The Classroom?So how does this all relate to the classroom and our practice?
An Opportunity for Cultural Awareness and RelevanceMore and more of our learners are plugged into these communities. They’re not justconsuming. They’re contributing content as well. Inevitably, the content emerging fromonline communities like Reddit and YouTube will be a topic of discussion in the hallway orover lunch. Engaging students where they are is strategy employed by the most effectiveeducators. An awareness of the Internet culture gives us an opportunity to be culturallyrelevant. Perhaps we may even utilize memes and viral videos (or their characteristics) tobetter our instruction. What if you patterned a project after a popular viral video?
Embrace the Re-MixOur learners have embraced the re-mix culture of the Web. They expect to be able to notonly consume media, but custom tailor it to meet their creative needs. Give students thatsame sort of freedom with your content. Do you allow them any choice? Can they select themedia of their choice (video, images, blogging, etc.) for projects? Does your instructionaldesign allow for synergy between ideas and for students to build upon each others’ work?
Foster A Participatory CultureThe participatory culture of communities like YouTube and Reddit is part of what makes themso successful. People want to create and express. Foster that environment in yourclassroom!
Laugh More!Lastly... Laugh more. You never know what a student’s home life is like. We’re all stressed,and laughter is healthy. Try it.