In one of my favorite class topics, Kirby Ferguson showed us that nearly everything we consume in popular culture and media today is in some form a remix of items or ideas that have preceded it. This encompasses everything from movies (“Star Wars” = “The Searchers”) to music (modern-day ‘sampling’ and remixing proper; artists like Girl Talk) to technology (Microsoft remixing Apple’s iPod with Zune; Apple remixing itself).
Online, jokes and popular content are often packaged into viral memes that go out across the Internet in many forms: .jpegs, .gifs, videos, soundwaves, etc. Reddit is a preeminent meme farm, meaning its user community cultivates and produces memes that end up on tons of other sites via pass-it-along and buzzstream distribution.
Just some of the most popular memes that have originated from the site:
– Rage Comics (FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU [F7U12] – a series of user-generated web comics that incorporate standardized MS Paint-drawn faces to demonstrate basic redditor emotions
-All of the ‘Rage Faces‘ that have come with the comics and are now largely memes on their own: troll face, forever alone, challenge accepted, me gusta, etc.
–Lolcats: one of the premier and pioneer mega-memes of the Internet, featuring intentionally improper grammar to elevate the ‘cuteness’ of the kittens (Christopher ‘Moot’ also claimed LC started on his website, reddit’s sadistic older brother, 4chan.)
–Advice Animals: Foul Bachelor Frog, Socially Awkward Penguin, Tumbledog, Insanity Wolf, etc.
-has now spawned dozens of unique spin-offs (or as Ferguson would call them, remixes) including Scumbag Steve, Good Guy Greg, and the collegiate major-specific advice animals like Journalism Camel or English Aardvark.