Memes and Marketing

For those of you who don’t know what a meme is (how did you find this page?), it’s an idea that repeats itself throughout a culture, in this case i am specifically referring to the various pictures and pop culture references plastered around forums, social networking sites and websites like ‘lolzbook’ and ‘memebase’ (sites specifically catered to provide pages and pages of pictures that ranges from a grunt of apathy to a mild chuckle and the very rare audible laugh). And why? It appears to me that memes have turned out to be lucrative.

You see for years bearded men in basements have been sitting around wondering how to make money out of posting content on the internet, when the obvious solution was sitting right before their faces the whole time, ad revenue.

Y’see the media had a pretty good system set up for this kind of thing, so for general TV (besides Sky, Cable or TiVo) instead of paying a licensing fee for the use of the television (looking at you Britain) the TV broadcasters sell advertising slots which fund production or the purchase of top quality programming (and X-factor). Otherwise it lowers the price of subscriptions or the purchase of magazines or newspapers as these companies do not have to rely on just sales to provide top notch journalism (he said with an ounce of sarcasm).

So now by becoming a YouTube partner or acquiring a site domain you can post content away and charge people for putting ads on your page or before your video. Which is fine, I’m glad that people are able to find another avenue where they can express themselves with a certain amount of quid pro quo without having to go through big companies, however this does have a negative spill over.

You may remember a few paragraphs ago I referred to sites specifically to present memes, pages and pages of memes. These are the perfect places for ads to be placed. For those of you who thought that your Facebook wall was covered with links to memes merely for your entertainment please slap yourselves in amazement. This like media ads, YouTube ads and blog ads is to an extent fine, if there’s a dollar to be made then the incentive is there to go for it.

But there’s one thing that irks me about these meme sites, Bad Memes.

Earning ad revenue and getting your ideas out there is all about traffic, for one posting on Facebook is an excellent way to get traffic. Another way is likes and comments. Which once again is fine if it’s worth my time to look at and make vapid comments about. But i have seen a trend of terrible memes getting comments about how terrible they are, seriously people, stop giving these people traffic! If something is awful do not allow the awful to spread, one definition on urban dictionary defined memes as “Memes (rhymes with dreams) are similar to a computer virus, in the way they spread quickly over a network, or group of computers.” and that’s what these horrible memes are, a virus!

I know what you’re thinking first world problems, but what else did you expect from a light opinion section abiding only to my weird whims. If you want to supplement some of the silly with something more serious, cutting edge and thought provoking, there’s another poster on this website (i hear he’s written a pretty good piece about a certain arcade fire video recently)


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