The Internet is for…Meme’s!


I come across Meme’s all the time on the internet so I thought I’d take a look at them and see what they’re all about and where they came from.

Frist up,
What is a Meme?
Personally I’d rather post a whole lot of pictures but I’ll try offer some worded explanation. The dictionary states that a meme is an idea or element of social behaviour passed on through generations in a culture, particularly by imitation.

The term ‘meme’ first came about in 1976 by Richard Dawkins who was an evolutionarily biologist. It was derived from the word mimeisthai which means “to imitate.”
Basically a meme today is a set of ideas, pieces of culture, that self-replicate or is transferred from a person or group to another person or group.
Memes have existed long before the Internet and can be seen in fashions, songs, religious beliefs, proverbs, art movements, folklore, language conventions…ect

There is a bit of debate over what was the first internet meme, the general consensus is that it was the simple smiley face in 1982 by Scott Fahlman at CMU.

: – )

This was the beginning of emoticons when Fahlman decided that it was too hard to detect emotions over electronic text, so he proposed the smiley so it was clear if you were joking or serious. This lead to hundreds more which we all use today.


According to there are currently 1,283 confirmed meme entries on their database.

These have been voted in by users who are able to submit their own creations or other they have found. Above are the 20 most popular Meme’s.

So how does something become a meme?
There is no set formula for creating a meme. It depends a lot on how easy it is to create, how outrageous, observational, trendy it is.
Popular memes are usually relevant to the Internet or internet culture. Again memes are not exclusive to the Internet so they can be passed along in other ways.

This internet memes timeline website is fabulous, It claims to have mapped all the memes on a timeline, it’s a great little tool to track every meme and see when they occurred.
Anyone remember the Dancing Baby? Well it first came out on Oct 21, 1996 and quickly became one of the first viral videos.


Another oldie and one of the very first examples of an internet meme was the Hampster Dance. At the time it was a fairly new feature in a browser. It used 4 animated GIF’s of hamsters in a loop with music. Believe it or not it got to #5 on the ARIA charts… and here it is for you to reminisce or torture someone with. πŸ™‚

What are some of the first memes that you came across or can remember?






August 30, 2012. Uncategorized.


  1. Terry Grant replied:

    this is fantastic Clare.

    My granddaughters made me stay on this site for half an hour watching the videos. Talk about attracting people and keeping them there!

    Love it


  2. Diana - Electronic Cigarette Blogger replied:

    Hahaha.. What a great subject to blog about! There is now iPhone apps to create your own picture memes so that people can create one whenever they have the inspiration! Looking forward to being amused and entertained by your future posts.

    • thereisclare replied:

      Thanks Diana!
      Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚
      I had a look at the Meme app and its such an easy way to create and upload them!

  3. 0tynylyn0 replied:

    Hi Clare

    It’s really enjoyable when reading and watching all of your video above. I did see a lot of meme on my Facebook, but I don’t know all of that is called meme until read yours.

    Thanks for sharing with us all this information. I’m waiting for your next blog this week.


    • thereisclare replied:

      Thanks for reading Lyn!
      I was amazed when I found out they all had a name as well! There’s so many out there now so its nice to know the history.

  4. Sky replied:

    wow, great content and videos Claire…certainly a very interesting topic to explore and discuss. Its fascinating how memes enter popular culture and influence attitudes, the arts (songs, films, ad campaigns and websites) in such an extraordinary manner. Who would of imagined a decade ago that through the power of the internet that ideas and images could spread so rapidly across the planet. I look forward to reading your other posts.

  5. lambtails replied:

    Love your blog Clare, I never used to even know a meme was until now! I love Gangman style I think that guy is so funny. Does he take himself seriously? or is he only trying to go viral? either way… I would like to meet him! I can’t belive so much notoriety can stem from just one video, or image, or text/image.. keep it up Clare I love seeing what you find on the internet!!!

  6. NLL replied:

    Hi, I really enjoyed this second post. I like knowing about what the advertising/creative team come up with. It really did make want to go an buy this blender! (my recently broke!).
    I’ve been collecting the Stay Calm quotes on my pinterest! so many! I am glad you posted the history about the poster….this is what makes it meaningful…Also the pop song, having a go at high Korean society. Very clever way to getting cut through for marketing/advertising campaigns….Just need to get that smart tag line! Thats why I guess this creative directors get the big bucks! Awesome post. For next post, I like to know if there are meme out there that deal with social/political stuff. I mean it looks like most are done for FUN are there any out there that you know of that have been launched to raise public awareness of an issue etc? Just wandering…

    • There is Clare replied:

      Hi glad you liked it πŸ™‚
      Off the top of my head in terms of a social or political meme the ‘Kony’ campaign went viral (and was then a massive flop.) I’ll have a look into it though!

      • NLL replied:

        Why do you think ‘Kony’ was a big flop? It had all the right elements for a meme? How about looking into meme done by non for profit (this could assist with our group assignement, we could suggest something like this for Whitelion). One I really liked was from Greenpeace, this was of a polar bear going around in the Street of New York I got into it becuase It had music by Radiohead.

      • There is Clare replied:

        The Australian Animal Welfare League are developing an App to turn pets they have rescued into LOLcats, a huge meme, its a nice little use of humour they hope it will encourage people to adopt the animals as pets. Theres more about it here.
        And in regards to Kony, the whole video campaign was to raise awareness, which they achieved, but their ‘cover the night’ failed big time, I think I only saw one sticker on a pole rather than a whole city being covered. Then the guy had a mental break down which certainly didn’t help his cause.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: