The Meme is Dead (Long Live the Meme)
As the concept of the Internet meme—and the generation that made it famous—gets older, "viral content" is starting to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Communities like Reddit are increasingly less about cat pictures and rage faces (which have become mainstream and been co-opted for profit by some major brands) and more about breaking news and organizing around social issues. They're ready to be taken seriously.
But as people start to take memes and virality seriously as a way to inform, and everyone on the Internet is part of "the media," what's next?
- Is the "Internet meme" as we once knew it still relevant?
- Does "viral content" have journalistic value?
- If so, what responsibilities does that imply for creators? For curators? For reporters?
- How should curators decide what's worthy of promotion?
- What's next? How will the concept of the meme evolve if it continues to be treated more seriously?
Jay Hathaway The Daily Dot