The journey ends here.

Campus usage.

Columbia University is not the only ivy league campus to embrace the meme phenomenon. Harvard and Yale are among the others that have gained national recognition. The following is a list of the top 20 campuses taken down by the memes.

  1. Boston University
  2. University of Tennessee
  3. Purdue University
  4. Indiana University
  5. Duke University
  6. University of California
  7. Northwestern University
  8. Arizona State University
  9. Oklahoma University
  10. Rutgers University
  11. Texas A & M
  12. University of Florida
  13. Georgia Tech
  14. Missouri University
  15. Iowa State University
  16. Georgetown University
  17. Buffalo University
  18. University of Pennsylvania
  19. New York University
  20. Baylor University

Clemson may not be on the list, but they are not far behind as they have multiple tumblrs dedicated to all things Clemson (When In Clemson and Eye of the Tiger) and an official Facebook page (Clemson Memes).

Project in review.

I began with my Prezi[tation] in which I defined what a meme was in contemporary terms, and followed the history of them, while providing examples and explanations. The inspiration behind memes and their popularity comes from pop culture and the memories of the creator/user. For example, the Ulmer meme I created will likely not travel past my blog not only because Ulmer is not culturally (and humorously) relevant to the college crowd, but because that meme is too specific to describe many other things.

Memes create a hypermedia memory palace in that they untraditionally call to memory things that are otherwise unconnected, and they also quite literally link to other places on the Web, taking the viewer’s mind on unconventional paths as designed by those responsible for the linking. This type of thinking has very few limitations as its boundaries match those of the Web itself; this is an issue Ulmer introduces and addresses.

The driving force behind memes is transmission through repetition. The sole success of the meme is its ability to circulate. This is why Condescending Wonka, What If Bill, Success Kid (and, therefore, 3rd World Success Kid), Sad Girl, and many, many others have successfully thrived on the Internet.  The only way memes gain such popularity is by being culturally relevant, or taking something dated (i.e. childhood memory) and bringing relevance to it.

I purposefully used multiple platforms to address the universality of the meme. I placed them in my Prezi illustrating, created a tumblr, which I then linked to my Pinterest and am wrapping everything up here.  The meme allows much freedom: any image with any caption. With web sites that allow users to create their own memes, the possibilities are endless. Where does such possibility lead?…

To answer your question…

On my Prezi I posed the question of whether or not memes could function as something greater than momentary comedic relief. I believe that they can, but that they have not done so yet. By this I mean, memes hold great potential that has either been unrecognized or unaddressed. Though things resembling memes have been around for quite some time, certainly since the creation of the Internet, they are still new. Users continue to figure out how to use and manipulate them, what their capabilities are, and what their future holds.

In conclusion.

Memes can be the way of the future. Or, depressingly, a short-lived trend. If users can harness the potential of memes fast enough – which seems highly likely at this point – the future is long and bright. The meme phenomenon can and should spread outside of the college world.  This platform fosters creativity and encourages experimentation, so it should not be limited to one age group. In order to determine the limits of the meme, there must be collaboration across all ages and all interests. Academia, corporations, and innovators alike should embrace this culture and learn what can be reaped from it.

(click the image)

The End.


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