How To Make Your Own Internet Meme
By Paul Konikowski
If you are over the age of 30, you may have no idea what a meme is. So let’s start with a quick history lesson: The word meme (pronounced meem) is a shortening of the ancient Greek mimeme, which means “something imitated”. A meme in its simplest form is an idea passed from person to person, that spreads through society. But nowadays, when most people say meme, they mean a humorous internet meme.
A typical meme consists of a photo or cartoon along with a caption that acts as the punchline of the joke. The caption is generally placed directly over the photo in white text, and often split into two segments, so that half of the text is at the top of the photo (setting up the joke), and half of the text is at the bottom of the photo (the funny part).
Memes are extremely popular among high school and college students who use Facebook. Memes are often about current events, and generally use a single meme character which matches the joke text. These characters can be celebrities, cartoons, animals, or just random photos of people. It’s important to match the type of joke with the proper meme character. For example: Scumbag Steve would leave you the end slices of the loaf of bread, whereas Good Guy Greg would never do such a terrible thing to his friends, or even strangers in society.
One of the most popular meme themes lately has used a black background with six photos to describe what you really do for a living vs. what people think you do. I made this one using www.uthinkido.com:
So far, memes have been limited to humor and sometimes political satire. But who says that they can’t be used for marketing? What better way to reach a younger audience than through humor that gets passed virally through Facebook and The Twitter? Why not use memes to promote your events, products, services, or causes!
The easiest way to make a meme is to use a website like www.memegenerator.net. First, review the meme characters and decide which one fits your joke. Next, review this particular character in depth to make sure someone else hasn’t created a similar meme. You want to be original. Then simply type in your text and save it as a jpg image.
Google+ users can also create memes using its online photo editor. From your Google+ home page, click the camera logo to the right of Share what’s new… and choose the photo or graphic you want to use for your meme. But before you post the photo to your stream, click Add text and type in your joke caption using the three boxes marked Top text, Middle text, and Bottom text. The default font is white Impact, which is used for most memes, but you can change the font by clicking the T button. Last, use the Center, Left, or Right Justify buttons, if needed.
I also suggest checking out TheDailyMeme to stay current on meme trends and characters. Don’t be a Slowpoke!
- “Winning” Internet Memes of 2011 Featured in OnlineSchools.com Infographic (prweb.com)
- 20 Colleges Where Internet Memes Are All the Rage (mashable.com)
- Internet Meme Marriage Proposal (techeblog.com)
One thought on “Social Media Tools”
Cool post, Paul!
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