Archive for November, 2009

YouTube Research Project Proposal Draft (revised)

November 21, 2009

Below is a revised version of my first draft research proposal for my YouTube research project into the development of memes.

 

Title: The Development Of Memes’

For my YouTube research project I intend to research into the development of memes. Some of the topics that I want to explore in my research include:
What are memes? How do they spread? How does YouTube allow for the spread of memes? How do they develop? How do memes encourage participation amongst the users of YouTube? And how have memes developed from within Internet culture and into the “real world” mainstream media culture?
I will be using both primary and secondary research methods to structure my research project. For my primary research I will be using the Internet and the video sharing website YouTube to find examples of memes and to study their development in relation to the questions posed above to help me to gain a better understanding of the ‘meme culture’.
For my secondary research I will be using textbooks and Internet sources, including the textbooks ‘YouTube’ (2009) by Jean Burgess and Joshua Green, and ‘New Media: An Introduction’ (2008) by Terry Flew, and an online essay piece written by author Jean Burgess titled ‘All Your Chocolate Rain Are Belong To Us’ (2008). I will be using these to help me to find out more about memes and their development, to help me to structure my own research, and to help to support my own primary research findings.

YouTube Research Project Proposal Draft

November 19, 2009

This is a draft research proposal for my YouTube research project about the development of memes.

Title:   The Development of Memes
For my YouTube research project I intend to research into the development of memes, including how memes form, how they spread and gain increased popularity and awareness, and how they develop through and beyond the Internet and YouTube culture and into the mainstream media culture such as television and print.
I will be using both primary and secondary research methods to structure my research project. To undertake my primary research, I will be using the video sharing website YouTube to find and watch video examples of memes. I will be using these videos to examine and make my own notes on the content of the memes and their imitation counterparts (the many remixes and parodies of the original video) to attempt to gain a better understanding of the ‘meme culture’.
For my secondary research I will be using the textbooks ‘YouTube’ (2009) by Jean Burgess and Joshua Green, ‘New Media: An Introduction’ (2008) by Terry Flew, and ‘All Your Chocolate Rain Are Belong To Us: Viral Video, YouTube and the Dynamics of Participatory Culture’ by Jean Burgess, as well as various Internet web sources, to find out more about memes and their development, to help me to structure my own research project, and to help to support my own primary research.

YouTube Research Draft Video 2

November 19, 2009

Below I have embedded my second draft video for my YouTube research. I am hoping that this draft is more successful at explaining the direction of my research more than the first draft video was.

For my research I want to look into memes, how they begin, how they spread, how they develop through and beyond Internet culture and into mainstream media culture. I also want to include in my research how memes relate to the interactivity and participation of users on YouTube (participatory culture) and social networking of YouTube users.
Users can ‘connect’ with each other through the creation of memes as they allow anybody to get involved/participate by making and uploading their own versions of the meme.

YouTube Research Video Draft 2

Script for the video:

A meme is an idea or information that is spread from person to person via imitation. This, a YouTube meme is an idea interpreted through video, open to imitation by remixes, parodies and direct copies of the video.
Author Richard Dawkins coined the term ‘meme’ in his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene”. The term was coined from the Greek word ‘mimeme’, which literally translates to ‘something imitated’.
Users create and re-create memes on YouTube to express themselves, to share their interests, and to collaborate with other YouTube users. This begins to create a sense of community and connectness amongst the users of YouTube, demonstrating the participatory culture within the site, and is the basis of social networking.

 

Images used from Google Images
Video clips from YouTube

More Research Ideas – the Development of Memes?

November 6, 2009

Below I have begun to discuss what I hope to be a more stable approach to my YouTube research:

How YouTube memes evolve?
How they begin, how they spread and how they develop?

Viral video = a video clip that is rapidly spread over the Internet, by way of social networking sites, blogs, forums and email. It becomes ‘viral’ spreading quickly and multipying like a virus.
Internet memes, including YouTube memes (memes that were ‘born’ on YouTube), are often created from popular viral videos.

A ‘meme’ = an idea, or “information”, that is spread from person to person via imitation.
The typical definition of ‘meme’ = ‘something imitated’. The origin of the word ‘meme’ is an abbreviation of the Greek word ‘mimeme’ (pronounced like ‘my-meme’) which literally translates as ‘something imitated’.
Imitation is often in the form of remixes, parodies and spoofs.

Viral video stimulates vernacular creativity in YouTube users to take the original video and replicate all or just parts of it to create something ‘new’ (a remix or a parody of the original video) – but with elements of the original video still present, so that the ‘new’ video created (the ‘meme’) is still associated with the original video.
This is turn attracts participation of other YouTube users where that meme is then re-uploaded exactly as it is in order to increase awareness and popularity of the meme, or it is again remixed or parodied. This creates a participatory culture within YouTube, inviting anyone to create their own versions of the memes and to participate in the ‘community’ of YouTube users.

How a meme develops –
The original video can be anything from a TV or film clip, a news clip, a personal home video, a video blog (or ‘vlog’), or any of the numerous “bedroom culture” videos where users upload videos of themselves singing, dancing, etc in their bedrooms. Once uploaded to YouTube, the video can be shared and spread via any means of communication – email, blogs, forums, and social networking sites to name a few – and soon the video becomes ‘viral’. This leaves the video open to remixes, parodies and direct imitations (Memes).

The evolution of YouTube memes – how they can “cross over” into mainstream media such as TV and print.
Example: ‘LOLCats’ – icanhascheezburger.com, as well as many other publishers, have released books about the LOLCats, and LOLCats have appeared on t-shirts, calendars, posters, and other saleable merchandise.
Other YouTube meme “stars” like Zay Tonday (Chocolate Rain), Charlie and Harry (Charlie Bit My Finger), and Gary Brolsma (Numa Numa) have appeared in TV interviews and chat shows.

The lifespan of a YouTube meme – the end?
I believe a YouTube meme will never completely cease to exist, as there will always be somebody who comes across the video who hasn’t seen it before and then will share it and spread it around again to others, but I do believe that after a certain amount of time the video meme will lose some of the interest of the majority of its ‘audience’, especially if it has been around for a long time, or when the next ‘big’ meme is created.

First Draft of YouTube Research Video

November 5, 2009

Below I have embedded a 1 minute first draft video outlining the ideas that I have to undertake my YouTube research project:

For my research, I decided to look into viral video and memes – what they are, how viral video spreads and how quickly, how memes are produced from the original videos, and how memes have “crossed over” into the mainstream media.
The inspiration for this last point came from this ‘Know Your Meme – All Your Base’ discussion video:

I used the ‘Super Screen Recorder’ screen capture software (found here http://www.free-screen-capture.com/screen-recorder/) to capture clips from YouTube videos to use as examples of viral videos in my draft video. I wasn’t able to record the audio to these videos using this same software, so I used the ‘Replay Music 3’ software (found here http://applian.com/replay-music/index.php ) to capture the audio. I used Adobe Photoshop to create the text slides, and I used Adobe Premiere Pro editing software to edit the footage, audio and text slides together into my 1 minute draft YouTube video.

Memes crossing over into mainstream media?

November 3, 2009

I found this website http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/all-your-base-are-belong-to-us with an embedded YouTube video about the ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ video meme, where it came from, how the wide-spread of the video began and grew, and what I thought was particularly interesting – when Internet-born memes cross over into mainstream media such as newspapers. ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ was covered in C.NET, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily Mirror and The Register.
As the video (which I have embedded into this post below) states, the ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ phenomenon not only spread through the media, but also into the ‘real world’, as signs were altered and company websites were hacked into (examples shown in the video), demonstrating how much of an impact on society this one video has had.

Video:

This made me think how some of the other memes out there have also had such an impact as this one. One example that came to mind was the ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ video, not only has it been re-worked many times with many imitations and remixes alike (there are currently nearly 9,000 videos on YouTube relating to ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ – as of the time of this post, 3rd November 2009), but the video also crossed over into mainstream television, with the stars of the video and their parents being interviewed on the Richard and Judy show.

‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ – Richard and Judy TV Interview:

Zay Tonday who sang the title song in the video ‘Chocolate Rain’ was also interviewed on television, on the Lily Allen and Friends show:

These are examples of how some of these memes have become so wide-spread and well recognised and how they have crossed over from the online video space into mainstream media.

YouTube Research Project – More Ideas

November 3, 2009

As the subject of my YouTube research project I decided to look into how viral video (or “memes” as they are also known by) spreads and how they are ‘remixed’ as they are spread and as they become more well-known and recognised. Also, to look at those videos that have been remixed from the originals and if the remixed videos contain any recognisable elements seen in the original videos. This is still just an idea I have, subject to change.

Some videos that I have been watching and making notes on on YouTube are the ‘Numa Numa’ video (YouTube video embedded into previous blog post), the ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ video, and the ‘Downfall’ meme videos.

‘Charlie Bit My Finger’

A remixed version of ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’

One of the many ‘Downfall’ meme videos on YouTube

A remixed version of ‘Numa Numa’

(Ignore the cheesy high-pitched, sped-up singing/dancing number at the end of the video)

All of these videos plus others that I have been looking at still contain certain recognisable elements from the original videos, as kind of a homage to the original videos.