This blog entry is in response to How Memes Are Orchestrated By The Man. A meme, an evolutionary term used to describe imitation of and similarities within organisms, can also be applied the effects of digital communications on audience behavior. When something goes viral on the internet such as Antoine Dodson’s featured news story, what we see is behavior shifted in a certain direction. The original video featured a interview of Antoine about his sister that has been attacked by an intruder. His use of words and his passion in claiming “hide ya kids, hide ya wives, they rapin’ everybody up in here”, struck the interest of millions of people and the video quickly had over 140,000,000 hits on youtube.
Local music producers developed a musical track to go behind Antoine’s newstory and created a number one hit on Itunes selling over a million downloads of this song. Dodson, being the creator of the words, owned the lyrical copyright and earned signifcant royalties from such online prominence. In this instance we see society shift it’s behavior. Other “funny” or “odd” news stories were targeted for this same time of explotation and often, when an interview was recorded that could come across as similar to Dodson’s the same procedure was taken. Put the video on youtube, pass it along, then create a remix of the lyrics in the newscast. Then sell the song. This was particularly successful for the ever popular Sweet Brown.
Memes article is talking about this phenomena and explains the progression of popularity, as well as the decline of the very popular Harlem Shake videos. The internet creates a network of shareable material, and links provide a fast and easy way to get the material to millions of people within a short period of time. The creators of such content get their 15 minutes in the spotlight and see great fame for usually a short period of time. The meme is the transmitting of this information to the entire global village of the world on the internet network. It’s pattern affects many along the way and helped to show a predictable in user behavior the more people are exposed to it. It’s popularity is dependant on the world’s attention.
This chance at fame results in a change in behavior of society. You don’t necessarily have to do something of value to gain notoriety, you simply have to be out there enough to gain attention. It has reshaped our culture from a talent based artistic venue – to a whacky, weird and funny attention grabbing society.