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By Limor Shifman

In December 2012, the exuberant video "Gangnam sort" grew to become the 1st YouTube clip to be seen multiple billion occasions. millions of its audience answered via growing and posting their very own adaptations of the video--"Mitt Romney Style," "NASA Johnson Style," "Egyptian Style," and so on. "Gangnam kind" (and its attendant parodies, imitations, and derivations) is likely one of the most famed examples of a web meme: a section of electronic content material that spreads fast round the net in numerous iterations and turns into a shared cultural adventure. during this e-book, Limor Shifman investigates net memes and what they let us know approximately electronic tradition.

Shifman discusses a chain of famous web memes -- together with "Leave Britney Alone," the pepper-spraying cop, LOLCats, Scumbag Steve, and Occupy Wall Street's "We Are the ninety nine Percent." She bargains a unique definition of web memes: electronic content material devices with universal features, created with know-how of one another, and circulated, imitated, and remodeled through the net by way of many clients. She differentiates memes from virals; analyzes what makes memes and virals profitable; describes well known meme genres; discusses memes as new modes of political participation in democratic and nondemocratic regimes; and examines memes as brokers of globalization.

Memes, Shifman argues, encapsulate essentially the most basic facets of the web in most cases and of the participatory net 2.0 tradition specifically. net memes can be pleasing, yet during this booklet Limor Shifman makes a compelling argument for taking them seriously.

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Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman have performed the main finished research to this point concerning the gains that increase sharing developments on the web. To discover what augments the “spreadability” of reports goods, the researchers tested a major information set of approximately 7,000 long island occasions articles released on-line, targeting those who made it to the newspaper’s record of so much emailed tales. 1 development in this paintings, in addition to on extra centred analyses of particular campaigns (particularly Kony 2012), I desire to spotlight six components that increase content’s virality. I label them because the “six playstation ” (or the six-pack, for the retailers between you): positivity, provocation of high-arousal feelings, participation, packaging, status, and positioning. (1)  Positivity (and Humor) considered one of Berger and Milkman’s key findings is that folks usually tend to proportion optimistic than destructive tales. moreover, they like sharing goods which are perceived as spectacular, fascinating, or essentially necessary. those personal tastes are defined as deriving from clients’ motivations of sharing content material on-line. seeing that net clients proportion for either social and self-presentation reasons, they like spreading content material that makes others believe stable and whilst 66  Chapter 6 9429. indb sixty six 8/19/13 4:03 PM reflects on themselves as upbeat and exciting. A information tale a couple of infrequent elephant giving beginning to twins in a tropical atmosphere could most likely cater good to either motivations: it places a grin at the face of the individual that will get it, and it'll affiliate the sender with a good, uplifting message. This tendency towards positivity is according to the becoming physique of proof in regards to the centrality of funny content material in viral procedures. of their research of electronic mail forwarding, Joseph Phelps and his colleagues chanced on that “jokes” used to be via a ways the biggest forwarded content material class. equally, Golan and Zaidner stumbled on notable majority (more than ninety percentage) of ads produced through viral ads businesses comprise funny parts. 2 as well as the social and self-presentational advantages linked to optimistic content material more often than not, funny content material should be relatively sharable because it has a tendency to be amazing. three shock frequently invokes emotional arousal, which, as defined under, is vital for virality. (2)  upsetting “High-Arousal” feelings Berger and Milkman came across that folks proportion content material that arouses them emotionally—both certainly and negatively. confident high-arousal is embedded in what the authors tag as “Awa” tales: items that generate a sense of elevation within the face of anything more than oneself. common wonders, path-breaking clinical discoveries, and other people overcoming adversities are widespread examples Unpacking Viral and Memetic Success  67 9429. indb sixty seven 8/19/13 4:03 PM of narratives that generate “Awa” or “Wow” responses. “Awa” stories—combining confident valence and excessive degrees of emotional arousal—were, via some distance, the most-forwarded tales within the ny instances record.

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