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The World Made MemePublic Conversations and Participatory Media$
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Ryan M. Milner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034999

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034999.001.0001

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Introduction: The Rise of Memetic Media

Introduction: The Rise of Memetic Media

(p.1) Introduction: The Rise of Memetic Media
The World Made Meme

Ryan M. Milner

The MIT Press

This book is about emerging patterns in public conversations, and about the social participation essential to those conversations. It focuses on internet memes—the linguistic, image, audio, and video texts created, circulated, and transformed by countless cultural participants across vast networks and collectives. Internet memes take the form of pictures captioned on Reddit, puns hashtagged on Twitter, and videos mashed up on YouTube. They can be widely shared catchphrases, Auto-Tuned songs, manipulated stock photos, or recordings of physical performances. They’re used to make jokes, argue points, and connect friends. The concept has risen in prominence over the last twenty years, emerging from the esoteric forums and message boards where participants first linked Richard Dawkins’s (...

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