“Dear Sister”: The Anatomy of an Internet Meme

First, it was just a silly scene at the end of The O.C. episode “Dear Sister” — I know, of all TV shows to create a meme, The O.C.

Then Saturday Night Live (SNL) made it into a digital short.

After seeing it spoofed on SNL, YouTube users made remixes of popular Internet videos based on the “Dear Sister” spoofs like this “Charlie Bit My Finger” remix

From there, it esploded all over the Internet. Just look at how many search results you can find for “Dear Sister” now — many of them completely recreated by users.

Has it now come full circle with a remix of scenes from The Office into a series of “Dear Sister” spoofs?

That’s a sample anatomy of an Internet meme — or in this case, a viral video — that I discovered today.

The things I do with my evenings. *sigh*

How to Game YouTube and Go Viral

Dan Ackerman Greenberg’s guest post on TechCrunch sparked heated discussion about the ethics of gaming YouTube to get more views.

I am not a fan of gaming the system with fake comments and trickery like changing titles, tags and thumbnails, but there is no doubt that many “viral video specialists” use these tactics to get their videos viewed.

If you really want to generate a following and positive karma for your brand, I think it’s best to let the good videos rise to the top and go viral. Call me a dreamer. Natural selection FTW!

Here’s a little tongue-in-cheek video that shows you how it’s done by the people that brought us Ooh Girl!:

I personally miss the “Wild West days,” as Greenberg termed them, when a great video on YouTube would rise to the top with no tampering. I think the best videos still do, but the space will certainly be cluttered by those who will try to manipulate it in the coming years just like the blogosphere.

Web Culture 101 via South Park

If I am going to open a conversation on social media and community building on this blog, we are going to have to discuss Web culture from time to time. Hence, a new category!

Want to know what makes a video go viral? Just look at the history. Here’s a quick Web culture test to start off your education–or continue it. South Park recently tackled the life of an Internet superstar in the “Canada on Strike” episode.

Can you name every meme/viral sensation featured in this clip?

WARNING: This clips is not entirely “family friendly.” It IS South Park after all.

Bonus points if you knew what a meme was before reading this post. Maybe we can all learn something from South Park after all.

via Veronica Belmont’s Pownce sharing 🙂 (You do know Pownce, don’t you?)