Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Mission with Memes

Whenever I explain Memeja to peers at Dartmouth, I invariably get the question: "Why are you doing this?"

In other words, what is the endgame for Memeja?

It's interesting to think about because even with all of our different pivots (accompanied by many late-night whiteboarding sessions), the fundamental vision has always been the same. That vision is to change the face of communication using memes.

In a way, using memes to share experiences is simply an iteration of a pre-existing form of communication: images. Thus, "an image is worth a thousand words". But by adding the element of memetics to seamlessly pass trains of thought between people, we significantly expedite response times. Not only that, we enhance understanding by sharing context.

That sounds abstract. Put another way, if I share an experience with you in a form of a meme (rage comic, specifically), I am establishing a social context. The comic says: here are the events, happening linearly. Naturally, reading it, I must have some reaction -- even not reacting is a reaction.

So how can I communicate my reaction to you in the fastest possible way online?

I could use an emoticon. But that doesn't say much. What if I wanted to share a story that relates to your story?

By taking your meme and pinging back with my own meme, I can respond with a story quickly. Or if I have my own perspective on the story, I could take elements and ideas from your story and replicate them in mine, like a meme.

This transmission of context and thought is what makes memes like visual tweets. 

We believe that memes are visual forms of communication that can help people mutually understand each other better than other mediums for sharing experiences.

Also, we just love building things people want to use.

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