Here is the issue- I may or may not have 2 weeks left to write a dissertation proposal before I am forcibly removed* from my course again.
Previous ideas have included 1) Hashtags in the context of “why are we so fixated on forcing users to use them to classify our own collection when let’s-face-it most users are using them to maximise discovery of their own material and for descriptive purposes?” as well as 2) Let’s just describe how people use hashtags IRL for phatic communication (this was a more guided version of the above).
This has now turned into “Let’s do memes”. There is no telling how much of this has developed from my dependency on Tumblr for entertainment in the tiny seconds before bed and the minuscule blinks before I get up.
However, I truly believe that there is a proliferation of communication and culture that is occuring through meme-culture, something that might be a backlash of current risk-societies, economic depression and dissatisfaction with real-world society that is causing people to bond with each other through visual and aural motifs, allowing themselves to be understood in a virtual community, like an in-joke shared with close friends. This deserves to be examined, documented and classified by recognised authorities as a piece of our heritage that documents a zeitgeist shared exclusively on virtual platforms.
Also- I discovered that MEME LIBRARIANS EXIST. This is so important that it had to be capitalised.
Questions I have so far: what is this communication? How does it occur? How do memes evolve into other memes? Does this sort of evolving, mash-up of communication happen anywhere else in our history i.e. is there a precedent? Can we prove it’s cultural importance? Does this signify a change in the way we communicate? What significance might this have for the information profession? DOES it have any extended significance beyond the archival of these memes? Is there a specific demographic who are creating and or sharing memes? Is this a sub-culture? Where on earth do I find literature on this cultural phenomenon?
I have decided to use this blog to document my dissertation process, as it would be silly of me to recommend this sort of reflection to my EPQ students yet not practice it myself. Hopefully through writing out my ideas and development I can keep track of my thought process and document it for my own benefit later on in the process.
- by ‘forcibly removed’ I mean applying for an extension and then getting stuck with months of no access to resources which last time meant I had to learn a module’s content TWICE. And it was research methods, which was the icing on the cake, really. I just like those memes that says ‘forcibly removed’ :).