I never thought it would be so difficult to come up with a question. Usually I leave these things on the back-burner of my brain to mull over until something clicks, however the subject of my ideas is an area I just don’t know enough about and it doesn’t help that there doesn’t seem to be much I can access on the topic.
I’m thinking about hashtags in relation to memes at the moment. While I’m actually really interested in communication through memes and types of communication, I would have to learn a hell-ton of communication theory to gain a basic knowledge of what I was doing and the result might be a naive study compared to developments in the communication/media field.
So I’ve moved back to an original idea about folksonomies and hashtagging/ organisation or personal curation through hashtags and trying to see how this might relate to memes. It’s such a shame that Vine was taken down- that would have been a real goldmine for study. My paranoid brain is wondering if it was taken down precisely because of the interesting behaviours and mash-ups going on there. Well, I’ll never know now.
I contacted Amanda Brennan at Tumblr, who is well known online as the “Tumblrarian”. She talked about how interesting it was to track memes across platforms. To simplify such a study I could just take one meme popular meme, such as Harambe, and track it across different platforms. Something such as Harambe would be easier, as #harambe is likely to be attached to most posts. Would it then benefit to look at the other tags being used and track those?
I’d need to define what I mean by memes, perhaps the types of memes could be categorised? There are video memes, word memes, gif memes, oh god all the memes.
Main issues at the moment:
Question. Why am I doing this? What am I trying to find out? I don’t really know.
Methodology. This is likely to be a massive problem. What tools can I access? What are the benefits and disadvantages of these tools? Will there be costs involved? Will they bias my samples?