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Funky fads flourish thanks to social media

AIMEE BLANCHETTE
McClatchy Tribune News Service
Modified: February 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm •  Published: February 1, 2013
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“Looking back on it, I feel kind of bad,” she said. “But hopefully they got a good laugh out of it.”

Frosting (verb): photographing people engaging in warm-weather activities in a snowy environment.

Frosting went viral last winter after Missoula, Mont., resident John Brownell posted a picture of himself drinking coffee and reading a magazine in his robe outside, in several feet of snow. Friend Colin Hickey saw the photo, created a Facebook page, Frosters Anonymous, and “the whole town jumped on it,” he said. “Families were going outside and taking pictures, businesses were having frosting parties and the next thing I knew it was huge in Germany.”

Remixes (noun): a popular video or photo that has been changed, added to and reposted to the Internet.

Some memes went viral because they were remixed, localized and re-shared. Remember “Gangnam Style”? Who could forget? The 2012 Korean dance pop single spawned hundreds of parodies and knockoff videos on YouTube, raking in more than 1 billion views.

Other popular remixes are of photos, not videos. “Texts From Hillary” is a single image of a serious-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton texting on her phone. The photo has been reproduced with dozens of silly captions and reposted. And reposted. And reposted.

“Today’s memes are a manifestation of the remix culture that’s permeating art, advertising and media right now,” said Weber Shandwick’s Greg Swan. “Many discount the impact on pop culture that (they) have, but I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t know the chorus of Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday.’”

LOLCats (noun): Images and videos of cats, often accompanied by humorous text.

Grumpy looking cats. Babies laughing at cats. Cats playing ping-pong. While cat memes aren’t new, they are peculiar — and increasingly popular. According to KnowYourMeme.com, cat-related media took a leap forward beginning in 2006, with the growing influence of websites like LOLcats and Caturday.


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