On Memes and Clickbait

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This post would not be complete without an appearance from a creepy clown.

If Richard II were alive today, he’d give his kingdom for a well-done meme instead of a horse. Memes have the potential to be the mythical perpetual motion machine of marketing, as long as the message in the meme is renewed periodically. I wish I could write a good meme, but the economy, simplicity and relatablity of memecraft escapes me.

I did some writing on the internet before the dot-com bust, and the digital landscape was so much kinder to writers in that day. The steps were simple then: learn to dress your writing with graphics and basic html, talk Yahoo into listing your site in their directory, and run some advertising on your pages. There was no need for near constant updates to content. It’s not like the internet was some sort of creative desert back then, either.

It seems that the value of the written word busted along with the dot-com bubble. Fast forward 15 years later, and we have just 1200×630 pixels dressed in 30 words or less to capture an audience.

I’ve decided that I will tilt at windmills by making some empty memes. I will infuse these memes with the rise of another regrettable internet phenomenon, clickbait. I recently read what must be the most absurd clickbait headline ever, “What Hitler’s Son Did With His Life Will Shock You!”

Clickbait usually begs a question with some sort of trickery, and that one delivered on that score.  Have you noticed how often the word “trick” is used in clickbait? They try to deceive your attention through the promise of teaching deception. Fool your insurance company into charging you less. Fool your body into losing weight with this little pill.

On some uncharted slope of the Andes, Dr. Oz is writing the Gospel According to the Three Foods You Must Never Eat, and the superfruit he discovered there will leave you speechless!

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