|a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.|
A meme is in essence something that a person presents to the world that the people who see/receive it find conceptually appealing (that is the short explanation, kind of…). These people then take that idea or even just the presentation of the idea and copy it over and over again.
A great example is LOL Cat. This idea has spread with the help of http://icanhascheezburger.com/ into something else. They have given their users the power to create their own node of the meme quickly easily and without the need for any software skills or pre-taught artistic knowhow.
Or FAIL pictures. These are quite entertaining and this meme has become something of a farce at times with people putting FAIL onto any old picture. So successful a meme that the words FAIL and WIN are now deep set in my office’s vocabulary (not to mention a huge number of people around the world… WIN!).
Then there is the Xzhibit smile and frown meme, started with his Yo Dawg! expression. Some of these are great and Arnold Swartznegger has reared his head in a number of these from a few frames in the Terminator, (they are particularly funny).
Anyway, is there a meaning to this or are they just a good bit of fun? More research and more time looking at thousands of good and bad pictures, phrases, concepts and scribbles and I’ll be able to tell you.