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Andy Woodworth is a librarian and social media consultant. He has graced the reference desk at a public library for the last decade. He is a Library Journal Mover and Shaker, award winning blogger, and occasional writer for library science journals and magazines.

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You can find him on Twitter wawoodworth. Andy lives in New Jersey with two rambunctious toddlers and one very understanding wife. Correspondence concerning this column should be directed to Nicole Eva and Erin Shea; : nicole. In this column, librarian and social media consultant Andy Woodworth gives an unexpected approach toward library social media strategy with the use of memes. Art is probably the most critical aspect as well as being the most unconventional.

I have no art background to speak of, so I must appeal to your philosophical nature: that memes, like art, are images that convey an emotion, a message, or both. Memes can take on profound and lasting meaning or be fleeting in the moment. As visual media, they qualify to be judged as a work of art. While they are closely associated with humor, they have been used to make serious points about topics such as politics, religion, and social justice.

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In the last election cycle, memes were used by Russian agents as part of an engagement strategy on social media to provoke users into hyperpartisan stances. This penetration of memes can also be seen in all realms of pop culture and has continued to expand over time. The notion of street art is all-inclusive, from the tags on street s, to elaborate graffiti works, to complete building murals. As it literally surrounds us on our travels, so do memes during online sojourns. One cannot avoid them on their social media feeds, message board sites, or anything that touches upon internet culture.

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These are the streets of the online world and memes are a part of that landscape. As the internet hinges on the visual, memes fulfill that artistic role as a communicator of ideas and emotions. With tools that make their creation readily accessible, memes are an artform for the masses to generate, share, and revel.

They are the frescoes of the digital age. Like their organic counterparts, a meme can take on new meanings and connotations as people use them to describe something, use them in a commentary, or otherwise repurpose them for other uses. The term has become synonymous with images with captions either on, above, or below the image that creates a narrative about a person, place, thing, or combination thereof. Memes are highly adaptable, extremely relatable, and well suited for sharing on social media platforms. They have found their way into every aspect of online life as a vehicle for all forms of commentary and perspectives.

Like its drawn cousins, a single captioned image can say more intellectually and emotionally than an entire essay. With a few mouse clicks, a meme can be created to fit any situation to convey any message. Being relatable is one of the innate aspects of a meme.

As human beings are visual creatures, communication through images comes naturally. If you think about it, an image with a line of text is how we are first introduced to the world of reading. It is one of the most popular forms of visual expressions throughout our lives, found in a variety of places such as cartoons, printcomic books, and instruction manuals. It is a format so familiar as to become near omnipresent, fading into the background of our daily lives. Sharing is what makes the social media world go around, and memes are well suited for distribution.

Sharing is built into the web to accommodate our social animal ways with widgets that will link pictures and stories acrosstext messages, and social media. This is important to any social media strategy in creating content, getting impressions or reactions, and building a following within the community. Memes are for sharing, sharing creates engagement, and engagement creates a following. It is important that Woodworth LA nude dating works with the staff time invested as well as the social media outcomes that are sought. In embracing memes as part of a greater social media strategy, the medium demands a certain level of knowledge and attention.

The knowledge component has two vital functions: making certain any memes you use are appropriate in terms of the image and text to their understood underlying meaning and the situation they are used, and to ensure that you are using memes that are not for lack of a better term inappropriate.

It goes against the commonly held meaning of the image and will be ignored or generate a negative response even if you wanted to use it ironically. Context matters, and especially so in the world of memes. Within the world of memes, there are Woodworth LA nude dating that have become associated with extremist ideologies and meanings.

For example, Pepe the Frog has found heavy use in white supremacy online forums.

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Cropped stills of facial expressions from adult films in which the context as well as the nudity has been removed have found use as reaction memes on social media platforms such as Tumblr. While not every image requires a thorough background check before it can be used on a library social mediaanything suspect can be checked. Fortunately, there are websites and tools that can provide additional context and background for meme images:. How will they be used online and on what platforms? Do you have the capability of a quick turnaround to find, adapt, and post memes that have just emerged?

Or will they be used on planned posts? These are the kinds of questions that need to answered before any text is placed on an image. Memes should be another tool in the online engagement arsenal. Whether they are used frequently or sparingly, the end goal is to elicit shares and Woodworth LA nude dating forms of online engagement.

The other important element is that they are manageable within established staff workflow and duties. As of the date of writing August 9,their Kardashian photo has over twelve hundred comments and five thousand shares along with uncounted press mentions and media coverage. Their photo and video sections have many established memes with excellent captions and purposeful use.

For example, a Grandma Find the Internet is used in conjunction with promoting technology and computer classes; 6 it is a good match of meme and content to generation comments and shares. As Facebook treats animated gifs as videos for no reason known to humankind, their video section is an excellent example of pop culture images paired with related posts. The illusion creates thrilling and immediately sharable that both promote the book and the library without resorting to the use of text.

This is especially popular on Instagram with its own bookfacefriday hashtag where booklovers and libraries can compete for the best photo. At the most basic level, there are websites such as Imgur, ImgFlip, and MemeGenerator that allow you to use existing meme images and provide Woodworth LA nude dating input boxes for quick creation. In exchange for a tiny website watermark, you get a final product as a link that you can either download the image to your own computer or insert into an appropriate or social media post.

They are simple, quick, and perfectly acceptable for creating a custom meme without using software or investing tremendous amounts of staff time. There are many programs that can be used for the creation of memes. Even system standard programs like MS Paint can accomplish this task. Once you start moving into the realm of more advanced editing and use, there are both paid and open source options.

Paid programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, along with their respective open source equivalents Inkscape and GIMP, provide more powerful tools that enable greater image manipulation. Customizing imagery, inserting library brand or watermarks, and even generating entirely new meme content are possible with enough staff time and a commitment to original content. Instagiffer, an open source program, offers the ability to turn video clips either imported or as a link from an existing YouTube video into short GIFs as well as being able to add multiple lines of caption text to create dialogue.

Again, while the programs are open source aka freethere is a staff-time cost that would need to be considered to make it function. There are a range of tools that match the level of staff proficiency and time investment. With an easy entry level to content creation, they can fit any staff-time or technical-knowledge parameters that you want to as them.

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Why Memes? Fortunately, there are websites and tools that can provide additional context and background for meme images: Know Your Meme knowyourmeme. It is a combination of staff curation and user submission with the former doing research into the origins of a meme while the latter provide discovery details and additional examples.

Reddit www. While the search options are limited, they are excellent sources of what memes are currently trending online and how they are being used. Google Image Search images. It is a good due-diligence tool for looking at the other ways an image has been used online. Simply a copy of the original image you want to use and it will provide matches. As there is a risk of getting not safe for work NSFWit is recommended that such searches be done on back-office computers rather than on public desks. The Right Tools for the Right Job Like all art, the tools that you use to create a meme are entirely up to you.

Say It Again: Why Memes? To quote that Shia Lebouf meme: 7 Just. Figure 1. Bad Luck Brian. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Shia LaBeouf meme parody.

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