The Netnarr Somniporta is a dream doorway from or maybe to the world you may think is real. In this place, for the Networked Narratives course starting in January 2019, we will issue several digital alchemy missions that are a call for you to find, create media, and return it here.

This mission is part of the activity for our seventh class where we will be looking at meme images to maybe be more than just for laughs, that we might be able to craft a message to counter some of the internet darkness.

Start at the imgflip Meme Generator. This site provides along the top, thumbnails of the most popular used images for making memes. Scroll along the top until you see an image you recognize or just find you are curious about. Click the thumbnail. This is where imgflip is helpful- it provides the name of the meme, a way it can be searched.

Maybe we’ve seen a meme using this image of Oprah or maybe we just like her. Regardless, imgflip tells us this one is called “Oprah You Get a”. Copy this text.

Now we go hop over to the Know Your Meme site. Paste the name of the meme into the top right search box, and hopefully you will find the backstory of the meme image you selected. Our example is called Oprah’s You Get a Car. The information here tells you not only where it came from, but provides context on the way the image is commonly used (sometimes the examples and the backstory maybe be NSFW).

Now that you are equipped with some knowledge of this meme, return to the imgflip Meme Generator. Try entering some text on the message that reflects a discussion or topic we have looked at so far in #NetNarr (maybe tracking, digital detox, catfishing, self-representation) and make it into a meme message that works with the way it is typically done.

In this way, rather than just going for laughter, maybe we can send a sarcastic or hopeful message about the darkness? For example, maybe Oprah dishes out fake identities? You can find this image inside with the others that participants will share here.

When your meme is published, download it, then drop it onto the Somniporta— be sure to select the Mission Type to be A Meme Countering Darkness. Add some description of your process to identify a meme to use, what you learned about the image, and how you crafted that into your NetNarr message.

The Viral Challenge

We had great class discussion about how memes quickly become popular (and many fade quickly), but also the idea of virality. A challenge was issued by the instructors to see if collectively we could make one of our own created meme images go viral (or at least spread).

To that end, we remind participants that every item in the Somni Porta has a user rating feature (1 to 5 stars). We ask you (the collective you, meaning anyone reading this page) to visit the collection of memes created for this mission and vote for the ones that have the most potential for going viral.

We will leave the polls open til end of the day Friday, March 8 to find the meme image worth promoting. You can see the vote leaders at any time. Vote and vote often (well not the latter, you get one vote per meme- unless you know something about browser cookies).

(yes class, this is an old meme!)

Currently in the Collection