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Planking, Owling and Horsemaning: A Guide to Photo and Internet Memes (and How To Make Your Own)

What is a meme? Wikipedia will tell you a “meme” is “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Today the most popular memes are started on the Internet. “Planking,” for instance. What, you haven’t heard of planking? How about “Business or Nayan Cat”? No? Well then, welcome to the 21st century, and a guide to the latest Internet memes!


A Meme is Born:  Planking, where a person lies as flat and rigid as possible – someone takes a picture of it and shares it with the Internet.

Horsemaning Around 
Not to be confused with Internet Phenomenon like the Numa Numa guy, Internet memes like Owling are sweeping the web. “Owling” is somewhat creative, but still a poor follow-up to Planking. Planking, which spread like a computer virus, now has a rightful heir to its throne: Horsemaning takes its name from the fictional character of the Headless Horseman, and photo subjects try to look like they’ve been (gasp!) decapitated.


Even ice cream retailer Cold Stone Creamery has hopped on the latest trend of Horsemaning.

However, the art of photographing your headless pal isn’t new; the technique dates back to the 192os. It’s just been revived by the Internet. But it only takes a few social sites like Flickr and Facebook to share your latest snapshots and, before you know it, the Internet has turned your photo into a meme!


The original Horseman photo.

It goes without saying, to have a popular photo meme, at least in this case, your subject and theme should be edgy. But it doesn’t always have to be macabre. Take for example…

Business Cat
Cats rule the roost when it comes to Internet memes. Keyboard Cat was one of the first, and Icanhascheezburger also contributed to helping get a few memes started. Nyan Cat is one of the more recent popular memes, but around DMAC one of our favorites is Business Cat!


You tell ‘em, Business Cat!

Business Cat came about when a Something Awful forum user named “Apple Jax” posted a thread titled PYF Cat Pictures with pics of a friend’s cat, Emilio. Emilio wore a tie for the photo op. Fast forward to 2011, a background image and a few captions later, and Business Cat is an Internet sensation, with his own website, yobusinesscat.com.

Adding captions to a particular photo has been a popular Internet meme pastime, more recently one that featured a character from the animated series, Futurama.

Fry Meme

Confused? Don’t be; that’s the whole point of this meme. And the caption? Funny because it’s true.

The Fry meme has spent the past few months at the top of the Internet meme food chain. It was so popular, at one point it even got attention from Futurama’s creator, Matt Groening:


Futurama and Simpsons creator Matt Groening got into the act with a meme of his own. (Groening didn’t sue the Internet…)

Internet memes can be easily created using meme generators or a few minutes in Photoshop. Creating content for the internet takes time, while an Internet meme can be quickly created with something as simple as a bad photo. It just depends on how much of your silliness you want to share with the World Wide Web. Who knows? That pose “Elvis” does when he wants a puppy treat may turn your dog into the next Internet meme sensation.

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posted by Vince Matthews in News Blog,Web Development and have No Comments

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