While observing 4chan’s attack on Spar’s “create your shopping bag” online tool, I started to wonder if Internet meme’s ever die or they’ll continue to haunt us well into the future. I’m sure that on the trivial level, we’ll soon see in Jeopardy question type: “popular internet meme’s of 90’s”, but there is a different component. Given that a large amount of our current society and youth is influenced by short and not-so-short lived meme’s – what are today’s anthropologists doing to document and conserve this information? Will we need to resurrect it from old Wikipedia dumps, before they get removed for not being notable enough?
One of the notable things happening in this area is that Jason Scott has an archive of 10 million 4chan threads and while he isn’t releasing it to the public just yet, I’m confident that this will happen in a few years time.
I do hope that there is a whole generation of graduate’s in anthropology that are wondering how to capture all the memes so they can build their careers on top of it.