Patterns in Internet Meme Production

36 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2020

See all articles by Michael R. Ward

Michael R. Ward

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics; ZEW, Mannheim

Date Written: May 18, 2020

Abstract

The sharing of Internet memes is increasingly popular form of expressing opinions and complex sentiments in an easily understood image. Marketers are exploiting the attention memes generate by enlisting meme influencers to create memes to promote products. I develop a machine learning algorithm that classifies meme images scraped from the meme aggregation sub-Reddit forums to generate a panel of meme posts. The data reveal time-series patterns in meme proliferation and quality, competition for attention across memes, learning-by-doing in meme creation, and potential mechanisms of the learning-by-doing. These findings suggest that the market for meme influencer will tend to be concentrated and may tend to become a superstar market.

Keywords: memes, influencers, production

JEL Classification: L96, M31, O35

Suggested Citation

Ward, Michael Robert, Patterns in Internet Meme Production (May 18, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3604651 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3604651

Michael Robert Ward (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics ( email )

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Box 19479
Arlington, TX 76019
United States
817-272-3090 (Phone)
817-272-3145 (Fax)

ZEW, Mannheim ( email )

D-68034 Mannheim
Germany

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