Know Your Meme: Difference between revisions


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| current_status = Online

| current_status = Online

| revenue =

| revenue =


{{Infobox television

| genre = Internet documentary

| creator =

| developer =

| writer =

| director =

| creative_director =

| presenter =

| starring = {{Plainlist|

*Brian Colbert Kennedy

*Katie Molinaro

*Eric Bellows

*Jon Allen

*[[Joanne Colan]] (Former)

*Kenyatta Cheese (Former)

*Greg Leuch (Former)

*Elspeth Rountree (Former)

*[[Jamie Wilkinson]] (Former)

*Patrick Davidson (Former)

*Mike Rugnetta (Former)

*Kristina Horner (Former)

*Forest Gibson (Former)

*Sarah Hiraki (Former)

*Alison Luhrs (Former)

*Rob Whitehead (Former)}}

| narrated =

| country = [[United States]]

| language = English

| num_seasons = 7

| num_episodes = 113 ”(as of March 28, 2023)”

| executive_producer =

| producer =

| editor =

| runtime = Varies

| company = [[Rocketboom]] (2007–2011), [[Cheezburger Network]] (2011–)

| first_aired = {{Start date|2007|12|17}}

| last_aired = present

| related =



[[File:Jamie Wilkinson and Kenyatta Cheese at ROFLCon II.jpg|thumb|[[Jamie Wilkinson]] and Kenyatta Cheese at [[ROFLCon]] II]]

[[File:Jamie Wilkinson and Kenyatta Cheese at ROFLCon II.jpg|thumb|[[Jamie Wilkinson]] and Kenyatta Cheese at [[ROFLCon]] II]]

Website and video series documenting Internet memes and online phenomena

Know Your MemeType of siteEncyclopediaAvailable inEnglishOwnerLiterally Media Ltd.Created byRocketboomEditorDon CaldwellURLknowyourmeme.comRegistrationOptionalLaunchedNovember 25, 2007; 16 years ago (2007-11-25)Current statusOnline
Jamie Wilkinson and Kenyatta Cheese at ROFLCon II
Know Your Meme (KYM) is a website and video series which uses wiki software to document various Internet memes and other online phenomena, such as viral videos, image macros, catchphrases, Internet celebrities and more. It also investigates new and changing memes through research, as it commercializes on the culture. Originally produced by Rocketboom, the website was acquired in March 2011 by Cheezburger Network, which, in 2016, was acquired by Literally Media.[1][2] Know Your Meme includes sections for confirmed, submitted, deadpooled (rejected or incompletely documented), researching, and popular memes.

2007–2010: Web series origins
Know Your Meme was created in December 2007 as a series of videos which were part of the vlog Rocketboom. It was founded by employees Kenyatta Cheese, Elspeth Rountree and Jamie Wilkinson, and Rocketboom CEO Andrew Baron in their spare time, when host Joanne Colan could not finish the current season of Rocketboom.[3] They dubbed themselves the Rocketboom Entity for Internet Studies.[4] Noticing that internet memes were used by advertisers who failed to acknowledge their online origins, they found that they could trace their source by using public search tools. They also found that media coverage of memes seemed uninterested in how they began and spread.[4][5]
Each episode of Know Your Meme covered one meme in detail, exploring its history and context in internet culture. They were hosted variously by Colan, Cheese, Rountree and Wilkinson, who donned lab coats and dubbed themselves “meme experts”.[5] Baron noticed that each episode attracted more views than typical Rocketboom shows.[6] According to Cheese, memes were only starting to become popular on sites such as 4chan when the series began, and Rocketboom allocated more resources as their popularity grew.[4]
Wilkinson had also been developing a personal database of internet memes.[3] It was repurposed as a companion to the videos and launched on the current website in 2008.[5] Due to the size of the task, Rocketboom decided to crowdsource and hire interns, including Amanda Brennan and future editor Brad Kim, to develop content. This was then collated by volunteer moderators and a small editorial team. By 2010, Know Your Meme had attracted a large following and was more popular than the original web series. However, it also attracted hostility from some online communities: the website suffered constant DDoS attacks and the controversial Encyclopedia Dramatica said it was “mostly safe for work, which is fucking lame”.[3][5]

2011–present: Sale to Cheezburger
In January 2011, Cheese, Rountree and other employees left Know Your Meme, claiming that Baron had created an “atmosphere of paranoia and competing egos” within the company; Baron disputed this and claimed that Cheese organized a “mass exodus [out of] personal vengeance”.[5] In March 2011, Baron sold Know Your Meme to Cheezburger for an undisclosed seven-figure amount.[7]
In April 2016, Cheezburger was acquired by Literally Media.[5]
In June 2021, the Doge meme was minted as an NFT by Atsuko Sato, the meme’s original creator, and sold on June 12, 2021, for 1696.9 ETH (approximately 4 million USD). The NFT sale was certified by Know Your Meme.[8]


At the end of 2008, after more than a year of growth, Rocketboom released an expanded database with Jamie Wilkinson as the lead developer.[9] The database includes entries for memes, trends and events, along with people and other aspects of subculture (such as films, video games, animated series and anime). Each entry has its own photo and GIF gallery; a video gallery was added in November 2010. As of January 2017, the database contained more than 2,700 entries of “confirmed” memes.[10]
The administrators have a say on what gets confirmed and what gets “deadpooled”, or rejected.[11] Some of the meme entries are graphic and Not Safe For Work (NSFW).[12] NSFW entries have warnings placed along the top of the entry and ads are usually disabled. These warnings may differ from consequences, such as bans. Know Your Meme also has a forum section, blog, and shop. Dr. Sean Rintel, who wrote The Automated Identity blog, described Know Your Meme as “lucrative, self-supporting research that blends the humorous and the serious.”[13] As of March 2019, the site is maintained by seven editorial staff members (Don Caldwell, Adam Downer, Matt Schimkowitz, Briana Milman, Sophie Dickinson and Philipp Kachalin) and one developer (Mike Schwab) in conjunction with a group of dedicated moderators. Former staff researchers include Chris Menning, Amanda Brennan, Molly Horan and Ari Spool.[14]
The Know Your Meme website and web series were acquired in March 2011 by Cheezburger Network for an undisclosed seven-figure amount.[7]

Know Your Meme has been praised by numerous publications. Its entries are frequently cited in both journalism and scholarly works covering internet memes.[15][16] The Daily Dot and The Wall Street Journal described the site as “the Encyclopedia Britannica” of memes and internet culture.[3][17] Time included Know Your Meme on its list of the “50 Best Websites 2009” for the web series.[18]
Know Your Meme won a Streamy Award in 2010 for Best Guest Star in a Web Series. It won the People’s Voice Webby Award in the Blog-Cultural category in 2012.[19] In June 2014, Know Your Meme was inducted into the Web Archiving Program of American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.[20] In May 2016, the website was cited as a source for explaining the concept of “dank memes” in regards to the political campaigning in the Australian federal election during a discussion on the ABC television programme Insiders.[21][22]

See also


^ “Literally Media Buys Cheezburger To Reach Millennials”. Retrieved June 13, 2019.

^ “Cheezburger’s new owner is Israeli digital-media company”. The Seattle Times. April 21, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2019.

^ a b c d Morris, Kevin (November 30, 2012). “A day in the office with Know Your Meme—the Web’s “Britannica””. The Daily Dot. Retrieved March 13, 2023.

^ a b c Conti, Allie (May 26, 2016). “A Co-Creator of Know Your Meme Explains What the Hell a Meme Actually Is”. Vice. Retrieved March 13, 2023.

^ a b c d e f Tiffany, Kaitlyn (March 6, 2018). “The story of the internet, as told by Know Your Meme”. The Verge. Retrieved March 13, 2023.

^ Gannes, Liz (April 6, 2009). “Intel Sponsors Rocketboom”. Gigaom. Retrieved March 13, 2023.

^ a b Hustvedt, Marc (March 28, 2011). “‘Know Your Meme’ Acquired By Cheezburger in Seven-Figure Deal”. Tubefilter. Archived from the original on August 14, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2011.

^ Rosenblatt, Kalhan (June 11, 2021). “Iconic ‘Doge’ meme NFT breaks record, selling for $4 million”. Retrieved May 12, 2023.

^ “The History of Know Your Meme”. Dembot. December 6, 2012. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.

^ “Confirmed Entries”. Know Your Meme. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2013.

^ “Deadpooled Entries”. Know Your Meme. Retrieved October 19, 2013.

^ “NSFW”. Know Your Meme. June 17, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2013.

^ Rintel, Sean (September 24, 2011). “Know Your Meme “Sean Rintel”. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.

^ “About”. Know Your Meme. Retrieved August 11, 2015.

^ Pettis, Ben T. (2022). “Know Your Meme and the Homogenization of Web History”. Internet Histories. 6 (3): 263–279. doi:10.1080/24701475.2021.1968657. S2CID 238660211.

^ Sonnad, Nikhil. “Finally, a scientific list of the most popular memes on the internet”. Quartz. Retrieved June 5, 2018.

^ Winkie, Luke (January 5, 2023). “Behind the Scenes at the Encyclopedia Britannica of Memes”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 15, 2023.

^ Fisher, Adam (August 24, 2009). “Know Your Meme”. Time. Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2013.

^ Paul, Sonia (May 1, 2012). “16th Annual Webby Award Winners: The Complete List”. Mashable.

^ “Getting serious about collecting and preserving digital culture | Folklife Today”. June 5, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2016.

^ “WATCH: ‘Insiders’ Had To Explain ‘Dank Memes’ To Boomers, RIP The Internet”. May 22, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2018.

^ Atkins, Denis (May 22, 2016). “Cool kids bring dank memes into the election campaign but only for a nanosecond”. The Courier Mail. Retrieved February 13, 2018.


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