Thursday, 4 February 2010

Why does the Hitler meme seem so popular?

One of the interesting web phenomena of recent years has been the rise of the Hitler meme on YouTube.

In these, a clip from the film Downfall (2004)is used repeatedly, but with a range of subtitles added.

The idea combines a mixture of humiliating the demonic figure that Hitler represents, while also displaying the prowess at comedy writing and timing of the producer, who uses a raging Hitler as the platform for social satire.

Some work better than others, and the choice of subject matter can make for uncomfortable viewing.

The Guardian newspaper has produced a good article that explores this phenomenon. It's a good reminder that in an age where we're all media producers, popular content and the means of its distribution don't necessarily reside with the ruling elites of old. What makes it fascinating for media educators and observers like myself, is the fact that the old rules don't apply, and market forces are taking on a whole new dynamic.

Teens go for micro rather than macro blogging

An interesting report, quoted in the Guardian, suggesting that teens are moving rapidly away from the contemplative, longer form style of multimedia writing that embodies the production of a blog; choosing instead to write often and little on Facebook status updates and Twitter tweets.

The interesting fact about this is that the decline appears at a time when more schools are looking to use blogs as a mainstream way of encouraging literacy, independent thinking and shared collaborative reflection. Indeed, the introduction and promotion of blogging in schools might be one reason why personal blogging is losing its allure, as students come to view it as associated with 'official' academic work.

You can read the article, which analyses key elements of the Pew Research Center report, here.