AP Human Geography

Hershey High School

Credit Cards

November10
Isn’t it great not having to carry cash when on a shopping spree at a mall? Doesn’t it feel awesome to only have to worry about spending bills once ever so often instead of every single time something is purchased? The idea of the handy credit card came up as early as the late 1800s by consumers and merchants who started exchanging goods through the concept of credit using credit coins and charge plates as currency.  Ever since, the innovations of the credit card, shown by the credit card timeline, has been a part of popular and local culture and has assisted millions of people in every day life.
Although the original idea of the credit card was introduced by consumers and merchants, the commodity started becoming popular in the early 1900s as oil companies and department stores issued proprietary cards. At this point in time, these cards weren’t specifically developed to expand on material culture and make purchases easier, but it was designed to ensure customer loyalty and improving costumer service. In fact, they were so primitive that they were constructed of cardboard!
In the 1940s, Biggins Bank became the fist bank to commodify the credit card, which was then called a “Charg-it”. New York’s Franklin National Bank next took up credit cards only five years later for loan customers and account holders. Outside of banking, Frank McNamara assimilated the card to be used in New York’s Major’s Cabin Grill due to the fact that he had forgot his cash one night. At this time, the Diners Club Card was created and used mostly for travel and entertainment, but claims the title of the first credit card in widespread use.
This image represents what the first club card looked like

This image represents what the first club card looked like

Within the next year there were 20,000 Diners Club cardholders, showing extreme diffusion in a contiguous manner.
Other companies such as American Express (formed in 1850 for specialized deliveries) adopted the use of the credit card in 1958. In 1959, the card evolved into plastic thanks to American Express. Within the next five years, about 1 million cards were being used at about 85,000 establishments worldwide. In 1966, Bank of America established the BankAmerica Service Corporation that franchised the Visa to banks nationwide. More and more advancements in the card have taken place as cultural appropriation from different companies has become evident.

The advancements in the credit card have been remarkable, while helping society each step of the way

The advancements in the credit card have been remarkable, while helping society each step of the way

Credit cards have been one of the quickest growing materialistic objects due to their great convenience, ease to purchases and nothing preventing its rapid spread. It seems as if everyone now days has a credit card handy at all times. The use of the credit card has surely broadened both the banking, and business worlds over the past 60 years and its creation has led to online services such as PayPal and chips implanted in mobile devices. Consumers and merchants in the late 1800s have made peoples lives in the 21st century easier and more efficient thanks to their original idea of the credit card.

Windmill

November10

The hearth of windmills is debatable however, most historian believe it developed somewhere in Persia in the 7th century. Today windmills can be found in places throughout the world. Windmills originally used to grind grain between stones to produce flour. However, it has been adapted a number of times to create different uses for it. The agricultural market has commodified the windmill to create power for places with strong and heavy wind resources.

The idea of the windmill spread rapidly from Persia to Turkestan,China and eventually all the way to Europe in the 12th century. This idea spread through stimulus diffusion. By the time the windmill diffused to china it had evolved into a machine that had a completely different purpose.. The main reason that the windmill diffused so smoothly and quickly was because of its value to the agricultural community. It was an efficient wind energy system which also provides cost-reducing modernization.

Windmills may add to a places cultural landscape. Due to the recent popularity of “going green” and preserving energy. Windmills can say a lot about popular culture if they contribute to the main energy source. In places like England and France it can say a lot about folk culture as well. In some of these places they still have centuries old windmills up and running.

Thought history windmills have influence local culture. Mostly agricultural areas and places without a main source of energy or water. For example, the windmill had and still does have a major part in local and popular culture in the United States. It was an essential tool in developing things such as railroads, factories and farms.

Today, the windmill has been vastly altered as is was diffused. There are a vast number of styles and uses for it now, compared to when it was first discovered. It has held a major role in the development of cultures all over the world and continues to evolve to accommodate the modern world.

Kindermusik

November10

The Kindermusik community is comprised of mothers, fathers, caregivers, and young children from all corners of the Earth. This Enlgish-language-based program uses music and movement to nurture a child’s cognitive, emotional, social, language and physical development. Parents can choose from eight different Kindermusik courses, each geared towards a specific age group ranging from newborn to seven-years-old. The classes are taught by licensed instructors who have endured rigorous training to achieve and promote Kindermusik’s detailed mission. A concept that began in the former West Germany during the 1960s, the Kindermusik program has diffused for decades across the globe with little alteration or prevention, being accepted by over one million families with young children.

Present day Germany, a country with rich musical history, is attributed with the innovation of Kindermusik. In 1968, the then West German government commissioned several doctoral candidates to create a music and movement program for the 5 to 6-year-old age group. The hearth of West Germany provided Kindermusik with an ideal location for diffusion. Initially, this concept (originally known as “Musikalische Fruherziehung,” or “music for the young child”) flourished solely in West Germany. Local community music schools adopted the curriculum for West Germany’s youth. The program was strictly local culture as it was practiced by a homogeneous population in the spatially limited West Germnay. Soon enough, however, the program would diffuse contagiously throughout Western Europe. In 1974, the program was introduced to the United States where it took root quickly and spread throughout the country. Ten years later it was introduced to Canada where a similar effect took place. Since then, Kindermusik has set its international headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, where it oversees the operations of over 5,000 educators in 35 countries. Within its 42-year history, Kindermusik has spread it’s principals, and now comodified classes, to six continents - all with humble beginnings in West Germany.

Kindermusik faced various forms of diffusion. Initially, when Kindermusik was simply a program developed by expert music educators and not a comodified curriculum, it diffused contagiously. With publicized success and support from the West German government, the program spread through music schools in West Germany. The program then spread contiguously to neighboring countries in Western Europe. In the 1970s, when the corporation Kindermusik International was instituted and began to publish the Kindermusik curriculum and promote instructor licensing and a range of classes, its diffusion became non-contiguous. The program spread West to North and South America and East as far as Australia. This once local culture was now characterized as popular culture as it continues to be exercised globally by a heterogeneous population. The original concept quickly became comodified as various for-profit-classes were structured for different age groups. Aspiring Kindermusik instructors, essentially child-loving entrepreneurs, could purchase the Kindermusik curriculum along with an instructor’s license. Essentially, the concept spread contagiously through the sub-culture of families with young children. New parents are known to be join forces when raising their young children. Once one family begins using a certain educational toy or innovative class or preschool, it quickly diffuses to associated families. This philosophy can be applied to Kindermusik, where the initial families utilizing the program in West Germany diffused Kindermusik contagiously to families with which they were associated. More recently, Kindermusik International has published stories about mothers who attended Kindermusik classes with their son or daughter and were inspired to start a Kindermusik class of their own. This crafty business operation and swift diffusion helped to make Kindermusik placeless as it is now found all over the world, despite its German title.

“Kindermusik Rocks Video”

In its quientessence, Kindermusik is still Kindermusik. The concept has not changed, nor has the mission of the program. The execution of the program, however, has altered over time. Initially, the raw curriculum was taught at local music schools in West Germany. Over time, the program was adapted in order to compensate for its quick diffusion. The curriculum became uniform, and a “canned” version was sold to instructors, many of whom had no formal music training. These instructors endured official Kindermusik training, however. The authenticity of the program was maintained as its core mission and philosophy were not altered. Also, Kindermusik has faced no obvious prevention in movement. Although the program is universally taught with an English-language-base, this has proven as a positive selling point for parents who want their children exposed to English at a young age. The fact that the program diffused across six continents relatively quickly demonstrates that little opposition has been encountered.

“Follow me to Kindermusik Video”

The Kindermusik program began as an experimental music education program and has become a flourishing international corporation. Its hearth in West Germany allowed for easy contagious diffusion among families with small children. Initially, contiguous diffusion was demonstrated as the program spread across Western Europe; however, the institution of Kindermusik International made the program diffuse non-contiguously across the globe. Its 42-year history has experienced little prevention in movement as families are eager to expose their young children to the curriculum that has maintained its core philosophy since its creation by West German doctoral candidates. Kindermusik serves as a prime example as to how, why, and to what extent culture can expand and change under the right conditions.

Steel Plow

November10

The invention of the steel plow sparked massive improvements in the agricultural field. This new, yet simple invention reduced the time it took for farmers to plow their fields. In 1837, John Deere invented the first successful steel plow in Grand Detour, Illinois; its hearth. From this time until the 1890’s this invention was a key part of material and popular culture leaving an imprint on the cultural landscape in many farming communities. Commodification eventually took place after more people began to seek interest in it, and the company known as John Deere today was started. It diffused to various parts of the world and as it diffused it was changed to better fit people’s needs.
The steel plow diffused to multiple parts of the world in a hierarchical way, only being taken in by people who it would most affect. The plow spread from its hearth, Grand Detour, to first Moline, Illinois when Deere moved his business. In 1853, word traveled to St. Louis, Missouri by telegraph. From there it went to Chicago by train where one of the first factories to produce the steel plows was set up in 1854. After Deere started making a name for himself around his area, he needed more steel to produce more plows. This is when the plow diffused to the Northeastern United States, where steel production was plentiful. The Deere Company continued to begin to grow, opening more branches in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Council Bluffs. These factories had the plow diffuse toward the entire United States by 1869. Then in the 1878 the plow took an international effect, spreading to Europe after Deere won a contest for his invention in France. Once it spread throughout Europe, it spread to Australia. Finishing the diffusion routes of the steel plow; it diffused first to the United States, but then took a turn for the global world.
There were various ways the plow spread, despite resistance and the distance decay, reducing the number of people who had heard about it at the time it was spreading. Although transportation was slow during the 1800’s the plow managed to spread to the global scale. It was spread by the traditional sending of letters, walking, horse and carriage, and talking. However, as technology improved, so did the speed in which the steel plow spread. The first improvement to the spread of the steel plow was the invention of the steam boat; this allowed the plow to be spread up and down river systems like the Mississippi. Then the invention of the locomotive allowed the plow to travel faster across land, allowing it to spread to the Western and Eastern United States. Lastly, the invention of the telegraph allowed Deere to communicate with other business owners and people in other towns, informing them about his invention. However, the further it spread the more obstacles it faced. For example, in Iowa, people refused to use it at first because they thought that steel was bad for the earth. So if the used it in their fields than their crops wouldn’t grow. Also as it crossed seas, just the time it took to cross the ocean slowed down the diffusion because it took days or months to cross the sea. Since a lot of transportation could only be used in good weather; weather also slowed down the diffusion. The unpredictable and non-constant spread of the steel plow made the diffusion non- contiguous, the places weren’t connected and the plow spread at random time intervals and distances.  Overall, the steel plow overcame a few obstacles in order to spread to the world.
The plow underwent a few changes as it diffused to the world, and was only accepted by a specific group of people. In 1860, the Sulky Plow was invented, which was the steel plow, but it had the ability to be drawn by a horse, instead of being pulled by a man. In the 1870’s when it reached to Australia, the Stump- Jump Plow was invented, this gave the steel plow the ability to clear land that had stumps from cut down trees on it. It led to more farmland being made and cultivated. The last change the plow underwent was in 1889 when it the Six- Gang Plow was invented by John Deere. After this point, the plow was replaced by motorized tractors powered by gasoline. These inventions led to a day’s work being able to be done in just one hour. As the plow diffused it was changed by different cultures in a process known as cultural appropriation. However, an authentic steel plow would be made by John Deere in the mid- 1800’s. It was a wooden shaft, with curved steel plate at the bottom to plow the dirt. Since the plow was used specifically by farmers and it was a new invention during that time, only the agricultural community accepted it. This was because there was a high price for it since steel had cost a lot, and most people couldn’t afford it unless the absolutely needed it, like farmers did. As a result, only a specific group of people accepted the steel plow.
A new invention in 1837, lead to a massive change in the agricultural community. It diffused from its hearth in a small Illinois town to the global scale in a matter of 60 years. Despite the slow, untrustworthy transportation the plow continued to spread until being replaced by gasoline powered tractors in the 1900’s. The plow was altered as it diffused; however, the last alteration was made by Deere to combat the competition from other agricultural machine businesses being started. The agricultural community accepted the plow and made it one of the most used tools during the 1800’s. The steel plow was a major part of the agricultural community during the mid to late 1800’s.

Trireme

November10

Throughout the Hellenistic era, maritime prowess was crucial to the success of a nation as a whole. As a result of the Greek’s desire to maintain their power throughout the Mediterranean, the trireme was invented.

The trireme was a three tiered warship, much like an ancient galleon. The ship relied mostly on the 170 man crew spread over three decks to power it, however it did have two small sails on the upper deck to aid in its propulsion. Because of these two methods of powering the ship, it was extremely quick and agile which made it an ideal war ship. Another defining characteristic of the trireme was its massive bronze ram fitted at the front of the vessel which allowed the ship to ram and sink other ships during battle. This unique structure forced the sailors to develop new tactics for naval warfare. These tactics were developed extensively in both the Persian and Peloponnesian wars.

While the exact location of the trireme’s hearth is unknown, it is thought to have originated in Corinth, but it quickly spread by means of contagious diffusion and diffusion routes in the form or trade routes throughout the Mediterranean region to be used by the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, and Assyrians.  After the first trireme sailed to the mainland of Greece and to Tyre, the spread of the trireme was non-contiguous because of its purpose and the fact that it was a part of material culture for the sea-faring people of the Mediterranean. Due to distance decay, Rome was the furthest point that the trireme ever reached.

As the trireme spread through the Mediterranean, it was constantly being modified through commodification to suit the needs of the ever changing times. It was constantly being modified to increase its attack, such as in the use of the bronze ram because it was used by mostly military personnel. Eventually the trireme was replaced by ships like the galleon and the caravel, and it became a thing of the past.

The trireme was the quintessential piece to every powerful navy during the Hellenistic era, and was an excellent example of material culture and technological diffusion throughout the Mediterranean region.

Analysis of Homecoming

November10

The first homecoming football game took place at Missouri’s field when they faced the Kansas Jayhawks in 1911. The athletic director, Chester Brewer, is credited with coming up with the idea of homecoming. He invited all of the alumni to “come home” for the game in 1911. Not only did they have a football game, but the day also consisted of a parade and spirit rally with a bonfire. The game in 1911 was the beginning of a long tradition. Throughout this analysis I will discuss the spread, movement, and diffusion of homecoming.

Picture of the first homecoming football game in 1911, against the Missouri tigers and the Kansas jayhawks.

The tradition of homecoming spread very quickly across the United States, and is still happening every year to this day. Homecoming is a form of popular culture because it is widely accepted in “western culture”. Homecoming took roughly 11 years to become fully accepted in the United States. Nearly 10,000 alumni showed up for the game in 1911. Since it was such a big success, the idea quickly spread to colleges all over the country.

Luckily no one stood in the way of this flourishing tradition. It was a success from day one, and everyone seemed to love it. The idea of homecoming was contiguous; however it didn’t happen very fast. In other words, the process of the spreading of homecoming never stopped, at the same time, nothing happened over night. Homecoming has many different aspects to it. For example it is considered to be both material culture and nonmaterial culture. It is material culture because of all the money that is spends, and all the products that are bought. Yet, it is nonmaterial culture because there are many customs and beliefs behind the traditions of homecoming.

Mizzou Tigers LogoHomecoming is a form of expansion diffusion. More specifically it is pegged as contagious diffusion, which in short is the rapid growth of an idea or item. From 1911 to 2010 there have been many small changes during its process of diffusion. For example, somewhere along the way there became a homecoming court. Out of the court a king and queen were picked. Someone also decided to have a student dance the night before. The king and queen are normally picked the night of the dance, and they also make an appearance before the football game starts as well. As far as homecoming goes, there are some examples of assimilation. For instance, immigrants that come into the United States experience this, however the assimilation is typically quick and easy to get used to.

Homecoming is something for all ages to enjoy. The younger generations can take pleasure in the dances and parties, while the older alumni can benefit from being able to come back to the school and reunite with all of their old friends. Not only that, but everyone can relax and watch a nice high school/college football game. It’s something that has been around for nearly a century, and is sure to be here for many years to come. The spread of homecoming has been an interesting one, as well as its diffusion, and we’re certain to see many more adaption’s in following years.

The Rubik’s Cube

November10

Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik's Cube

The Rubik’s Cube was invented by Erno Rubik, a Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture in 1974. The creation of the cube was somewhat commoditized because originally his plan was to invent a working model to explain three dimensional geometry, but it ended up being sold as one of the most popular children’s toys in history. He got a Hungarian patent in 1975 but the first ‘Magic Cubes’ (later known as the Rubik’s Cube) weren’t released until 1977. Magic Cubes were first sold in Budapest toy shops. In 1979 a deal was signed with Ideal Toys which brought the Magic Cube to the west. The cube made its international introduction in toy fairs in Paris, London, Nuremburg, and New York in February of 1980. The distribution of the cube was put on hold while the cube went under reterritorialization to make it more practical for the west. After this, the first shipment of the new Rubik’s Cube was sent from Hungry to many major cities around the world. Rubik did not receive a U.S. patent until 1983.

In late 1980 the popularity of the cube took off. The shipment of 1 Million that was originally sent proved to be too little, and imitation cubes quickly took off. By the end of 1982 over 100 million cubes were sold and over 50 solution books were on the market. Like all popular fads, the cubes popularity crashed by the end of 1883. In the early 1990’s the cube started to come back, but it was not until the end of the decade that the cube really started to regain popularity. Today over 300 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold world wide.

The hearth of the Rubik's Cube

Rubik was not the only toy maker with this idea. Larry Nicolas patented a similar toy held together with magnets that rotated in groups like Rubik’s toy. He got at Canadian patent in 1970 and a U.S. patent in 1972, therefore getting his toy two years ahead of Rubik. Nicolas sued Ideal Toy Company in 1982 and in 1984 Ideal Toys lost the patent infringement suit. Ideal Toy Company then appealed the suit in 1886 and it was decided that the 3 by 3 cube was not a copyright infringement on Nicolas’s toy.

The Rubik’s cube is an example of both popular and material culture. The cube first spread by hierarchical diffusion when toy store owners would see the toy at major toy fairs in big cities around the world. As the toys were brought to different countries however, its popularity spread by contagious diffusion and word of mouth. Everyone was interested in trying to solve this mathematical puzzle.

The Rubik’s Cube is a strong example of cultural diffusion. Starting in Hungary and diffusing all around the world, the puzzle quickly became one of the most successful children’s toys of all time.

Tulipmania

November10
Anonymous author from the 17th century

Anonymous author from the 17th century

Tulipmania, the non-material idea of tulip’s selling for extremely high prices in the Netherlands in the 17th century, reached its climax in 1637 when the price of a single tulip sold for more then a skilled workers yearly salary.  Just as quickly as the frenzy over tulips came, the bubble it was riding burst and the prices of tulips plummeted in the Netherlands making it the first recorded speculative bubble in the history of economics.  Reasonable, why today when there is a crazed buying period in a market it is known as “Tulipmania”.

Tulip’s were originally imported from Turkey in the 1550s, but didn’t make their way into European hearts until the 17th century, when they started being grown by local  inhabitants.  As tulips became more and more popular in the Netherlands they became a sign of royalty, and from there it became necessity to have many different color combinations of the flowers.  The last recorded day before the price start, or start of the bubble where investors made the price soar to record highs, was November 12th, with the last day being May 1st, when prices returned to normal with a large amount of bankrupt traders.  Despite Tulipmania only last less then a year, its impacts at a profound affect only on the Netherlands at the time due to it not spreading very far away from there.

From a Dutch catalog in 1637.  On the right it says the price - between 3000 and 4200 flroins (depending on size).  In perspective the average skilled worker made arounnd 300 florins a year.

From a Dutch catalog in 1637. On the right it says the price - between 3000 and 4200 flroins (depending on size). In perspective the average skilled worker made arounnd 300 florins a year.

Tulipmania was spread in 2 possible ways, hierarchical diffusion and contagious diffusion.   Those with the most money could afford to buy the most tulips, and eventually they bought so many that it became a symbol of wealth and power.  The average man, always trying to improve social status, would see the tulip’s and want to buy them just like the wealthiest people of the time.  Contagious diffusion also could have been to blame for the spread of tulipmania due to the fact that those closest to the growers of the plants would get to see and want to buy the tulips and eventually it would spiral out from there.  UCLA professor Earl A. Thompson argued in 2007 that the price of tulip’s initially went up due to the government discussing talks of changing the way the contract worked between buyer and trader - so that if the market fell the buyer would not be penalized or hurt nearly as badly as before.  This is, according to professor Thompson, the reason why the bubble initially started, and the reason why it ended, because of the government stepping back in and halting the sale.  Besides this theory, there are no other ideas as to why Tulipmania started and stopped in the drastic way in which it did.

The idea of tulipmania did not change that incredible much in the 6 months that it lasted accept for the fact that the longer it went on the more extravagant and different the tulips had to be, trying to one up the last people who bought the popular flower. Iit was accepted by many people as a type of wealth and a symbol of power though only 3 groups really got their hands on it due to the fact that at the height of tulipmania it was worth more then a skilled workers yearly salary, these people are the growers, the traders, and the wealthy people who could afford buying the tulips.

With many traders going bankrupt in the frenzy and many people being financially hurt, it is interesting to know why the bubble initially started in the first place, but with the poor records from the time period, the answer may never be known.  What is known is that tulipmania was the first market bubble in recorded history, and the idea of it spread rapidly and disappeared just as fast as its onset.

Claddagh Rings

November10
This is the original design of the Claddagh Ring

This is the original design of the Claddagh Ring.

Today, when you go into any jewelry or accessories store in the U.S., you can almost always find a Claddagh ring sitting on or behind the counter. To most Americans, the Claddagh ring is just another fashion accessory. However, to people of Irish descent, it holds a much deeper meaning.

The Claddagh ring’s hearth is the small Irish fishing village of Claddagh, outside of Galway. There are three stories as to how the first ring came to be, and no one is exactly sure which is accurate. One story that is usually referred to as being the most truthful says that an Irish man, Richard Joyes, was on a voyage to the West Indies when he was captured by an Algerian pirate and sold into slavery, where he became an excellent goldsmith. Upon his release, Joyes returned to Claddagh and began a new life as an independent jeweler. It is said that his finest creation was the Claddagh ring.

The Joyes familiy crest.

The Joyes family crest.

By the time the Great Famine of the 1840’s hit Ireland, the Claddagh ring had already spread throughout Ireland, along with its meaning. During time from its creation to the famine, the ring was spread almost exclusively by word of mouth, or by internal migration of the Irish. At the time of the famine, many Irish fled the country, with Claddagh rings on their fingers, and came to the United States, thus introducing the idea of the Claddagh ring to the U.S. The only thing that might have prevented this spread from happening earlier is that the transportation was either expensive, or not very efficient and it would take long periods of time for an idea to spread to neighboring countries, let alone a country that is an ocean’s length away. This can also be explained by the distance-decay theory.

Once the idea of Claddagh rings had left Ireland, it began to spread contiguously. However, while it was being diffused to different populations, The Claddagh ring, a vital part of Ireland’s folk culture, lost its authenticity and became a material piece of America’s popular culture. Americans have commodified the Claddagh ring into a mere fashion accessory. Originally, wearing the Claddagh ring on your right hand with the heart facing out meant that the wearer was not romantically involved. If the heart was facing in, it meant that the viewer was in a romantic relationship, or that their heart had been “captured”. Wearing a Claddagh ring on the left hand, with the heart facing out meant that the wearer was engaged, while wearing it with the hear facing in meant that the wearer was married. For many people of Irish descent, these principals are very much alive. However, for people not of Irish descent, cultural appropriation of the ring has transformed it into nothing more than an enthralling design.

Today, the Claddagh ring is a victim of neolocalism among most cultures except for the Irish. The idea of the Claddagh rings has never disappeared from Ireland, but has disappeared and reappeared along with different fashion trends in many other cultures. There is much more behind the every popular hands, heart, and crown than most people think.

Internet Memes

November10

With around 30% of the entire worlds population having access to the Internet, its hard to believe the term “Internet meme” isn’t more popular.  Even if you have never heard of this term you have most like seen one of these spread on a social networking site similar to facebook or more so on social media websites such as 4chan, Reddit, or Digg. An Internet meme is loosely defined as a unit of cultural transmission. These cultural ideas originate often from one source but can also be a collaborative effort. Internet memes can be anything from a man enthusiastically enjoying the sight of a double rainbow or even the popularity of a shirt depicting 3 wolves howling at the moon. While these seemingly random subjects, as they are, can be memes and with the dramatic increase in popularity the creation of a meme will become a more and more common occurrence in our society.

Social media sites are often to blame for the start these memes. 4chan, a popular image board, allows users to anonymously post images to been seen by the entire community. An image will gain popularity and eventually grow within the site through alterations to the original post. Depending on the speed of this occurrence, sometimes an hour while others a week, a popular meme will spread from one community to another thus increasing its popularity and exposure exponentially. In television shows like The Office, South Park, and Family Guy, Internet memes are often exploited and spread across multiple different communication mediums. These popular Internet trends are beginning to penetrate many levels of communication with no end in sight. With Internet connections in all corners of the world each popular meme, even if started from a local culture, can be a fine example of glocalization. The recognized potential for memes have not gone unnoticed. Marketing agencies have taken note of the extreme popularity and have begun to use some as viral marketing for their clients. Due to the anonymity of the Internet no end is in sight for these social trends. In some efforts to slow the spread of an Internet meme, copyright infringement is sometimes pressed on an individual or group turning a profit on the meme even through commodification with merchandise.

At any given time, with thousands of people browsing social media sites, its easy to understand that Internet memes never get a break. They spread from one site to the other, TV show to movie, and from one user to the next. The endless nature of this spread gives the idea of any Internet meme placelessness. As technology grows to more and more of an importance in today’s world, the target of memes have also grown. Though a majority of memes involve pop culture many have been spread to an age group above the average community on social media websites. The estimated average age of users on 4chan, often the creators of memes, is around 20 while the average on both Reddit and Digg tend to be around 37 years old. Clearly the trends of Internet memes cross website as well as generations.

The rate of growth on many social website is truly incredible. The availability of networking over the Internet has had a great impact across many communities and millions of people. With the ability to communicate to the masses and the ultimate supply of creativity, Internet memes are bound to grow and continue to do so. This endless growth will effect more and more people making the creativity pool even larger. With the general population having a control on memes, the end isn’t in sight and it may never be.

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