KnowYourMeme Review

It was the best of memes, it was the worst of memes. KnowYourMeme has a unique position. They are a wiki website with annoying ads and that combination in itself should not be marketable or remotely successful. But even with that glaring initial observation, they have one fundamental force which drives them: meme documentation. The thing about memes you have to realize is that they are extremely valuable to understand due to Donald Trump becoming president with them (not exaggerating, they are a chief reason why he won). On top of that KnowYourMeme's only major competitor is Encyclopedia Dramatica which is a notoriously inappropriate satirical meme documentation wiki with forums filled with rampant bullying and doxing that moderators actively PROMOTE. Suffice to say, KnowYourMeme is in the King's Meme Throne and there are no people making a claim to it so they are sitting nice and cozy.

Having a wiki editable by users as your central marketing point is not easy, but is not unheard of. TvTropes and obviously Wikipedia would certainly attest to this matter. On top of that you have a grey area of "what is meme" wherein memes are given 'deadpooled' 'researching' or 'confirmed' status not based on if it is a meme, but based instead on if the page is really well-edited and if the meme is really popular; which are questionable bases for answering if something is a meme. One might solve this problem by utilizing a status of 'Mainstream' rather than 'Confirmed' and 'Fake' or 'Incomplete' instead of 'Deadpooled'.

On top of this they document numerous other categories including subcultures, people, events, and sites because KnowYourMeme wants to document Internet culture. That must be hard-line brand recognition holding them down because KnowYourMeme runs against the grain of KnowYourInternet which would more accurately describe a site which documents the Internet not just memes. And for the record, a meme is not exclusive to the internet and KnowYourMeme exclusively covers internet memes, so KnowYourMeme is not quite the best title for a site not documenting ALL memes. Instead they are opting for the memes that make you go "hurr hurr FUNNYYY LOL" on Facebook when memes are not actually jokes: memes are a scientific term for a unit of culture.

All of that being said, their wiki is satisfying to edit, although it was quite aggravating when I would edit a page one way, a moderator would alter that edit to something less accurate, and when I fix it I then get a warning with the administrator saying "I take meme documentation very seriously" [paraphrased]. Usually, that is not a problem though as the role of many mods is to ensure pages are regularly edited and updated to site standards which have significantly increased over the years for better or for worse. I say that because requiring TOO much can discourage users from submitting or editing, especially when you have a moderator deadpooling your entries the first day you make them over and over because you did not make ALL the sections in the same day and do not have ALL the research already posted. The pages are fun to edit but it is quite discouraging to have moderators alter your work for the worse or make it so people cannot see your work in the trending bar because it is deadpooled; which in turn discourages people from editing the page.

So with my point of view in mind, I rate KnowYourMeme 4 rotted pizzas out of 10 stale half-eaten pizza crusts. RIP in pepperoni. May you some day have new management or be overtaken by a better website.


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