If you’re unfamiliar with the term, an Internet meme is a concept that spreads from person to person via the Internet. The concept of a meme was defined and described by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads; internet memes are a subset of this, specific to the culture and environment of the internet. Above, we have “Success Kid” then and now. Continue reading for more.

Fads and sensations tend to grow rapidly on the Internet, because the instant communication facilitates word of mouth transmission. In the early days of the Internet, such content was primarily spread via email or Usenet discussion communities. Messageboards and newsgroups were also popular because they allowed a simple method for people to share information or memes with a diverse population of internet users. They encourage communication between people, and thus between meme sets, that do not normally come in contact.